Premiere of MERCY STREET, PBS’ First Original Drama In More than 10 Years, Draws Millions of Viewers On Air, Hundreds of Thousands for Early Digital Premiere
PASADENA, CA; January 18, 2016 – PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced at her Executive Session at the Television Critics’ Association Press Tour that the premiere episode of MERCY STREET garnered a 2.2 rating. The persons 2+ average audience delivery was 3.3 million (Nielsen Live+Same Day Fast National Data). For comparison to other PBS 10:00 pm fast national ratings, MERCY STREET’s household rating is 16 percent higher than SHERLOCK Season 3 “His Last Vow” on MASTERPIECE.
The premiere on Sunday also trended nationally on Twitter for more than two hours.
“I’m thrilled with Sunday night’s audience numbers across PBS member stations,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. "MERCY STREET has been a labor of love from the beginning working with an amazing team of executive producers, directors and actors. I look forward to engaging even more fans over the coming weeks as it’s discovered online through PBS station websites.”
Additionally, PBS made the MERCY STREET premiere available for digital streaming ahead of the January 17th broadcast debut. The early release helped build interest leading up to the broadcast premiere with nearly 200,000 streams from January 14th to 17th, making it the number one digital premiere ever for PBS. The digital premiere included all PBS and station digital platforms such as PBS.org, PBS apps for iOS, Android, FireTV, ROKU, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Windows 10, as well as through partners including Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay and Vudu.
The early digital premiere is not the only way PBS is building interest in MERCY STREET online. MERCY STREET has an extensive web presence, with historical information, behind-the-scenes extras, show quizzes and an episode blog -- all available at pbs.org/mercystreet. As of the premiere, nearly 300,000 users have visited the MERCY STREET section of PBS.org.
PBS stations hosted more than 30 screening events across the country, many to sold out and standing room audiences, further promoting the series to an emerging fan base.
PBS, with 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
Jennifer Rankin Byrne