Nielsen Notes (Cable)For Cinemax, a strike in the right directionDebut of its first original series averages 567,000 viewers
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine
- August 17th, 2011
Netflix has the entire cable industry spooked over fears of cord-cutting, where consumers drop their cable service in favor watching shows and movies online.
And most spooked by far are the pay cable networks, which show the same movies Netflix offers months after they're available on the paid rental service.
So perhaps it's no surprise that the pay cable networks are pushing harder than ever into original content, stuff that can't be found anywhere else but on their TV channel.
HBO and Showtime have been developing original content for decades, but now the other pay cable networks are also getting into it.
Cinemax premiered its first-ever original primetime scripted series last week to solid numbers. The action drama Strike Back drew 567,000 total viewers in Friday's 10 p.m. premiere, according to Nielsen.
That's a decent number considering Cinemax is in just 16.7 million households. It marked the network's biggest audience in that timeslot since the movie Titanic aired in 2005.
In subsequent repeats at 11 p.m. and 12 a.m., Strike drew more than 500,000 viewers combined.
The series is quite obviously aimed at the action crowd.
In a review, Media Life TV critic Tom Conroy wrote:
"It may be that the British accents, which usually signal quality to American viewers, trick us into expecting depth and nuance when the show is merely intended to entertain us with guns, explosions, a little sex, hissable villains and likable heroes. Viewers looking for nothing more than the latter elements will be amply rewarded."
Strike drew fewer viewers than Starz' Torchwood: Miracle Day, which debuted to 819,000 last month. But Starz is in 34.7 million homes, more even than HBO at 30.2 million.
These premieres come after a recent report from SNL Kagan that cord-cutting is on the rise as more and more TV shows become available online.
The dragging economy has only sped things up. People can dump their cable or satellite plan, then subscribe to Hulu, Netflix or one of the other paid content providers for a fraction of the price.
To combat the draw of online rental services, pay cable networks are looking for ways to add value to what they offer. Original programming is one way.
These series are available only to subscribers, unlike some of the other cable shows that can be accessed for free on Hulu or network sites.http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...-direction.asp