“Hell on Wheels” will not have to deal with any of the ratings scrutiny facing fellow AMC show “Halt and Catch Fire.” The railroad-western drama is going strong in its Saturday-night time slot. The Aug. 2 Season 4 premiere brought in 3.6 million viewers, according to Deadline Hollywood.
The series’ big ratings haul is a bit of a coup for AMC. The network moved the show to Saturday night for its third season, a move that thematically made sense as the network usually shows western movies on the weekend night. However, Saturday is the least-watched night in TV. Yet, the gamble seems to be paying off.
The 3.6 million viewers for the season premiere is actually a 5 percent increase from the Season 3 Saturday-night premiere in August 2013. “Hell on Wheels” is managing to not only hold on to viewers despite its Saturday move, but bring new ones in as well.
AMC President Charlie Collier spoke Friday about how the move is paying dividends for the network, saying: ““We saw a strategic opportunity for “Hell on Wheels” on the toughest night of the week for TV, and now the show has grown two years in a row in this new slot.”
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AMC and other cable networks could benefit from recognizing the success of “Hell on Wheels.” AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” is an example of how Sunday nights, considered the premiere night for drama on television, might be oversaturated, and networks may have to get more creative with their program scheduling.
In the meantime, fans of “Hell on Wheels” can look forward to the rest of the season as the series seems to show no signs of slowing down. The second episode, “Escape from the Garden,” premieres this Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.
Are you watching “Hell on Wheels” on Saturday night? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.