The premiere of Ken Burns' new documentary series The War brought in 7.3 million viewers Sunday night, PBS said.
The first episode of the multipart documentary averaged a 5.0 household rating/7 share in the top 56 metered markets, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research.
That is on par with the opener of Burns' 1994 highly rated documentary series for PBS' Baseball, which had a 5.1 household rating. (The 1990 premiere of Burns' The Civil War brought in a 9.0 rating.)
The War ran between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. against season premieres on CBS and Fox, as well as a heavily watched Sunday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears. At least 15.5 million people tuned in for some of the telecast, PBS said.
With the addition of a second airing nationwide, the first episode averaged 18.7 million viewers total, PBS said. The first episode was particularly strong in such markets as Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.