A&E’s premiere of its new original scripted drama, The Glades, scared up the largest audience for a series opener in the network’s 26-year history, delivering 3.55 million total viewers Sunday, July 11, at 10 p.m.
The procedural also drew 1.44 million members of the 25-54 demo, and served up 1.21 million viewers 18-49.
The early returns for The Glades represent a significant improvement over the net’s most recent drama launches. On July 15, 2008, the Benjamin Bratt series The Cleaner bowed to 2.58 million total viewers, while the Patrick Swayze cop drama The Beast averaged 2.4 million viewers in its January 2009 debut.
The Glades seems to have reaped the rewards of a strong push by A&E’s promotions and marketing team. According Guy Slattery, svp of marketing for A&E, the network backed the launch with its largest consumer ad spend ever, buying TV, radio, digital, print and out-of-home to support The Glades.
The eye-catching creative included a riveting visual element in an orange pierced bloodily by a butcher knife. The tag line read, “Sunny with a chance of homicide.”
“We are very encouraged by the response that The Glades has received from the press and our viewers,” said Bob DeBitetto, president & general manager of A&E and BIO Channel. “The fact that the series was able to break through in a crowded summer landscape against heavy competition is a testament to the quality of the show and the incredible talent and performance of the show’s lead, Matt Passmore.”
The Glades” is produced by Fox Television Studios for A&E.
A&E closed out the second quarter of 2010 as a top-10 basic cable net, finishing eighth in prime time with an average nightly draw of 1.36 million total viewers, up 4 percent from the prior-year period.
A&E also finished seventh among ad-supported cable nets among adults 25-54 (679,000, up 4 percent) and 18-49s (636,000, flat versus the year-ago 635,000).