The buzz around IFC's original comedy Portlandia seems to be translating into ratings as the show enters its second season. Portlandia saw a 39 percent jump in total viewers to 500,000 for the season 2 premier on Friday, versus the show's season 1 premier last year. In the target 18-49 demographic, the show saw a whopping 81 percent audience increase, to 399,000.
"We’re extremely proud of this show and how Fred's and Carrie’s comedic sensibilities resonate so strongly with our viewers and align with our brand,” Jennifer Caserta, IFC's evp and general manager in charge of programming said in a statement. “This show . . . attracted a passionate fan base.”
The viewership bump comes after IFC aggressively promoted Portlandia. In mid-December, for example, the network erected an offbeat billboard on Seventh Ave. in midtown Manhattan featuring a picture of a kitten and the headline "We Can Pickle That.Com"—a reference to a skit on the show. Portlandia also generated an unprecedented amount of mainstream media attention, with features in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine running less than a week apart.
IFC is looking to build on Portlandia's success with new comedy programming. Last week, Adweek revealed that the network had green-lit two new offbeat comedy shows: a parody game show tentatively being called Bunk and a faux variety show called Comedy Bang! Bang!