Kentucky Wants You to Visit the ‘Hatfields & McCoys’

The second of the Hatfields & McCoys three-part miniseries aired last night on the History Channel, and, once again, ratings were a winner. After getting about 14 million viewers for Monday’s installment (making it the highest-rated non-sports program in the history of basic cable), it snagged another 13.1 million viewers last night.

Telling the story of the legendary feud between the two families, the blockbuster viewership came as a surprise, even to History Channel president Nancy Dubuc, who told the New York Times that she “would have been happy with three million viewers.”

Not wasting any time, Kentucky’s state tourism leaders have jumped on board the miniseries’ popularity and invited curious travelers to come on down and check out the places where the fighting played out. In Pike County, the only place with actual Hatfield/McCoy sites still standing, the town and members of the county’s tourism board took in a viewing together.

The conflict between the families took the lives of 12 people. Quite a bloody legacy indeed. A couple of months ago, Kentucky’s state tourism group fired a British firm, Gosh PR for what it called an “offensive and stereotyped” campaign that included a game called “roadkill bingo” where travelers got points for counting up the number of dead animals they passed in their cars. Kentucky’s tourism boards will only accept certain types of bloodshed apparently.