Good news for the History Channel: If mini Texas Rising manages to hold viewers’ interest after its Memorial Day premiere, it will be one of cable’s biggest scripted successes of 2015.
The miniseries’ two-hour opener averaged 4.1 million viewers on Monday night — a live-plus-same-day best for a mini since History’s The Bible smashed records back in 2013. Its haul is by no means as large as its faith-friendly predecessor, but it trails only AMC’s Better Call Saul as cable’s top scripted launch of the year.
The first of the five-part series, which will amount to 10 hours total, also averaged 1.1 million adults 25-54 on the sleepy holiday evening. (Memorial Day tends to see smaller TV viewership, as the night’s broadcast series illustrate.)
Texas Rising is a welcome breath of fresh air for History. The network, which does have scripted success in Vikings, has seen its overall ratings dragged down by cable’s unscripted fatigue. A+E Networks is attempting a course correct for the network, as well as for sibling A&E, tapping former ITV Studios U.S. Group chairman Paul Buccieri as the new president of both networks in late 2014.