Judged purely based on its numbers, the series premiere of AMC’s “Preacher” performed reasonably well based on typical cable standards.
A true assessment, however, hinges on the expectation analysts — as well AMC, of course — had for the high-profile launch, particularly as it relates to retention of the “Fear The Walking Dead” audience.
According to national data posted by Showbuzz, Sunday’s “Preacher” premiere drew a 0.90 adults 18-49 rating and 2.38 million total viewers. Both are solid — if not strong — in today’s cable ratings environment.
The numbers do not, however, position “Preacher” as an instant blockbuster for AMC. They also represent sizable declines from the 1.88 adults 18-49 rating and 4.39 million viewer mark drawn by the midseason finale of “Fear The Walking Dead,” which provided lead-in support.
Retaining audience from a tentpole, appointment drama is a difficult endeavor, so it is unclear whether AMC anticipated “Preacher” retaining more than 48% in the demo or 54% in viewers.
In any event, the truer test will emerge in the coming weeks, when “Preacher” will perform without premiere curiosity buzz and without direct lead-in support from AMC’s #2 program.