The Washington Post

‘Hatfields & McCoys’ scores huge ratings for History [UPDATED]

Johnse Hatfield (Matt Barr) and Devil Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner)in History’s “Hatfield & McCoys.” (Chris Large/History)

The premiere of “Hatfields & McCoys,” the three-part miniseries about one of the most famous family feuds of all time, shattered ratings records on Monday night, the network announced.

About 13.9 million viewers tuned into the two-hour debut on Memorial Day, which makes it the most-watched, non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable television history.

“With all the success we have had at History, we felt strongly for some time that we should own historical drama, and in true History fashion, we have done it, with — pardon the pun — guns ablazin!” network president Nancy Dubuc boasted in the release.

(Updated with ratings for the second night of the miniseries included below)

For comparison’s sake, part one of the series — starring Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy — beat everything in primetime on the broadcast networks Monday. This includes NBC’s competition show “America’s Got Talent” starring Howard Stern, which averaged about 10 million people, and dating reality series “The Bachelorette,” grabbing the attention of about 5.7 million.


The second night of the “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries stayed steady on Tuesday, with about 13.1 million viewers. It’s now ranked as the No. 2 most-watched, non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable history, behind the first night of the series.

“Hatfields & McCoys” concludes Wednesday at 9 p.m. with a two-hour episode.

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.


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