Industry Press Releases

WGN America's 'outsiders' premiere marks the most viewed original series In the network's history; scores record-breaking 3.9 Million total viewers

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016

The commercial free premiere of WGN America's hotly anticipated series "Outsiders" broke records as the most watched original series in the network's history, delivering 3.9 million Total Viewers in L + 3 viewing on WGN America on Tuesday night and digital platforms to rank as the network's all-time highest viewed episode of original programming ever.   Including encores during its premiere week, "Outsiders" drew 5.5 million Total Viewers.  

"We felt that 'Outsiders' was exceptional, but there is no greater validation than this kind of viewer response." said Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios.  "We're grateful for the stellar cast and creative team, Peter Mattei, Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti, and our producing partners at Sony Pictures Television, and we thank the fans, who continue to inspire us to deliver one-of-a-kind storytelling at WGN America."

In Live + 3, the 9 p.m. telecast lifted to 1,748,000 Total Viewers (+66% vs. 1,055,000) and 818,000 among Adults 25-54 (+85% vs. 443,000) over same day viewing.  This represents an impressive +830% increase over the network's Adults 25-54 season-to-date prime average.  On Tuesday night, "Outsiders" delivered 2.8 million Total Viewers.

"Outsiders," which premiered Tuesday, January 26, is WGN America's third original drama ordered straight-to-series, since the network launched its aggressive strategy to deliver distinctive programming of the highest quality.  The cable network's growing stable of original content includes the upcoming escape thriller about the Underground Railroad, "Underground," premiering Wednesday, March 9 (10 pm ET/PT), along with the hit supernatural series "Salem" which recently began production on its third series, and the Emmy Award-winning drama "Manhattan."

WGN America recently expanded its distribution with the addition of Cablevision in New York and is now available on every major cable system.    

In an all-new episode of "Outsiders," entitled "Doomsayer," premiering Tuesday, February 2 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT) on WGN America, Asa (Joe Anderson) fights for his right to stay on Shay Mountain in a brutal game of survival.

WGN America's "Outsiders," produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, is a tale of struggle for power and control set in the rugged hills of Appalachia.  The 13-episode, one-hour drama, explores an epic battle as the Farrell Clan, a tight-knit family of renegades who have lived atop Shay Mountain for over two hundred years, fight to defend their land and way of life from the town below and anyone who would dare challenge them.  Never ones to back down from a fight, the Farrells will ultimately defend their way of life using any available means.

The ensemble cast for "Outsiders" includes: David Morse ("Treme," "Hurt Locker") as Big Foster, Thomas M. Wright ("The Bridge," "Top of the Lake") as Sheriff Wade Houghton, Ryan Hurst ("Sons of Anarchy," "Bates Motel"), as Lil Foster, Joe Anderson ("The Divide," "Across the Universe") as Asa, Gillian Alexy ("The Americans," "Damages") as G'Winveer, Kyle Gallner ("American Sniper," "Veronica Mars") as Hasil, Christina Jackson ("Boardwalk Empire," "Deception") as Sally-Ann, Francie Swift ("Hostages," "House of Cards") as Haylie and Phyllis Somerville ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Big C") as Lady Ray.

"Outsiders," is created and written by award-winning playwright Peter Mattei, who executive produces alongside Fedora Entertainment's Emmy® Award-winner Peter Tolan ("Rescue Me," "Analyze This") and Michael Wimer ("2012," "Rake"), and Touchy Feely Films' Emmy® Award-winner Paul Giamatti ("John Adams," "Sideways") and Dan Carey ("All Is Bright").

[Source:  Nielsen Media Research, Live + 3; WGN America digital data]

WGN America and Tribune Studios
WGN America, the flagship entertainment network of Tribune Media Company is nationally distributed in nearly 80 million homes via cable, satellite and telco, with high-quality entertainment programming including the breakout hit series "Salem," Emmy-Award-winning drama "Manhattan," and upcoming scripted dramas "Outsiders" and "Underground."  The network also brings its audience a strong slate of popular first-run syndicated series and blockbuster movies.  Through Tribune Studios, the creative development arm of Tribune Media, original content is produced for WGN America and Tribune local stations nationwide.  Follow the network on Twitter @wgnamerica.  For additional information, please visit

Other Press Releases