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WGN America's 'Salem' draws 2.3 million viewers on first night

April 21, 2014|By Ryan Faughnder
  • Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley and Shane West as John Alden in WGN America's "Salem," which premiered Sunday.
Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley and Shane West as John Alden in WGN America's… (WGN America )

"Salem," the first original series from WGN America, drew 2.3 million viewers over four airings in its first night, according to Nielsen. 

The premiere telecast at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday (10 p.m. ET) delivered 1.5 million viewers overall and 647,000 people in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic. In the key demo, that's more than seven times what the cable channel has delivered on average in the time slot this season. 

"We are thrilled with the audience turnout and reaction to 'Salem,'" said Matt Cherniss, president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios, in a statement. "These numbers far exceeded our expectations."

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The cable network is currently available in 72 million U.S. homes, or 62.3% of the country.

The series, which re-imagines the infamous 17th century witch trials in Massachusetts, enters a competitive night for television that includes HBO's "Game of Thrones," CBS' "The Good Wife" and AMC's "Mad Men."

WGN America is owned by the Tribune Co., which also owns the Los Angeles Times. 

The network’s second original drama, "Manhattan," arrives in July, and the series "Ten Commandments" is set to debut next year. 


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Twitter: @rfaughnder


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