A&E’s Roots A Ratings Bonanza Despite Memorial Day Competition, Highlight Hollywood News
Early Fast Nationals from Nielsen give Roots‘ Memorial Day debut an average 5.3 million viewers across History, A&E and Lifetime. That makes its the most-watched cable miniseries opener since The Bible in 2013, a year when viewers were still slightly more inclined for a live tune-in.
Roots, which continues its four-night run on Tuesday, certainly had no lack of obstacles in finding an audience on Monday night. On top of the audience declines that come with the Memorial Day holiday, a great many of those tuning in were watching basketball. TNT’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals averaged a record-shattering 16 million viewers.
Roots has a storied history with ratings. ABC’s original eight-part series is among the most-watched programs in television history, opening to 28.8 million viewers and ultimately climbing to 36.4 million. It cemented the appeal of miniseries for decades — and its original success was no doubt a factor in A&E’s choosing the remake.