Damon Lindelof may have suggested that HBO’s new ‘Watchmen’ series would only last for one season, but if ratings persist, expect to see more adventures in this parallel Earth for years to come. ‘Watchmen’ debuted Sunday and attracted 1.5 million viewers across multiple platforms– the largest audience for a series premiere on the premium cable outlet since ‘Westworld’ debuted in 2016. 800,000 people tuned in to watch the show live, but that number ballooned once viewers from other outlets– HBO Go, Amazon Prime with HBO add-on, etc.– were factored in.
But everything is relative. Like many buzz-worthy shows, ‘Westworld’ got more popular over time, so its Season 2 debut attracted 2.1 million viewers. But if that pattern holds up for ‘Watchmen’, the series will gain viewers, as more people jump on the bandwagon. Perhaps the best comparison is HBO’s ‘Succession’, which recently ended its second season. The Season 2 finale posted 1.2 million viewers across multiple platforms.
Of course, HBO (and every other cable network and streaming service) is looking for the “next ‘Game of Thrones’” which is a tall order. The Season 8 premiere of that behemoth attracted 17.4 million viewers. So good luck, matching that.
‘Watchmen’ is based on the DC Comics miniseries of the same name, although this is not an adaptation. Instead, this series is set after the events of the comic (and the film adaptation) and further explores this alternate reality where masked vigilantes once roamed. They have been outlawed due to their violent methods. In this world, racial tensions run high, as a white supremacist group has adopted the writings of Rorschach as their mantra, and are planning a revolution.
The series stars Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Jacob Ming-Trent, Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Louis Gossett Jr., and Jeremy Irons.
With such strong ratings, a second-season renewal seems like a foregone conclusion, but Lindelof structured the first season to be a self-contained story, so don’t expect an infuriating cliffhanger at the end of the season. (Well, unless they tack one on, which wouldn’t be surprising.)
At New York Comic Cona few weeks ago, Lindelof said:
“We want to see how it’s received by you guys. If the show comes out there and the conversation surrounding the show suggests you’re hungry for more, we’ll certainly take that into consideration. We want to deliver nine episodes that deliver a complete and total, amazing story.”
Did you turn in for the premiere of ‘Watchmen’? Are you looking forward to seeing more?