The premiere unseats the 2002 hit Steven Spielberg Presents: TAKEN, which drew 6.1 million viewers and went on to win an Emmy Award.
It was also SCI FI’s best ever performance in key demographics, setting network records for persons 25 to 54 (3.8 million), persons 18 to 49 (3.4 million), and number of households (3.93 million). The cable network started in 1993.
For comparison, the network’s highest-rated series is currently the reality series Ghost Hunters, which typically earns ratings between 1.5 and 1.7 on Wednesday nights. Stargate Atlantis remains the top-rated scripted series currently airing, with a 1.05 average (through eight episodes).
Tin Man stars Zooey Deschanel (“Elf,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) as “DG,” a young woman who is torn away from her ordinary life by a tornado and dropped into the fantastic world of “The O.Z.,” which has been plunged into a decade-long night of fear by the sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson). Alan Cumming, Neal McDonough, Raoul Trujillo, and Richard Dreyfuss also star.
The ratings record is particularly impressive in the new world of DVR time-shifting, which has hit ratings hard across the TV landscape. Overnight ratings for many series, and scripted dramas in particular, have fallen significantly as viewers record the show to watch later in the week.
Tin Man continues tonight, December 3, at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (reairing at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.). Night 1 will reair tonight at 7 p.m. The third and final installment in the 6-hour event airs Tuesday night.
UPDATE: Night 2 earned a 3.2 household rating (4.4 million viewers), SCI FI announced. Night 3 earned a 3.5 rating with more than 5 million viewers. Tin Man‘s three-night average is 3.6 (5.3 million viewers), making it the most-watched miniseries event in SCI FI history.