Syfy Channel launched its brand new line of Monday night original dramas this week, drawing an average of more than 2 million viewers over three hours and growing its audience hour-to-hour.
New superhero drama Alphas premiered at the top of the pack, ratings-wise, while Eureka and Warehouse 13 returned with strong numbers — despite some year-to-year erosion.
Eureka began the night with the start of the back half of its fourth season, picking up an estimated 2.02 million viewers (Live + Same Day) in the 8 p.m. time slot and a 1.5 average household rating, according to Syfy. (Check out our sister site, SciFi Stream, for a full set of interviews with the Eureka cast!)
The series has already been renewed and is currently filming its fifth season in Vancouver.
At 9 p.m. Warehouse 13 returned for its third season, with 2.34 million viewers and a 1.74 rating.
Syfy capped off the night with the premiere of Alphas at 10 p.m., averaging 2.52 million viewers (a 1.84 rating) for its 90-minute premiere. That’s the strongest original series premiere Syfy has had since Warehouse 13 bowed in 2009. (Not coincidentally, it’s also the first original, scripted drama since then to premiere in the summertime.)
But the move to Monday wasn’t all flowers and candy for the two returning shows. Eureka‘s premiere was down 10 percent from last summer’s finale, and 20 percent from the season premiere last July (Fridays). Warehouse 13 dipped 2.5 percent from September’s Season Two finale, and 21 percent from last July’s premiere (Tuesdays).
The new Monday night line-up is the first time (that we can remember) since the Friday night line-up of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica that the cable network has stacked three original, scripted dramas on the same night, which surely helps retain audience members from one hour to the next. Syfy’s strategy in recent years has been to spread out its original programming to cover more nights of the week.
The big premiere numbers demonstrates not just viewers’ love for these shows, but further proves that Syfy’s original dramas perform markedly better during the less competitive summer season — especially when they aren’t airing on Friday nights.
Later this week, Syfy will premiere unscripted originals Ghost Hunters and Legend Quest (series premiere) on Wednesday, followed by the second season premiere of scripted Haven on Friday. Since that show enjoys the post-wrestling time slot, we’ll be very interested to compare Haven‘s ratings with the new Monday night block next week.