‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Rides Right Into Another Ratings Record


America, you’re doing it right! And proving so many wrong. Worry that the majority of TV audiences simply wanted to watch dancing C-list celebrities and Ashton Kutcher explaining why he got a haircut on Two and a Half Men (that’s what happens on that show, right?) is starting to subside. It’s now clear that if you build an understated, American epic, they will come

According to Deadline, after breaking the record for the largest non-sports telecast in ad supported cable television history with a whopping 13.9 million viewers during its Memorial Day debut, History’s Hatfields & McCoys miniseries broke its own record on May 30 with an even more whopping 14.3 million viewers during its third and final installment. No one saw the first ratings record coming, so the fact that the series not only maintained but gained viewers is a major boon for History, as is the fact that these numbers make Hatfields the highest rated cable miniseries since 1998. 
To put these numbers in context (in case you’ve been scratching your head and wondering why we’re so surprised that so many people parked their kiesters in from of the History Channel three nights in a row) other wonderfully understated TV dramas like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Game of Thrones rarely break the three or four million viewer mark. Yes, more than four times the usual audience of a pop culture phenomenon — or Madness, if you will — flipped their clickers to watch Bill Paxton and Kevin Costner as dueling patriarchs for a grand total of almost five hours. If that’s not wonderfully shocking, then you might not be as obsessed with TV as we are.
Hatfields & McCoys has concluded as a mini-series, but you can watch episodes on History.com.
Were you one of the 14.3 million people tuned in? Was the conclusion worth the commitment?
Celebrity Editor Kelsea Stahler was born in a pile of dirt. Okay, she was actually born in an old Naval hospital in San Diego, which then became a pile of dirt and remained as such for a number of years before becoming a parking lot perfectly sized for circus tents, and finally a museum. She eventually left San Diego to attend New York University, where she studied Journalism and English literature — two less-than profitable liberal arts degrees about which guidance counselors warned her. Against all odds, she now resides in Brooklyn, where she fights the constant fear that the locals will soon discover she isn’t quite cool enough to live there, and makes a living writing absurd, pop culture features about Batman, zombies, vampires, funny people, and Ron Swanson.