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While film and TV aficionados may scoff at the idea of yet another Michael Bay-produced television program, TNT will happily laugh off all the naysayers. The ratings are in, and the cable network’s latest drama is absolutely crushing. On Monday, TNT let fans know that The Last Ship has been the biggest cable drama to launch in the ratings in 2014 (at least so far), bringing in 7.4 million total viewers between its 9 p.m. ET premiere and its 11 p.m. encore.
A little over 7 million viewers would not be crushing for network television, but luckily, TNT doesn’t have the exact advertising needs that network stations like CBS and ABC have. Additionally, when factoring in that The Last Ship is also a summer premiere, hitting the network during a time when less people sit around with their eyes glued to the tube, 7.4 million total viewers is looking pretty good. It’s important to note, too, that while TNT is skewing the numbers a bit by talking about total viewers over 2 airings, that most audiences did tune in for the 9 p.m. ET premiere, which brought in a total of 5.3 million total viewers. I give all the credit to Eric Dane’s good looks. Alright, I’m guessing all of the explosions in the premiere helped, too.
In comparison, TNT also premiered its veteran sci fi drama Falling Skies at 10 p.m. ET last night. The drama returned to the cable station for its fourth season premiere, bringing in 3.7 million total viewers and an additional 1.5 million viewers for its encore airing. While that’s an argument that encore performances are totally justifiable, the veteran drama’s numbers should also serve to impress upon you how nice The Last Ship’s numbers should be for TNT, ranking right up there with the likes of popular TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles (although I’m guessing the latter is much, much cheaper to produce). We’ll see if new fans get on board as the series moves forward.
The Last Ship follows a crew of U.S. Navy Men who are tasked with saving the world from an ominous and threatening disease that is killing humans across the planet. The big ship houses both Navy men and a couple of scientists, including Rhona Mitra (Rachel Scott), who is working hard to develop a vaccine for the diseases. Complicating the plot are rival nations, who all want to get their hands on Mitra’s research. Luckily, she has a strong crew featuring Commander Tom Chandler (Dane), second-in-command Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin) and more to help her to stay on task.
If you missed last night’s big premiere, I’m sure it will be on repeat on TNT over the next couple of weeks. Additionally, TNT has conveniently made the premiere episode of The Last Ship available over at the network’s site.