More than 2 million people tuned in to see the Season 4 premiere of “Torchwood” on Starz, helping it match the record-setting opening weekend experienced by “Camelot” last April.
“Miracle Day” earned 1.51 million viewers on Friday, and added another half-million in Sunday encores, finishing just behind “Camelot’s” record of 1.57 million viewers on opening night.
Hearing about any show matching record ratings might be cause for celebration. Except for one tiny hitch: “Camelot” was cancelled after a single season.
Because Starz is a premium cable channel, the actual viewership numbers are not treated the same way they would be on a basic cable channel, or even network television. What Starz will be looking at is the number of new subscribers the show attracted to the channel, as well as how many may have kept Starz in anticipation of the series.
What does this mean for “Torchwood”? That’s hard to tell — only one episode has been broadcast. Obviously, if the numbers remain stable, chances are good. But if they drop significantly, or continue to erode through the 10-episode season, there could be trouble on the horizon.
Starz never did explain why it cancelled “Camelot,” and if audience numbers were involved. The show, like “Torchwood,” was a co-production with European production companies. In “Camelot’s” case, it was GK-TV. Co-productions can be tricky, typically killing a project even if one company pulls out.
“Camelot” attracted some 4 million viewers in Ireland, which was solid numbers for that country. “Torchwood,” however, has yet to premiere in the United Kingdom, and is expected to do so this week.
So keep supporting “Torchwood.” It airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Starz.