History took a gamble entering scripted programming with Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton’s ‘Hatfields & McCoys‘, but it paid off huge as it broke cable television records for the highest nonsports telecast in ad-supported cable history. That troubled fighting clan rises again.
It’s been a long long time since Kevin Costner was in a film that made good news, but The History Channel’s big gamble paid off mightily when the ‘Hatfields & McCoy’s‘ mini-series kicked off with such a bang last night breaking cable tv history. We interviewed Noel Fisher, who also seems to be on a major career high (and this just adds to it), who plays Cotton Top, an illegitimate member of the Hatfield clan, in the series, and he spoke highly of working with Bill Paxton. The series pulled in a mind blowing 13.9 million total viewers plus the combined viewership for Part 1′s two airings was 17 million! Cable tv just isn’t used to those kind of numbers, but it shows that with good programming, the viewers are there to watch. The networks love to whine about dwindling numbers and splintering, but if the quality is great, they’ll come ala ‘Field Of Dreams‘.
Interestingly enough, History was the one that abandoned ‘The Kennedy’s‘ mini-series (with good reason!) last year, and hopefully they’re next mini-series will be just as good as this one is. Hatfields & McCoys, stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as patriarchs of America’s most famous feuding families that the new generation has forgotten about, but this is a good history lesson for them. My nephew watched this and couldn’t believe this actually happened in ‘real life’. His idea of ‘real life’ has become ‘Big Brother‘ and ‘Survivor‘ so it was great for him to see and enjoy a history lesson thanks to History.
Parts 2 & 3 air tonight and tomorrow, but you can catch Part 1 on demand if you missed it. It’s worth the watch. Check out our interview with Noel Fisher, who’s also on Showtime’s ‘Shameless‘ and the upcoming ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2‘. Like every role he’s in, Fisher makes the mentally challenged Cotton Top one to watch!