HISTORY's 'Hatfields & McCoys' Becomes the Number 1 Non-Sports Telecast in Ad Supported Cable History

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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May 29th, 2012

via press release:








New York, NY, May 29, 2012 – The debut of the HISTORY’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, which premiered on Memorial Day and continues tonight and Wednesday (9-11pm ET/10c) becomes the #1 non-sports telecast in ad supported cable television history, with over 13.9 million total viewers, 5.8 million adults 25-54 and 4.8 million Adults 18-49 (based on Nielsen’s fast cable ratings). Over 17 million people watched both the premiere and encore telecast last night.


“With all the success we have had at HISTORY, we felt strongly for some time that we should own historical drama, and in true HISTORY fashion, we have done it, with – pardon the pun – guns ablazin! We couldn’t be more proud of the entire cast and crew – this has been an amazing collaboration – from Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Mare Winningham, Powers Boothe, Tom Berenger, and everyone involved in truly making history!” said Nancy Dubuc, President & General Manager, HISTORY.


HATFIELDS & MCCOYS is the true American story of a legendary family feud – one that spanned decades and nearly launched a war between Kentucky and West Virginia. HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, a new three-part, six-hour scripted miniseries, showcasing an all-star cast headed up by Academy® Award winner Kevin Costner and Golden Globe® nominee Bill Paxton star as Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, respectively. The mini series premieres on May 28, 29 and 30, at 9 p.m. on HISTORY®.


HATFIELDS & MCCOYS is the story of a clash of clans that evoked great passion, vengeance, courage, sacrifice, crimes and accusations, and includes a cast of characters that changed the families and the history of the region forever. The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades until near the end of the Civil War, they return to their neighboring homes – Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky – to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon explode into all-out warfare between the families. As hostilities grow, friends, neighbors and outside forces join the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.


Joining Costner and Paxton are Golden Globe® winner Tom Berenger as Jim Vance, Devil Anse’s “Uncle Jim,” the firebrand warlord of the Hatfield family; Emmy® Award winner Powers Boothe as Wall Hatfield, Devil Anse’s level-headed, fair-minded older brother, who was the local (West Virginia) justice of the peace and judge; and Academy® Award-nominated, Emmy® Award-winning Mare Winningham as Sally McCoy, wife of Randall McCoy and the family matriarch who loses four sons, a daughter and her own sanity in the feud.


Rounding out the stellar cast include: Matt Barr as Devil Anse Hatfield’s oldest son Johnse Hatfield, who has an unquenchable appetite for romantic trouble; Noel Fisher as Cotton Top Mounts, an illegitimate son of a Hatfield; Boyd Holbrook as Devil Anse Hatfield’s son, Cap, with a cloudy eye but best rifle shot of the family; Andrew Howard as Bad Frank Phillips, a private detective/killer for hire; Jena Malone as the ruthless Nancy McCoy; Sarah Parish, as Levicy Hatfield, the strong-willed wife of Devil Anse; Lindsay Pulsipher as Roseanna McCoy, the daughter of Randall and Sally McCoy; and Ronan Vibert as Perry Cline, the McCoys’ politically savvy attorney.


HATFIELDS & McCOYS is produced for HISTORY by Thinkfactory Media. Executive Producers for HISTORY are Nancy Dubuc and Dirk Hoogstra. Leslie Greif is the Executive Producer for Thinkfactory Media. Director is Kevin Reynolds. Producers are Kevin Costner, Darrell Fetty and Herb Nanas. Barry Berg is Supervising Producer. Story by Bill Kerby and Tedd Mann, teleplay Ted Mann (night 1) and Ted Mann and Ronald Parker (nights 2 & 3). Sony Pictures Television distributes HATFIELDS & McCOYS.

  • Jeanne

    It is such a top-notch production with great writing and acting. This is the level all TV should be this day and age, but sadly is not. Love History and History2 channels, they are fantastic!!!

  • Colin

    Is there any chance this gets a second season?

  • Liz

    @I Love the Farm

    The blowhard said the fat redhead was “built like a B52?.

    What a prince of men. You must be a real hit with the ladies.

  • CA

    @Colin — a second season? It’s a mini-series and the History Channel is telling the story of the entire feud over the course of three nights…I doubt they will end it in a cliffhanger :-)

  • I Love the Farm

    Hey, according to Bill, my continued presence on this blog in no way represents TVBTN’s endorsement of my views. As far as you know.

    In any case, I am glad Hatfield & McCoys did this well, because it demonstrates that extended basic cable CAN draw huge audiences, just as I was glad that TWD demonstrated the same. In fact, given the penetration rates of cable in the US, you should be able to generate large audiences for quality extended basic cable shows. That AMC kept trying to lead people to believe the POS Mad Man’s crappy ratings were justifiable by its critical reception was purely a crutch. The POS Mad Man could easily generate 10 million viewers if people found it compelling, which obviously people do not.

    Your show sucks. Why hate me for it?

  • I Love the Farm

    @ Liz

    The POS Mad Man character said “she was built like a B52″. It was not I who said that.

  • larry donny

    this is what i expected the walking dead to do.], if it gots it’s act together.

  • Polar Bear

    what the heck is this? i’ve never heard of it

  • Nadine Harris

    I never expected this, but I it’s clear it was going to do well. All these silly explanations for why one’s favorite or anti-favorite shows don’t do numbers like and “quality this” and “quality that” ignore the fact that History has “Pawn Stars” and a whole lotta people watch those reruns. And if you do, you will have seen a simply amazing number of ads for this show, day in and day out for a long time. And the ads could be super-successful because they had Kevin Castner and they scheduled it at a time when there was absolutely nothing on TV and DWTS is gone. And it worked, making a lot of money for THC. If you thought it was a good show, all the better.

  • carla

    Wow, I’m going to catch Hatfield v. McCoy tonight. Right after I fire up my DVD for some POI repeats. Good times.

    Who needs broadcast TV in the summer?

  • Derrick

    ” Did better than some network shows! Just goes to show that you don’t have to be on a major network to produce quality TV and have successful ratings. ”

    i think 13.9 million in better than all but 9 shows on network TV(off the top of my head).

    and we already new shows didnt have to be on network TV.

  • Alien

    What the hell is this?

    Never even heard of it before and it gets 14 million viewers. WTF?

  • Ji (g)

    Lets see, one guy going to kill another from one family and then a revenge killing. Then one young guy is going to fall in love with a young girl from the other family. Then there’s going be some guys talking like they never went to school and looking tough. Then some women looking tough from each side. Then their going get tired of killing each other and the young couple(s) are going to get married. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Melissa

    I loved it!! Can’t wait til it comes out on dvd!!

  • SarahL


    What a prince of men. You must be a real hit with the ladies.

    Yep, that was a really obnoxious comment.

  • joe

    @I love the farm

    You’re boring and predictable. You say the same thing every time. Nobody cares if you love or hate Mad Men.

  • lando

    It was fantastic!

  • Vicki Lynn

    I give this production an A+. The writing and acting were fantastic.

  • Epicfail037

    Noone watches TV on Memorial Day weekend my ass. That is just crazy.

  • zack157

    Kevin Costner delivers. If you like this, try his western “Open Range”. One of his best movies and a super western!

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