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.

  • Epicfail037

    Wait. It says cable’s #1 non-sports telecast ever? What about Disney’s High School Musical 2 in August 2007? That had over 17 million viewers (unless we’re just talking 18-49 ratings or something).

  • I Love the Farm

    Most astute comments were by larry donny (agree 100%), Nadine Harris, and Derrick.

    Most lame comments were by Liz, SarahL (what a shame), and joe. Lame comments by fans of a lame show…who knew?

    Long live shows like TWD and Hatfields & McCoys that deliver entertainment value to a non-negligible pool of extended basic cable subscribers, unlike the POS Mad Man.

  • Ultima

    Wait. It says cable’s #1 non-sports telecast ever? What about Disney’s

    They used the “ad supported cable” qualifer, which excludes Disney.

  • Epicfail037

    Yeah, I did see that. I assume that by ad supported Disney isn’t included because they only include advertisements for stuff on their channel, and nothing from other products.

  • DW

    yes ad supported. and the guy that said that about joan wasn’t a thin guy.

  • thesnowleopard

    I must confess that I found this particular production very dull.

    On the other hand, if these ratings mean that History chooses to produce more historical dramas and less non-history-related reality crap, I’m all for that.

  • TeeVeeViewer

    The costumes and sets were great and a lot of attention was paid to details of the daily lives of the characters, but I didn’t make it past the first half hour or so. It was hard to follow who was killing who and why and it seemed as though everyone was talking while the music and sound effects were louder than their voices. Both my friend and I tried watching it and she gave up before I did. It was just past the end of the Civil War when I stopped the DVR. I couldn’t invest in two more nights in this tale no matter how authentic the show was in the re-creation of the events.

    I agree with Ji(g)….zzzzz

  • Hugh


  • sam

    Incredibly dull and much too long, although performances and quality of the show were good.

  • Hillbilly

    It was just past the end of the Civil War when I stopped the DVR.

    That’s when it started getting good. I thought after the first 30-36 minutes it was going to be a dud. Glad i watched it all. Be interesting to see how many viewers watch part 2 & 3.

  • Jon

    Westerns seem to be a huge draw, Broken Trail on AMC 6 years ago did 9.8m so there’s clearly a market. I believe the major networks and a few cable networks like TNT were developing westerns TV series.

  • Mary

    Yay! I knew it’d do well. It’s a great mini-series.

  • Jon

    Most of what the history channel shows these days is crap. I don’t care about poorly thought out ‘reality tv/competition’ shows or half assed/rehashed documentaries.

    This mini-series however is rather good. But I think the history channel needs to look at renaming there brand.

  • DM


  • Jenna

    Hmm, let’s see–top notch screenplay by a Deadwood writer, a Deadwood actor (Powers Booth) and major star power from Costner and Paxton–this series asks America a question: “Would you like an HBO quality program without paying for it?” Duh!

  • Justin J. Poppiti, Esq.

    Nice job.

    As for westerns, I’d like to see another goodnight for justice movie starring Luke Perry.

  • JJ Amick

    I am from Pikeville,ky.
    Randell McCoy was my great great great grandpa.
    The show has been wonderful and seems very true.
    I have learned a lot.
    PS I come from James H McCoy he had a daughter
    Maymie James McCoy she was my grandmother !

  • Sjelin

    Hatfields and Mccoys,

    Absolutely LOVED the entire miniseries. My husband, high school son and I were glued to our sets. Fantastic story, fantastic stars, Kevin Costner is still the good looking leading man. Bill Paxton did a fantastic job as well. Please put more of these quality miniseries on!

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