Bates Motel Hits a Drama Debut High for A&E

Bates Motel Premiere RatingsA lot of people checked into Bates Motel on Monday night, as the dark drama took a stab at an A&E record.

With its initial 10 pm airing, the Bates family origin story drew 3 million total viewers, with 1.6 mil landing in the 18-49 sweet spot. That demo delivery marks an A&E high for an original drama series debut.

Breakout Kings was the previous record holder, with 1.5 million in the demo, while Longmire last summer delivered a larger premiere audience (4.1 mil) but skewed older, with less than a million aged 18-49.

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For the night, Bates Motel checked in 4.6 million total viewers, with 2.4 mil in the 18-49 demo.

Bates Motel represents the very best of quality storytelling with an incredible cast led by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore,” A&E boss Bob DeBitetto said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased with the initial viewer response to this edgy and provocative series and are confident that it will continue to draw in new audiences.”

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As for Monday’s other big cable debut, the miniseries Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel is not Nielsen-rated so no premiere numbers are available.