‘Preacher’ Premiere Ratings Solid but No Godsend

AMC series adapted from Garth Ennis graphic novels faced stiff competition on Sunday night

“Preacher” launched on AMC Sunday and perhaps could have used a little divine intervention in the ratings.

The adaptation of Garth Ennis’ and Steve Dillon’s graphic novels from executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg opened to a modest 2.4 million viewers and a 0.9 rating, according to Nielsen estimates.

The new show was up against some pretty tough competition, including HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which nabbed 7.9 million viewers and a 4.0 rating, and an NBA playoff game on TNT, which scored 8 million viewers and a 3.1 rating.

“Preacher” definitely has a chance to build on its premiere as other AMC shows have in the past. The premiere episode of “Mad Men,” for example, drew only 1.7 million viewers. Likewise, “Breaking Bad” pulled in just 1.4 million. Both shows went on to be critical and ratings powerhouses.

The series stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a West Texas preacher with a mysterious past. After a supernatural experience, he sets out with his ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Irish vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) to find God and ask him to explain himself.

Rogen and Evan Goldberg are serving as executive producers on the show, which hails from AMC Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

Executive producer Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”) is serving as showrunner, and wrote the pilot episode.

“Preacher” airs Sundays at 9 p.m./8c.