Sacha Baron Cohen’s secret Showtime series “Who Is America?” roped in 1 million total viewers on Sunday, accounting for audiences from its first airing, some encores, as well as streaming and on-demand tune-in.
On linear TV alone, the sneak peek of “Who Is America?” at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT (Saturday) received 222,000 viewers. In its regular time slot premiere, Sunday at 10 p.m., the first episode received 327,000 viewers.
Three more encores eventually grew the TV audience to 702,000 viewers.
The rest of Sunday’s viewing — 301,000 additional viewers — came digitally and on-demand, which is typically of particular import in Showtime’s case.
Showtime debuts its originals on streaming platforms at midnight the day of an episode’s linear premiere. In this case, there was no head start over TV.
Whether one considers the 1 million mark, the sneak peek sum, or the time slot premiere to be the true measurement of the show’s initial success (or failure), it was a pretty slow start for “Who Is America?” While those are nowhere near “Homeland” numbers, Showtime says they are pretty much in line with some of its other Sunday series.
A rep there also reminded us that due to the secret nature of the project, Showtime only had a week to promote it.
Baron Cohen played four different characters on the first episode of “Who Is America?” Click here for some of the best gags from Episode 101.
On Season 1, Baron Cohen dupes Sarah Palin, Bernie Sanders, Ted Koppel, Howard Dean, disgraced Senate candidate Roy Moore, ex-congressman Joe Walsh, and former Vice President Dick Cheney into appearing on the show.