Ratings Records Broken by AMC’s Trail

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The first installment of AMC Western miniseries Broken Trail broke a few ratings records Sunday night.

AMC’s first original movie, starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church, scored a 7.6 household rating June 25, translating into 6.7 million households and 9.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

AMC officials said the household mark made Broken Trail the second-highest-delivered original telefilm in basic-cable history, behind only the 7.7 million households that tuned into TNT’s airing of another Western -- Crossfire Trail, starring Tom Selleck, Jan. 21, 2001.

Broken Trail easily shattered AMC’s previous ratings record: a 2.7 generated last July for the premiere of its fully restored and digitally remastered showing of John Wayne-starrer The High and the Mighty, which had not been seen by the public, at that time, in more than a quarter-century. That presentation attracted 3.3 million viewers.

A Broken Trail encore immediately following Sunday night roped a 3.23 household rating and 3.8 million viewers, bringing the cume viewership for the first night of the miniseries to some 13.6 million watchers, according to the network.

Numbers for the second-night premiere June 26 are expected later Tuesday.

Broken Trail stars Duvall and Church as an uncle-nephew team driving a herd of horses from Oregon to Wyoming. Along the way, they intercept a villain transporting a group of Chinese girls who have been sold by their families into a life of prostitution, and they attempt to find a better fate for that human cargo.

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