‘Monarch’ Is FOX’s Biggest Fall Debut by a Scripted Show in 3 Years
The highly-anticipated country drama Monarch finally premiered on FOX on Sunday, Sept. 11, to a large audience. One report says 3.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the first episode, with another 1.5 million catching the encore presentation, for a total of 5.3 million total viewers.
That's the biggest fall debut of a scripted series on FOX since Prodigal Son launched three years ago. Monarch held its own while facing stiff competition, as the premiere of Sunday Night Football featured a big matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on NBC.
Charlie Collier — FOX Entertainment's CEO — is pleased with Monarch's initial performance, and sent out a company-wide email to congratulate his staff.
"Cooperation between Entertainment and Sports resulted in the strategic decision to streamline the OT after a FOX national NFL game that ended early, thus allowing Monarch to begin live across time zones at 7:45pm ET,” he writes in that email.
"It’s also worth noting that we drew in this post-game audience even as Monarch was up against Tampa Bay’s opening night, which marked Tom Brady’s big return to the field against the Cowboys. Despite this formidable challenger, Monarch still took a Texas-sized bite out of the night ... I’m really pleased with all of our efforts and with this beginning amidst a cluttered world."
"While it’s great to share news of a strong opening night with you, we must remember that this is just the beginning of Monarch's story as we remain focused on the long-tail," Collier adds.
The network is running encore airings of Ep. 1 throughout the week, including on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Monarch's second episode will debut during the series' regular time slot on Tuesday, Sept. 20 after The Resident. Fans can also stream the show on Hulu.
Monarch stars Trace Adkins, Susan Sarandon and Anna Friel and follows their lives as the fictional First Family of Country Music, the Romans. The series is a multi-generational drama created by Melissa London Hilfers.