Dark Winds Season 2 Viewership on AMC+ Spikes 146% Over 2022 Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

AMC’s “Dark Winds” has more than doubled its Season 1 viewership on streamer AMC+ over its first two episodes of Season 2.

According to data provided to Variety by AMC Networks, the Zahn McClarnon-led drama has seen a 146% rise in first week viewership for Season 2’s first two episodes on AMC+ compared with the first two episodes of Season 1, which aired in June 2022.

AMC Networks also says AMC+ subscriber acquisition for “Dark Winds” Season 2 is higher than during Season 1.

Specific numbers were not provided for “Dark Winds” Season 2 streaming viewership or subscriber acquisition. (AMC Networks most recently reported it totaled 11 million subscribers across its streaming offerings, with AMC+ being the largest service for the company, at the end of Q2, down from 11.5 million in Q1.)

Turning away from streaming and looking at only linear TV, the 9 p.m. Sunday show’s audience has been steadily climbing through Season 2’s halfway point: an average of 1.3 million total viewers for the July 30 premiere, 1.6 million for Episode 2 on Aug. 6 and 1.8 million for Episode 3 on Aug. 13, according to Live + 3 Day Nielsen data.

Across the first three episodes, “Dark Winds” Season 2 is averaging 1.5 million total linear viewers and ranks at No. 8 among the top 10 cable dramas of the 2022-2023 broadcast season to date, behind Paramount’s “Yellowstone,” HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart,” Paramount’s “1883: Yellowstone,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Hallmark series “The Way Home” and “Chesapeake Showers.”

“Dark Winds” Season 2 is ahead of the linear-TV-only viewership for fellow AMC series “Interview With the Vampire” (940,000 viewers) and “The Mayfair Witches” (1.1 million), as well as HBO’s “The Last of Us” (1.24 million) and “Succession” (976,000).

Looking at the adults 25-54 demographic, “Dark Winds” Season 2 has averaged 270,000 linear-TV-only viewers through Episode 3.

Based on the “Leaphorn & Chee” novel series by Tony Hillerman, “Dark Winds” boasts a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for both its first and second seasons. With its currently airing season 2, the show has drawn more high-profile fans, including filmmaker Ron Howard. Howard tweeted Monday, one day after Episode 3 aired, “I just discovered #DarkWinds Powerful, suspenseful. So well made I’m hooked.”

“We’re so proud of this show and it’s gratifying to see across-the-board ratings growth over the first three episodes of this second season and viewership more than doubling from season one on AMC+, with strong gains in subscriber acquisition as well,” Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said in a statement to Variety. “From Rotten Tomatoes to Ron Howard, it really feels like people are finding and loving ‘Dark Winds,’ which is a high bar in today’s environment and never something we take for granted.”

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