'Hatfields & McCoys' History Channel Debut Sets Cable Ratings Record

'Hatfields & McCoys' History Channel Debut Sets Cable Ratings Record In perspective, this is like a Major League rookie stepping to the plate for the first time and belting a grand slam off the first pitch he sees.

The History Channel may be on to something with its entry into the scripted-television arena: Deadline reports Tuesday night's "Hatfields & McCoys" premiere achieved some staggering numbers that made it the all-time highest rated non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable history.

The miniseries featuring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as the famed feuding families' outlaw patriarchs debuted to 13.9 million total waiting watchers - 4.8 million adults age 18-48 and 5.8 million age 25-54 during its 9-11 PM ET/PT run.

Combined, the two Part One airings Tuesday night drew about 17 million viewers.

"With all the success we have had at History, we felt strongly for some time that we should own historical drama, and in true History fashion, we have done it, with - pardon the pun - guns a-blazin'!" network President and GM Nancy Dubuc said.

The series spans a total three parts - six hours in running time. Part Two premieres Tuesday Evening. Part Three wraps up the series Wednesday night.

History might very well be on to something. Like AMC (of course, once known as "American Movie Classics"), Cartoon Network, A&E and The Learning Channel, could it be the next network to branch well beyond the genre seemingly limited by its moniker?

In cased you missed the season premiere, you can watch the full episode via Yidio here.