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Premiere of WGN America's 'Manhattan' draws in 1.8 million viewers

'Manhattan' draws in 904,000 total viewers in series premiere telecast at 9 p.m.

The series premiere of WGN America's second original drama, "Manhattan," drew 1.8 million viewers Sunday night across the network and on Tribune’s 14 metered market local stations.

Set in a top-secret lab in Los Alamos, "Manhattan" is a fictionalized retelling of the U.S. race to build the atomic bomb during World War II.

Though it aired in 33 local markets on the same night, WGN America only had data available for 14 of the markets as of Monday. Complete data will be available Friday.

The 70-minute premiere telecast at 9 p.m. delivered 904,000 total viewers, more than tripling the network's season-to date average of 300,000 among total viewers on Sundays during that same time slot. 

In the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic, the show had 233,000 viewers. The telecast ranks as WGN America's second-highest performance among total viewers year-to-date.

"We are extremely encouraged by the 1.8 million total viewers who tuned in to watch ‘Manhattan’ last night ... and the wide critical acclaim the series has received," Rita Cooper Lee, senior vice president of communications at WGN America and Tribune Studios, said in a statement.

In April, WGN America (owned by the Tribune Co., which also publishes the Los Angeles Times) started airing original content with its series "Salem," which drew 2.3 million viewers over four airings in its first night.

The cable network is currently available in 72 million U.S. homes, or 61.7% of the country.

"There's always room for another great show," Matt Cherniss, the president and general manager of WGN America, told The Times in an interview.

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