Black Sails Off to a Strong Start

Posted by David Konow

Back in the day, there was no deader genre than a pirate story. Pirate movies were too expensive to make, and they didn’t make any money back. That all changed of course with Pirates of the Caribbean, and now Black Sails is going great guns in the ratings as well. 

Black Sails is produced by Michael Bay of Transformers fame, yet unlike Bay’s other ventures, this one’s gotten some pretty good reviews, and it’s gotten strong ratings. In fact, Variety reports that it’s the “most watched series debut yet” for the Starz network. 
 
The trade tells us on its first airing, Black Sails brought in 850,000 viewers, and it brought in over 2.6 million viewers who watched it over its debut weekend. With on-demand and online airings, Black Sails has a total debut audience of 3.5 million, and like a lot of shows these days, it could be a popular show in DVR viewings. 
 
We’re only one show into Black Sails, and the Hollywood Reporter calls it “ambitious…going beyond the pay cable freedoms that often bog down lesser shows in boobs, blood and sex. A series worth a look.” The L.A. Times also called it “a pirate treasure,” a show that “vividly depicts the daily life of pirates.” 
 
So even with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies having seen better days, the pirate genre is still going strong, and Black Sails looks like it could be the next big hit in the genre, as well as the next surprise hit on cable. Ahoy matey…