Watchmen Dr. Manhattan
Watchmen Dr. Manhattan

HBO’s Watchmen premiere on Sunday night scored the biggest ratings for a digital services in three years. 

1.5 million viewers across HBO and HBO Now tuned in to watch showrunner Damon Lindelof’s vision of the postmodern comic book world, the best series premiere for HBO since 2016’s Westworld. The viewership marked a 20% increase from the Succession season finale the previous week in the same time slot, but down from Westworld‘s 2.1 million audience for its Season 2 premiere last year.

Watchmen has received a substantial amount of radical praise from critics. Watchmen currently sits at a 93% fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. As for online audiences, the series scored at 49%. Perhaps people are not open-minded to the concept of a new sci-fi/fantasy series, but given their love for Game of Thrones and Westworld over the years, that shouldn’t be the case. When Westworld first premiered on HBO, critics and fans had a critical opinion about the series but eventually, it began something great. In these next couple of weeks, time will tell if the online audience will warm up to Watchmen.

Set decades after the original comic story by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen takes place in an alternate history, with police officers wearing masks to conceal their identities after they are targeted by a gang inspired by Rorschach. As tensions rise and abuses of power increase, a new generation of superheroes rises up.

Developed by Damon Lindelof, HBO’s Watchmen stars Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tom Mison, James Wolk, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon. The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.