'Krypton' Earns The Highest Ratings of Any SYFY Pilot Since 'Ascension'

SYFY announced today that after tallying the show's Live-plus-3-day ratings, Krypton premiered to an audience of over 2.5 million people, marking the network's biggest premiere since Ascension in 2014.

The series, which debuted on March 21, was the top-rated scripted entertainment program for the night, according to a statement from the network, and beat out all other cable shows, as well as The CW's hit Riverdale, which aired earlier that night on the broadcast network.

The numbers more than doubled the series' previously-reported live+same-day ratings, and likely indicated interest in the series among audiences unlikely to watch live in its 10 p.m. time slot.

Given the competitive nature of Wednesday night programming, the later slot was likely chosen to give Krypton an uncontested time slot, but networks obviously know that shows airing at 10 p.m. are going to rely heavily on L3 and L10 ratings in order to succeed. It seems, at least in its opening week, that Krypton succeeded.

The series was also the best genre series premiere on cable since the pilot for Legion on FX last February.

Set 200 years before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, Krypton follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, as a young man who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. He must redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while being challenged by familiar DC characters Brainiac (Blake Ritson) and Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos).

"We haven't really seen much of this world before and it's just this open book and allows us to tell a story that hasn't been told," Welsh told reporters during a recent set visit. "There's still plenty more Superman stories to tell, but there's already been a ton of those and there will continue to be. Here's a fresh opportunity to tell this -- to explore a part of the DC universe which is super important, and it's relatively unexplored. It's less about not having Superman but more about it being a prequel is something that we've discussed as being a challenge that we face."

Even with a general interest in Krypton -- and the fan demand for more content set on the world following the release of Man of Steel, in which the Krypton material was some of the movie's best stuff -- Welsh is aware that some people will still be confused by the high concept.

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"I don't know if it's necessarily the same with Gotham, but there's probably this notion that part of the audience goes, 'Krypton, I guess that's the show about the planet that Superman came from and that planet blows up so I kind of know how that story ends. Do I really need to watch this? I've lots of other things to do,'" Welsh joked. "So the way we've sought to address that challenge is that in story and this is where, when we talk about DC's involvement, not only in giving us access to everything we've got but Geoff Johns himself has been a part of the show and he's a brilliant mind and has some brilliant ideas and very early on we talked about exactly that problem, about the prequel concern. The way we've addressed it in story, we have Adam Strange comes from present day Earth, arrives on Krypton to deliver this warning to Seg to let him know that history as we know it is under threat and somebody is coming to try and change the course of history, change the timeline, and prevent Superman's birth. The show very quickly goes from being about this look into the past into a show that has stakes in the present day."

Krypton's 10-episode season airs on SYFY Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/9 Central.