Last Wednesday marked the premiere of the highly anticipated black-ish spinoff grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi. The pilot was met with praise (and a number of corny rhymes and puns), from critics, so it’s probably not surprising that it was a ratings bonanza for Freeform.
grown-ish was Freeform’s best comedy debut since Baby Daddy’s premiere in 2012. It was the biggest series launch on the network in two years, since the debut of Shadowhunters (that show with Isaiah Mustafa that you sometimes see gifs of and don’t recognize on Tumblr when you remember you have a Tumblr). According to Shadow and Act, grown-ish brought in 1.562 million viewers total, 917,000 of whom were adults 18-49, and 658,000 of whom were women 18-49. More fun facts via Shadow and Act:
It also opened as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted series on cable TV among Women 18-49, Women 18-34 and Females 12-34, and was was the strongest scripted comedy series launch on basic cable among Women 18-49 since April 2014 (MTV’s Faking It), among Women 18-34 since July 2014 (FX’s Married) and among Adults 18-49 since September 2016 (FX’s Atlanta).
The show also generated 4.5 million views across linear and digital platforms, which is the best digital debut in Freeform history, according to the network. It was the most social cable series on TV for Wednesday, with 214,000 engagements across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
To be fair, Freeform probably doesn’t have a ton of data for digital debuts, but these numbers are still huge and impossible to ignore. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see if viewers keep tuning in, but it’s just more proof that shows about dynamic black women (and other people of color) aren’t just important in terms of representation—they’re exactly what audiences want.