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‘Hatfields and McCoys’ Series Sets Cable TV Record

“Hatfields & McCoys,” History channel’s miniseries about the famous family feud, drew a record cable audience to its premiere and encore showings last night.

The program attracted more than 13.9 million viewers to become the most-watched non-sports telecast on an ad-supported cable network, History channel owner A&E Television Networks said today in a statement. More than 17 million people watched the debut and encore showing, A&E said.

Cable channels are beginning to draw audiences that rival broadcast television’s prime-time shows. “Hatfields & McCoys” stars Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton and Tom Berenger in a re-telling of the legendary family feud that spanned decades and nearly sparked a war between Kentucky and West Virginia, according to the statement. The miniseries continues tonight and tomorrow, A&E said.

A&E Television Networks is owned by Walt Disney Co., Hearst Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal. On March 26, NBC Universal exercised an option to sell a “substantial” portion of its stake in the company, according to regulatory filings.

In addition to A&E and History, the company owns Lifetime, Military History and Crime & Investigation Network.

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