FOX International Channels (FIC)’s weeklong streak of international premieres for The Bridge is off to a solid ratings’ start with the drama’s first episode totaling more than 3 million consolidated viewers for an average rating of 1.58 in FIC’s 19 metered pay TV markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. When projected to FIC’s total distribution the episode grows to 4.5 million viewers, ranking The Bridge among the group’s most-watched global premieres this year. Worldwide premiere viewership for The Bridge vaults to over 9 million viewers when adding FX’s domestic totals.
International premieres were concentrated in a 7-day spread that kicked off July 11th across FIC’s entertainment portfolio in Latin America, Europe and Asia. The live airing defeated all cable competition in the coveted 18-49 demo in markets such as Spain and Italy and placed top 3 in the demo in most others. The Bridge on average over-performed the channels’ prior 6-week time-slot globally by an impressive 76 per cent among total viewers. Performance tipped triple digit growth against previous 6-week benchmarks in several key markets, including Italy up 423 per cent, Australia up 150 per cent and Spain up 173 per cent.
The premiere telecast of The Bridge came in just shy of the 2010 record-breaking series premiere of The Walking Dead, on average dipping a mere 5.6 per cent among total viewers in FIC’s key markets Spain, Italy, Brazil and Australia.
As announced earlier this year, FIC struck a deal with Shine International on the FX Productions/Shine America series that made FIC co-financing partner on the show and earned the group first-window broadcast rights worldwide. The Bridge marks FIC’s latest investment in a rapidly expanding slate of original programming to bow globally. The critically acclaimed drama follows the worldwide simultaneous premiere strategy pioneered by FIC with season one of The Walking Dead, and replicated since with multiple shows, most recently Da Vinci’s Demons.
The Bridge is a present-day crime thriller exploring the tensions on the US-Mexico border. When an American judge known for her anti-immigration views is found dead on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) from El Paso PD must work with her Mexican counterpart from Chihuahua State Police, Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir), to catch a serial killer operating on both sides of the border. Marco understands the slippery politics of Mexican law enforcement, and while his police force slowly succumbs to the pressures and demands of the cartel, he’s one of the last good men in the department. He’s charming, but also cunning as he will do whatever it takes to get what he needs. This does not sit well with Sonya, who has Asperger’s and strictly follows rules as well as protocol. Her candid and off-putting personality fuels an unforgiving drive for truth. The case quickly pulls them into a string of murders on the border, a scene already consumed by illegal immigration, drug trafficking, violence and prostitution.
Based on an international hit series Bron, the pilot for The Bridge was adapted for American television by Meredith Stiehm (Homeland) and Elwood Reid (Hawaii Five-0). The Bridge is executive produced by Stiehm and Reid, alongside Shine America’s Carolyn Bernstein and Filmlance’s Lars Blomgren. Gerardo Naranjo directed the pilot episode. The Bridge is a co-production of Shine America and FX Productions.