With episode 2 (II.) just aired stateside haw has Starz new baby been doing in the ratings over there? Well Stars were very pleased to report that the Buzz generated by releasing the first episode online a week ahead of its official premiere didn’t affect the viewing figures in a negative way at all – in fact Black Sails (I.) garnered the biggest series debut in Starz history, with over 3.5 million viewers for the cable channel over the launch weekend. 850,000 people watched it live and a further 2.6 million viewers accessed the show via on demand services.
So a solid start, no word yet about the ratings for episode 2 but we’ll update this post when we know more.
So, as promised the first episode of Black Sails was released into the wild 1 week ahead of its scheduled TV premiere, presumably as a cunning marketing ploy to build up buzz about the show online. Its hard to say whether this sort of approach actually works, since you would think that this would only server to reduce the number of viewers the episode will get when it does finally air stateside next week.
However now that it episode is out so are the first reviews (not that many at this stage actually, probably get more after its been on proper telly..):
As a historian, I’ve got to tell you that Black Sails can’t turn out the way it really did back in the day. But that’s only got me wondering how it will turn out on-air. I’ve been looking forward to this show for quite a while, and it looks like I won’t be disappointed. – Den of Geek US
“Black Sails” is exactly like the 18th-century Caribbean pirates it brings to life: dirty, amoral and worth stomaching only when there are no women around. Kansas City Star
Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good. Entertainment Weekly
Starz and Michael Bay have taken the decision to release the first episode of Black Sails on the internet a whole week before it is due to air on TV in America. On January the 18th lucky Americans will be able to view the episode on Amazon, iTunes and Machinima’s youtube channel. Of course this is being done to create a buzz for the show, raising its profile and therefore resulting in a bigger fan base in the long run, but already commentators are cracking the obvious jokes about it being Pirate’s downloading the show illegally, but I guess that is to be expected.
Of course stunts like this don’t guarantee results and the series will live or die based upon the quality of the production and the writing, but Starz must be feeling pretty confident that they have a good product here (after all they have already green lit season two even before the first episode has been seen)
Update: Black Sails Will Air Exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK
I guess you can consider this blog post nothing more than a placeholder at present. We all know that Black Sails is coming to the US on January 25th, but somewhat disconcertingly we have no word on when or if a UK channel will be picking it up.
What do we know?
Well given Starz recent track record the most likely candidate is Sky One or Sky Atlantic, with their previous breakout shows Spartacus and Da Vinci’s Demon’s finding a home on these channels respectively.
However, Black Sails is not the only Starz production which is yet to find a home on UK TV. At time of writing ‘Outlander’, a scfi series based upon the novels of Diana Gabaldon (and filmed in Scotland to boot), has also been so far overlooked.
We can but hope that this is rectified shortly, after all we wouldn’t want Black Sails to suffer the same ignominious fate as Breaking Bad did in this country – i.e. picked up by Channel 5 for the first season and buried on 5 USA until they decided they couldn’t be bothered airing it any more and thus depriving these isles of the greatest show to come out of the states this century.
Anyway – I digress. Stay tuned to this page, as soon as we have news of the UK air date we will post it here.
The Latest trailer for Black Sails has been up a couple of weeks, but since this is a new site I’m still playing catch up. If you haven’t seen it already check it out below
Jessica Parker Kennedy being interviewed at Comic Con about her upcoming role as Max in Black Sails. The talks about the difficulty she and her co-star Hannah New experienced which shooting their first love scene together and how they, quite literally broke the bed…
Tom Hopper as Billy Bones
Date of Birth: 28th January 1985
Place of Birth:Coalville, England
what you might have seen him in: Merlin, Casualty, Kingdom, Doctors, Doctor Who
Character: Billy Bones:Bosun on board the Pirate ship Walrus. Billy’s belief in the righteousness of the pirate cause becomes deeply tested as he is drawn deeper and deeper into Flints plans for the future.
Jessica Parker Kennedy as Max
Jessica Parker Kennedy
Date of Birth: 3rd October 1984
Place of Birth:Calgary, Canada
what you might have seen her in: The Secret Circle, Smallville, V
Fascinating Fact: Was originally cast in the 2010 spy drama series Undercovers (2010) as the younger sister of female lead Gugu Mbatha-Raw, but was later replaced by Mekia Cox.
Character: Max. A cunning, and seductive prostitute, Max forms a lesbian relationship with Eleanor Guthrie, but when Max and Eleanor’s plans begin to conflict with one another the bond between the two takes a dark turn and Max’s well-being begins to suffer…
Toby Stephens as Captain Flint
Date of Birth: April 21st 1969
Place of Birth: London, England
Spouse: Anna Louise Plowman
What you might have seen him in: Die Another Day (James Bond Movie). Starring role in Vexed (BBC), Guest Starring Roles in Robin Hood (BBC), Sharpe’s challenge (ITV), Waking the Dead (BBC), and many, many productions for the stage.
Fascinating Fact: Toby is the youngest son of renowned Thespian Maggie Smith
Character: Captain Flint
The Most feared of all the Golden Age Pirates, Captain flint is a charismatic, but dangerous man with a breathtaking propensity towards violence. In order to evade the clutches of the British Navy he will use any means necessary to make himself ruler of Nassau.
Luke Arnold as John Silver
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth:Austrailia
Fascinating Fact: Luke is an accomplished swordsman and sword fight choreographer.
Character: John Silver. A lowly sailor turned pirate recruit, John Silver is a born opportunist. He insinuates himself into the Captain Flint’s crew while secretly in possession of the “schedule” which Flint so desperately covets. Events conspire to make Silver and Flint reluctant partners and together they seek the treasure fleet.