‘Cruel Summer’ Becomes Freeform’s Biggest Multi-Platform Premiere Ever

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Nellie Andreeva
·2 min read
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Cruel Summer has posted Freeform’s most-watched overall series debut ever, averaging 3.81 million average multi-platform viewers in its first week. The Jessica Biel-produced drama also ranks as the network’s best-ever series debut among Adults 18-49 (2.65 million) and Adults 18-34 (1.33 million).

Only a sliver of Cruel Summer‘s premiere viewership comes from the series’ live linear debut (246,000 total viewers, 0.10 18-49 rating in Live+Same Day for the two-hour opener on April 20). The multi-platform totals include delayed viewing for the premiere linear telecast (Live+7 ratings) and viewership on the Freeform app/site, Hulu and set-top box VOD in the first 7 days available.

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Cruel Summer eclipsed Freeform’s previous biggest debut, Shadowhunters in January 2016 by +22% among A18-49, +9% among A18-34 and +2% among total viewers, using the same methodology.

Additionally, the series from studio Entertainment One is the No. 1 most social scripted series premiere across cable year-to-date, according toTalkWalker Social Content Ratings.

From executive producer Jessica Biel, Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women: Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabe who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.

The series stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee and Brooklyn Sudano. Cruel Summer comes from studio eOne and was created by Bert V. Royal. Tia Napolitano serves as showrunner. Executive producers include Napolitano, Royal and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.

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