If you haven't heard of BBC America's Killing Eve yet, then get your fingers out of your ears and stop screaming at the top of your lungs. Word of mouth about the thriller has been deafening in the TV world, as its cat-and-mouse game between a female assassin (Jodie Comer) and an MI5 agent (Sandra Oh) has people talking and talking and talking.
Killing Eve also has people flocking to their cable guides to find BBC America, and in this day and age of audience's fading interest in a swell of television options, Killing Eve is doing something extraordinary: it's getting more popular. BBC America hasn't had a hit like this on its hands since the first season of Orphan Black.
In Live+3 ratings, Killing Eve has increased its ratings in the 18-49 demo each week through its first seven episodes (the show's eighth episode is the Season 1 finale, which will certainly continue the trend), according to Deadline. Total viewers tells a similar story, with only one minor increase (a paltry 1 percent, which most shows would die to have) in Episode 5. That destroys the common trend of shows peaking with their premiere before fading out of existence as the season continues.
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That upward trend is rarified air on television today, and even though Killing Eve is working with smaller overall audiences, the increase is reminiscent of recent big successes such as The Walking Dead, This Is Us and Empire. Empire is probably the best example of those three, as it's the only one of them to pull off the same feat as Killing Eve in its first season by increasing its viewership with each passing week. Back in early 2015, that was unheard of, and that's before the big push by streaming giants to tractor-beam in audiences. Killing Eve is doing all this while streaming and Peak TV are at their apexes.
A shortened eight-episode first season — Killing Eve has already been renewed for Season 2, episode count TBD — likely helps things out, as stories are tighter and the pressure to keep viewer count up is lessened (Empire was able to do it over 12 episodes). But at a time where everyday distractions are thinning out audiences, Killing Eve's ratings stand out. BBC America has something very special on its hands.
Killing Eve concludes its first season on Sunday, May 27 at 8/7c on BBC America.