BBC America’s clone drama Orphan Black is one of the most compelling shows on television. The first two seasons garnered widespread acclaim from critics and sci-fi fans, but as happens all to often with genre shows, the ratings haven’t been stellar. Granted, they haven’t been awful, and it has very good numbers on DVRs, streaming, and on demand, but they’re not the best. And in order to hopefully take a step up, the fast approaching season 3 is getting a boost as AMC Networks plans to air the series across all of its outlets.
When the new episodes premiere on April 18, they will air on BBC America and AMC’s flagship station (AMC runs BBC America with BBC Worldwide), of course, but also IFC, WE TV, and Sundance TV. Outside of big political speeches and various MTV awards shows, this kind of cross platform promotion doesn’t happen all that often, and it’s especially cool for a sci-fi show to get this kind of backing.
Who knows how much the channels like Sundance, IFC, and WE will contribute to the overall ratings—they’re not exactly known as numbers juggernauts—but it can’t possibly hurt. If nothing else, it’ll provide exposure to an audience that may not be as likely to tune in under other circumstances. After all, those channels aren’t exactly renowned as hotbeds of science fiction, and more eyeballs is always a good thing.
Showing up on AMC, however, could be a massive. The Walking Dead has been the biggest show on cable for a while now, consistently delivering monster ratings among the most coveted demographics. Their latest endeavor, the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul also recently broke records for a cable debut.
This may also serve a purpose for the network as well. Over the years AMC has tried to get science fiction programs off the ground, but none have ever come to fruition, so airing a show that’s already rolling could be a way to get their foot into the genre door. Hopefully, if Orphan Black is successful there, the network brass will be more proactive about developing sci-fi programming in the future.
Check out this trailer for season 3, considering where season 2 leaves off, this one should be a doozy:
The show is still going to air on Saturday nights, and if there is any justice, star Tatiana Maslany, who plays multiple characters, often within the same scene, and is fantastic. Orphan Black makes its network debut on April 18.