Debuting last week after the much-discussed midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead, AMC’s adaptation of the cult classic Preacher comic book series has struck a chord with many. While a small contingent of fans questioned some of the changes made from the source material, most Preacher devotees expressed positive sentiments about the pilot episode, as did the majority of critics. In fact, Preacher currently holds a massive 92 percent rating on popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and a 75 percent on Metacritic.
With all that good will likely in mind, AMC has made a version of the Preacher pilot episode available online that includes a directors’ commentary from the team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End), the duo who not only helmed the pilot but also guided the project from the development stage all the way to its TV premiere.
The version with commentary can be watched directly on AMC’s website, although those interested will need to provide a cable provider log-in in order to watch the episode, as has become common practice for legal streams of original cable series. That said, those without a cable provider who’ve yet to check Preacher out can still watch the pilot (without commentary) for free elsewhere on AMC.com.
Unfortunately, not all is entirely rosy in Preacher-land, as the ratings for the pilot were decent but not great. Preacher’s pilot earned a 0.9 in the coveted 18-49 viewer demographic, which isn’t bad for basic cable but also isn’t that impressive either. It’s no surprise that Preacher wouldn’t outdo ongoing juggernaut The Walking Dead — which averaged a gargantuan 6.5 rating for season 6 — but when matched up against the recent season averages of other AMC series like Fear the Walking Dead and Into the Badlands, a 0.9 is lower than expected.
Of course, the series did premiere at 10pm on the same night as the NBA playoffs and a huge episode of Game of Thrones. AMC will re-air the pilot at the show’s regular time slot of 9pm this Sunday, which may open it up to a wider audience who missed it the first time around. After that, it will return with new episodes on June 5, acting as lead-in for the David Schwimmer-led restaurant drama Feed the Beast. Given the critical acclaim the series has received, as well as the network re-playing the pilot (and now making it available with commentary) Preacher still stands a chance at finding the sort of audience AMC is looking for.
AMC will re-air the Preacher pilot episode this Sunday at 9pm. The series will continue on June 5 with ‘See’ at 9pm on AMC.
Photo: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television