CBS Interactive Head Marc DeBevoise Talks ‘Twilight Zone’ Success and Streaming Ratings

CBS All Access’ Monday launch of its “The Twilight Zone” reboot drove the most unique viewers ever on a premiere day for a CBS All Access original series, according to the streamer.

Marc DeBevoise, president and COO of CBS Interactive, spoke with Variety about the reboot’s early success. While he would not discuss specific numbers, the exec did provide some context as to the show’s performance.

“The one thing I can say is it was slightly bigger than both ‘Star Trek: Discovery’s’ first day for Season 1 and Season 2,” DeBevoise said. “Both of those were big and this was slightly bigger from a viewers perspective. The great thing is we have the most subscribers we’ve ever had for the service, so that does aid in driving viewership because we keep growing. The buzz around this show and the marketing was also tremendous.”

He also said that while All Access offers a range of library content, including current and classic CBS shows, it is the streamer’s originals that are leading its subscriber growth.

“Originals for us are really working,” he said. “The originals are what driving the most views other than days when we have something like the Super Bowl or March Madness. ‘Discovery’ has been the number one show every month it has premiered an episode, and actually has been the No. 1 show in many other months when it hasn’t been new throughout last year. ‘The Good Fight’ is right there as well. It’s up very big year-over-year and there new season is doing phenomenally well.”

DeBevoise also gave his take on why streaming services like All Access rarely release any kind of specific viewership information. (The exception to that of late has been Netflix, which claimed that tens of millions of people had watched some of their original movies and films, despite providing virtually no context for that information.)

“The success of our business plan for All Access is not defined like the success Netflix has to have on any given thing, or like the success the CBS television network or other networks have for any given thing,” he said. “Because CBS has been in business for so long, they have defined what success for them looks like. I think why we do not publish those numbers on a regular basis is because they would look off or not make sense, because we’re not measured against the same yardstick. Our business plan is a growth plan and how many subscribers we can grow and maintain over time. That would be impossible to do in a way that would create the right kind of messaging out in the world on a microscopic basis, like one series, one episode, ‘How did it do?’”

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