Cruel Summer Becomes Freeform's Most-Watched Series Debut Ever

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Freeform has found its next hit in Cruel Summer.

The thrilling mystery drama has emerged as the network's best-ever series debut among young adults, drawing an average audience of 3.81 million multiplatform viewers in the first week available.

The Jessica Biel produced drama is likewise the network's best-ever series debut among Adults 18-49 (2.65 million) and Adults 18-34 (1.33 million).

Social Climbing - Cruel Summer

Freeform has also pegged the series as the No. 1 most social scripted series premiere across cable year-to-date.

The ratings are a great indication of how the series is truly performing. The series premiere managed around 250,000 viewers and a 0.1 rating in its linear debut on the cabler.

The numbers mean that around 6% of the total audience for the premiere watched on premiere night, with the rest catching up on-demand and DVR.

Summer Days - Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 2

Is this the shape of things to come?

Probably.

More than ever, people are watching TV on their own terms, and these delayed numbers are impressive.

The true test will be how well the series holds up in the weeks to come. The live ratings have been relatively steady throughout the first three episodes, but we'll know more when more delayed figures come out.

The New Stranger - Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 2

Cruel Summer arrived on Freeform on Tuesday, April 20, at 9:00 p.m. EDT/PDT.

From executive producer Jessica Biel (The Sinner), 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.

The Hidden Truth - Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 3

What are your thoughts on the numbers?

Have you been watching the series?

Remember, you can watch Cruel Summer online right here via TV Fanatic.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Cruel Summer Quotes

Jeanette Turner, I hope you rot in hell.

Kate

Jeanette: Mallory, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m here. I’ve been here. You can say that I pulled away from you, but you pulled away from me too. So, I don’t understand where all this rage is coming from, but if you want to talk, you know where to find me.
[Jeanette gives Mallory a hug]
Mallory: God, you sound just like her.