‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ directed by Baylor alum, shatters basic cable ratings records
Kevin Reynolds, BA ’74, JD ’76, has had a lot of success working with Kevin Costner. In 1985, Reynolds wrote and directed Costner’s first starring role in Fandango, and the pair re-teamed as director and star for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991 and Waterworld in 1995.
In their first pairing in almost 20 years, the duo has found success again. Reynolds directed and Costner starred in History’s “Hatfields & McCoys,” which debuted to record ratings last week. The three-part miniseries retells the story of the legendary family feud, starring Costner and Bill Paxton as patriarchs of the Hatfields and McCoys, respectively.
The premiere of “Hatfields & McCoys” drew 13.9 million viewers on Memorial Day, making it the most-watched scripted entertainment program (i.e., non-sports and non-news) in cable TV history. That record lasted just 48 hours, as the finale attracted an even larger audience of 14.3 million viewers. (The middle installment drew “only” 13.1 million viewers; the three parts now hold the top three spots in cable TV audience history.) If you missed it, the entire miniseries will be available on DVD and Blu-ray starting July 31.
Reynolds, the son of former Baylor President Herbert Reynolds, also wrote the screenplay for Red Dawn and has directed films such as Tristan + Isolde and The Count of Monte Cristo. Like many students before and after him, Reynolds says he found his inspiration at Baylor from professors such as Dr. Tom Hanks. “His energy and attitude made even the driest literature come to life,” Reynolds told Baylor Magazine back in 2003.
Sic ’em, Kevin!