Zoe Saldaña is celebrating a special accomplishment…
The 45-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress’ latest project, Special Ops: Lioness, is a streaming sensation.
The espionage thriller from Taylor Sheridan premiered with two episodes on Paramount+ on July 23, and Paramount Global is now touting it as the streamer’s most-watched global series premiere in its first 24 hours, topping a previous record set by Halo in March 2022.
In addition to debuting on Paramount+, the first two episodes also aired on Paramount Network across the last two weekends. The first episode debuted on July 23 to coincide with the series’ streaming debut, and Episode 2 aired on July 30. The remaining episodes will only be available on Paramount+.
After three days of delayed viewing, Episode 1 scored a combined audience of nearly 6M across viewing on Paramount+ globally and linear viewing on Paramount Network in the U.S., according to Paramount Global.
(For reference, Samba TV reported that 918,000 U.S. households watched Episode 1 on Paramount+ on release day, while 218,000 watched Episode 2.)
“On one of the most competitive weeks of the year, Special Ops: Lioness scored as the No. 1 new scripted series of the year on cable and one of the highest performers of all time on Paramount+,” said Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Paramount Media Networks & Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios. “Brilliantly created by Taylor Sheridan and brought to life by our stellar cast, this heart-pounding thriller inspired by real-life events clearly struck a chord with a huge audience.”
Added Domenic DiMeglio, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Paramount Streaming: “The strong viewer reception for Special Ops: Lioness reflects the power of Paramount across the board in creating, producing, marketing and delivering this incredible Taylor Sheridan drama with broad global appeal. We can’t wait for viewers to come along with us on this high stakes thrill ride.”
On the Paramount Network, Special Ops: Lioness followed Paramount Network and CMT’s airing of the Paramount+ original series 1883, which drummed up 2.2M viewers — a season high for that Taylor Sheridan series.
Inspired by an actual U.S. military program, the new Sheridan drama follows Joe (Saldaña) as she attempts to balance her personal and professional life as the tip of the CIA’s spear in the war on terror. The Lioness Program, overseen by Kaitlyn Meade (Nicole Kidman) and Byron Westfield (Michael Kelly), enlists an aggressive Marine Raider named Cruz (Laysla De Oliveira) to operate undercover alongside Joe among the power brokers of state terrorism in the CIA’s efforts to thwart the next 9/11.
Special Ops: Lioness also stars Dave Annable, Jill Wagner, LaMonica Garrett, James Jordan, Austin Hébert, Jonah Wharton, Stephanie Nur and Hannah Love Lanier. The series is executive produced by Sheridan, David C. Glasser, Saldaña, Kidman, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari, David Hutkin, Wagner, Geyer Kosinski, Michael Malone and John Hillcoat.
It’s produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios for Paramount+. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution outside of Paramount+ markets.
“We are thrilled audiences have discovered the power of Zoe Saldaña, Nicole Kidman & Laysla De Oliveira,” said David C. Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios. “These three incredible actors delivered and make Lioness an action packed, dramatic, joy-ride week after week.”