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A whole mess of people watched Hatfields And McCoys last night

The nation's innate desire to watch West Virginians kill each other resulted in huge ratings for History Channel's Hatfields And McCoys, with last night's premiere of the three-part, Kevin Coster/Bill Paxton miniseries bringing in 13.9 million viewers—the largest-ever basic-cable audience for a non-sports show, in the sense that hillbillies hunting each other is not considered a sport. In announcing its record-setting ratings, which marked the first time in years that the History Channel has been associated with actual history, the network gloated that it considered itself successful in its efforts to "own historical drama," which it plans to continue to pursue across all epochs of America's past that might lend themselves to movie stars wearing dirty clothes while getting shot. The second and third parts of Hatfields And McCoys air tonight and tomorrow at 9 p.m. if you want to get in on that.

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