2012 0520 hatfields 02

Johnse Hatfield (Matt Barr), left, and Devil Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner) in "The Hatfields & McCoys," a three-part miniseries that begins on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012.

HUNTINGTON -- The famous Appalachian family feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is popular on a national scale once again thanks to the success of the History Channel miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys."

The story of the warring families, the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky, was turned into a six-hour miniseries starring Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy. The series debuted on Memorial Day and drew 13.9 million viewers for the opening installment, according to Nielsen company. The number swelled to 17 million when the immediate repeat was added in. The numbers held up for part two on Tuesday, which was watched by 13.1 million, according to Nielsen.

The series concluded Wednesday night. It will be re-aired in its entirety beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2. A companion two-hour documentary, which was filmed by Huntington-based Trifecta Productions at Heritage Farm Museum and Village, will be shown beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The successful debut, the History Channel's first attempt at a scripted movie, made it the No. 1 telecast on ad-supported cable and topped major network programs like NBC's "America's Got Talent" (10 million viewers) and ABC's "Bachelorette" (5.8 million).

Local tourism officials are certainly hoping the success of the film could renew interest in the nation's most famous feud between families who lived along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River.

State tourism officials in Kentucky are urging people fascinated with the feud to visit Pike County and the sites of the bloody conflict, according to a press release from the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism.

For much more about the famous feud and the current miniseries and documentary, go online at www.herald-dispatch.com.

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