Image Credit: Arnold Shapiro ProductionsThe launch of A&E’s Beyond Scared Straight on Thursday attracted a record-breaking 3.7 million viewers and 2.2 million adults 18-49 — making it the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history among key demos.

The 90-minute premiere grew each half hour, climbing from 3.4 million viewers at 10 to 3.9

million at 11 p.m. Beyond Scared Straight also grew from its lead-in, a premiere episode of The First 48 (2.7 million

viewers) by 32%.

A repeat of Straight’s premiere will air this Saturday at 8 p.m. “We could not be more proud to have undertaken this groundbreaking series and the audience response is extremely rewarding,” said Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel, in a statement. “Beyond Scared Straight truly exemplifies our unique brand of highly engaging programming with a focus on excellent storytelling and first-class auspices.”

Beyond Scared Straight is executive produced by Arnold Shapiro and based on his award-winning documentary Scared Straight. It profiles youthful offender programs around the country that put at-risk teens into intensive one-day in-prison sessions.