The province is impressed with the initial results seen on its digital platforms after the premiere of Anne Sunday night on CBC television, a spokesperson said.

The show is the second recent reboot of the classic tale of a red-headed orphan girl (Amybeth McNulty) adopted by the elderly siblings Matthew (R.H. Thomson) and Marilla Cuthbert (Geraldine James) to help them run the farm at Green Gables in the fictional town of Avonlea, P.E.I.

Tourism PEI, which spent $160,000 on advertising and promotions during the program promoting the Island, saw a 12 per cent increase in visits to its Anne page.   

Anne

'It is so well done. It is making my heart very happy,' tweeted Shannon Pratt of P.E.I. about the new Anne series. (CBC)


 
The department also gained more than 50 followers on Instagram and made tens of thousands of impressions on Twitter and Facebook, which saw about 850 likes, comments and shares on its Anne posts, the spokesperson shared. 

'We saw it coming'

The new series is also behind a boost in interest for the musical Anne and Gilbert, its producer believes — that's why on Monday he announced a one-month extension to the season for the musical.

Anne and Gilbert 2016

Holly Cinnamon as Anne and Cameron Kneteman as Gilbert in the 2016 production of Anne and Gilbert. The show's producer said he saw a jump in website visits following the premiere of Anne on CBC-TV. (Submitted)

"We've seen our website traffic double overnight, and we saw it coming," said Campbell Webster. 

"We knew how significant this would be, having Anne on CBC and Netflix, and the other series on YTV and PBS in the U.S. All these things come together to create the most significant tourism story by a country mile for Prince Edward Island, we think, in a few decades."

Usually the Anne and Gilbert website gets 300 visits a day — yesterday that jumped to 600, Webster said.

It's early to gauge the effect the program and Tourism PEI's added promotion will have on visits to P.E.I., officials said, adding they see the early numbers as "very encouraging."

'Important conversations'

Public reaction on social media to the new program was mostly positive.

Dave Cormier of P.E.I. said he liked the acting, and thinks the issues the show brings up will make it "an important backdrop for important conversations with our kids."

Shannon Pratt of P.E.I. tweeted "I really hope everyone is watching @AnneTheSeries right now. It is so well done. It is making my heart very happy."

"Amazing. The reality of the back stories of Anne show the complex character of the heroine...and the author," tweeted Joanne Ings of P.E.I. 

There were some pointed criticisms too. 

"Lucy Maud would be mortified," said Ranald MacFarlane via Twitter. "Scenes and actions were nothing like her writing."

With files from Steve Bruce