A drama series delivered a big audience for its premiere this week, setting a record for its cable network. Citing Nielsen same-day figures released Wednesday, Variety reports that “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” delivered 5.11 million viewers for its premiere Tuesday night on FX.
The numbers top the previous FX record for the series premiere of an original drama, going all the way back to the 4.83 million turnout in 2002 for “The Shield,” FX’s first-ever drama series. Other FX shows in the intervening years, such as “Sons of Anarchy” and “American Horror Story,” have pulled bigger audiences for season premieres, but the series premiere record for “The Shield” stood until this week.
EW.com notes: “The numbers aren’t that surprising, given the pre-publicity surrounding ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,’ but the results are no less significant.” For its part, FX is holding off on touting the numbers until it sees data reflecting three days of time-shifted viewing.
Variety adds: “In adults 18-49, ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’ averaged a 2.0 rating, tying with the CBS special ‘Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials’ as Tuesday’s No. 1 program in the demo. The 2.0 tops the premiere of the first installment of ‘American Horror Story’ in 2011 (1.6) and is the highest for an FX series premiere since ‘The Shield’ opened with a 2.4 in March 2002.”