Launching a new show is almost always a roll of the dice. But launching a new show with no stars or no built in franchise audience is a big roll of a big die. With that in mind, the premiere of FX’s new drama Tyrant last night at 10PM turned out OK for the cable network. The debut of the Middle East-based political family series was watched by 2.1 million viewers last night from 10 PM to 11: 22PM. That’s 20% less than the 97-minute premiere of Fargo on April 15 but without a Billy Bob Thornton or the cache of the Joel and Ethan Coen pic of the same name and themes.
In terms of the key Adults 18-49 demo, Tyrant pulled in 775,000 viewers. Over all its plays last night, the Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright EP’d show had a total viewership of 3.46 million with 1.32 million among the demo. Perhaps most importantly for FX and producers Fox 21 and FX Prods, Tyrant held on to 99% of the 18-49s from the first half hour to the show’s last 22 minutes. It also retained 99% of its total viewership. Even with a fair result like last night FX is undoubtedly hoping that, like Fargo,The Bridge andThe Americans, Tyrant sees a strong double digit rise when in Live+3 and Live+7.