American Horror Story: Freak Show broke all FX records with last Wednesday’s debut and the network, not surprisingly, this morning announced a 13-episode fifth-season pickup for the miniseries from Ryan Murphy, to debut one year from now.
With Live+3 viewing factored in, the season premiere debut (10 million viewers, 6.54 million demo viewers, 4.08 million adults 18-34) and encore runs clocked 13.36 million viewers – 8.6 million demo viewers and 5.25 million in the younger age bracket. That makes it the most-watched single program in FX’s 20-year history — and that includes all programs with Live+7 deliveries.
The network’s previous record holder had been the recent seventh and final season premiere telecast of Sons Of Anarchy on September 9 (9.25 million total viewers and 6.1 million demo viewers). American Horror Story: Coven held all previous records in delivery of adults 18-34.
“The American Horror Story anthology has had the highest growth trajectory of any show in FX history, not to mention an unprecedented track record of success in awards recognition,” John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, said in today’s pickup announcement.
“With Nip/Tuck, Glee, The Normal Heart, and American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy has established himself as one of the most successful and prolific producers of this generation. We expect AHS: Freak Show and the next incarnation of AHS to further his legacy.”
The premiere ratings for American Horror Story: Freak Show topped the premiere episode of last year’s third installment of the franchise, American Horror Story: Coven, by 38% in total viewers (10 million vs. 7.27 million), 29% in the demo (6.54 million vs. 5.07 million), and 40% in adults 18-34 (4.08 million vs. 2.92 million).
Since its launch in 2011, compared with the average of its full first installment, American Horror Story: Murder House, the franchise has grown 148% in total viewers (4.03 million), 119% in the demo (2.98 million) and 127% in adults 18-34 (1.79 million).
Last week, when Live+Same Day stats came out, we reported folks still like going to the carny – at least if it’s on cable. With a bearded lady played by Kathy Bates, a two-head killer, a David Bowie tune performed by Jessica Lange and a crazed clown among its offerings, the premiere drew 6.127 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49.