It was a late and bloody birth of the new FX drama last night, but they hung in there. With a 10 PM – 12:06 AM debut on Tuesday, The Bastard Executioner drew 2.1 million total viewers. On a moderately competitive night on the Big 4, but obviously affected by its late slot and long running time that took over half of the premiere out of primetime, the Kurt Sutter-created 14th century-set series pulled in around 1 million viewers among adults 18-49. That’s an 0.8 rating for the Paris Barclay-directed opener, according to Nielsen. With the late start on a school night, the DVR numbers for this one will be very telling. Still, as things stand now, TBX was the top scripted original on cable among the key demo.
Looking at the other big cable debut of recent weeks, last night’s TBX opener was sharply down from the 10.1 million and 6.3 million among the key demo that AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead snared on August 23. The 90-minute 9 PM FearTWD debut went up to break more cable records with its 13.3 million total viewers and 8.5 million adults 18-49 Live + 3 results. Obviously, TBX and FearTWD, like previous cable record holder Better Call Saul, aren’t exactly apples-to-apples with the latter being a spinoff to the big show on TV on top viewing Sundays and the former a completely new property on a Tuesday
While the comparison is a bit long in the tooth, TBX’s premiere was steady viewershipwise with the 2.53 million who tuned in for the September 3, 2008 debut of Sutter’s previous series Sons Of Anarchy. That 10 PM premiere on a Wednesday got a 1.2 rating among the key demo. Closer to home, the September 9, 2014 seventh and final season opener of SOA had a then-record 6.2 million total viewers with 4.1 million among the 18-49s. That result went up to 9.25 million viewers and 6.1 million among the demo in the Live + 3 results FX loves. The December 9, 2014 finale of SOA set a new record for the series and FX with 6.4 million total viewers with 4.2 million among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. That rose to an audience of 9.26 million and 6.07 million in the demo in Live + 3.
FX is expected to release Live + 3 results for TBX, which stars Lee Jones as the cutting lead, Stephen Moyer and Katey Sagal, among others, later this week.