There were movie Indians, family conflict, death in a diner, chilly temperatures and the shadow of Ronald Reagan for the start of the latest version of Fargo last night. Set in 1979, the 10 PM 1-hour and 9-minute premiere drew 1.588 million total viewers and 609,000 among adults 18-49 for a 0.5 rating.
That’s down 40% in viewers and the 18-49s from the Season 1 debut of the series based on the 1996 Oscar-winning movie from Joel and Ethan Coen. The April 15, 2014 premiere of Fargo pulled in 2.65 million total viewers and 1.02 million among the demo. Compared to the Season 1 finale of June 17, which saw World Cup matches earlier in the day, last night’s Season 2 debut was down 19% in total viewers and 17% in the demo. The worst Fargo has done was its Season 1 May 27 show, which faced NBA Conference Finals. That seventh episode of the first season drew a total audience of 1.52 million and a 0.5 rating.
Over three plays, the April 15, 2014 debut of Fargo got 4.15 million total viewers and 1.79 million adults 18-49. In Live + 3 results, Fargo’s initial airing leaped up 67% in viewers and 74% among the 18-49s. The former stat remains the biggest delayed viewing lifted drama/miniseries premiere in the cabler’s history.
Now, FX doesn’t talk numbers nowadays unless it is Live + 3 so we’ll have to wait a few days to see how Fargo played out on a very competitive night. And those DVR numbers actually take on a greater significance in some ways this year over the Season 1 opener. Unlike its Season 1 debut, which was on a Tuesday, last night’s Fargo faced not only a full night of programming on the Big 4, but also MLB play-offs on TBS and Monday Night Football on ESPN. That 8:15 PM– 11:45 PM Pittsburgh Steelers’ close 24-20 win over the San Diego Chargers in SoCal topped cable and broadcast for the night with 12.18 million viewers and 5.68 million in the key demo for a 4.5 rating.
The new chapter of the anthology series stars Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Donovan Ted Danson, Nick Offerman, Brad Garrett and Bruce Campbell, among others Like in Season 1, Noah Hawley is Fargo’s showrunner and makes his directorial debut with next week’s episode.