The day after the Super Bowl, FX has scored a touchdown of its own. The February 2 premiere of The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story drew the best viewership debut for a drama series on the cabler in Live+Same Day, and now delayed-viewing results have the Ryan Murphy-directed first episode doing the same in Live+3.
With resepctive lifts of 62% and 68%, the opening of the Cuba Gooding Jr-starring tale of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman and the subsequent media circus of a trial pulled in 8.3 million viewers and 4.2 million among adults 18-49. That makes the beginning of the 10-episode first run of ACS the most watched series premiere in FX’s history.
That viewership number tops the series premiere of previous top-slotted The Shield by 73% — of course, the latter series debuted back in 2002, long before L+3 became part of the TV game. While the overall numbers are much bigger, the growth percentage comes just under FX’s drama debut L+3 viewership record. In DVR viewing, the Season 1 debut of Fargo in April 2014 jumped 67% in overall viewership and 74% in the demo.
Over its first run plus two encores, FX has the ACS debut garnering 12 million total viewers with 6.1 in the key demo.