UPDATE March 10: In Live+3, the premiere Sunday telecast of Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan grew to 3.8 million viewers, up +68% vs. the limited series’ Live+Same Day audience.
Feud edged the recent premiers of Legion by 16% (3.8 million vs. 3.27 million) and Taboo by 11% (3.8 million vs. 3.43 million) to rank as the most watched FX series premiere since Murphy’s record-breaking The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story a little over a year ago (8.3 million). For the premiere and two encore telecasts, Feud drew 5.17 million total viewers in L3, the highest since the premiere of The People v. O.J. Simpson (12 million).
As can be expected, Feud was older-skewing, logging 1.184 million adults 18-49 for the premiere telecast, a tad below Taboo, which already has been renewed, and Legion.
PREVIOUS March 7: FX’s new Ryan Murphy anthology series Feud launched its first installment, Bette and Joan, on Sunday with solid 2.26 million Live+same day viewers tuning in. While bellow the opening of Ryan’s pop culture phenom People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (5.1 million), it was in line with the premiere of the Emmy-winning FX limited series Fargo (2.66 million). The heavily promoted Feud also edged the debuts of recent FX entries Taboo (1.8 million) and Legion (1.6 million). All data is L+SD.
Airing on an atypical night, Sunday (AHS and ACS run on Wednesday and Tuesday, respectively, as re most of FX’s series, including Legion and Taboo), Feud was FX’s most watched program of last week by a wide margin (Taboo drew 1 million viewers, Legion logged 751,000 viewers in L+SD)
Given Feud‘s subject matter — a story set in 1960s Hollywood — and the fact that it is toplined by two actresses who are 67- and 70-year-old, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, the series understandably was old-skewing. (Props to FX and Murphy for going with a project that is not an easy sell in the current TV environment fixated on young viewers.)
The Feud debut drew a 0.5 adults 18-49 LSD rating (663,000 viewers), below any major FX premieres in the past few years. Still, it is broadening FX’s audience and last week it managed to edge the Legion and Taboo originals.