Turns out 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 of American Horror Story: Freak Show drew 6.127 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49.
That’s up 10% from the 5.54 million total viewers who watched the debut of AHS: Coven on Oct. 9 last year. The start to the fourth season of AHS last night is also a series viewership high over all three previous cycles. Among the key demo, last night’s 92-minute Ryan Murphy-directed opener rose 3 percent from the rating that its 72-minute predecessor’s premiere pulled in.
The Coven premiere, which was the Season 3 opener of the Murphy and Brad Falchuk series, was the previously most watched broadcast of AHS ever. Because FX are all about Live + 3 numbers nowadays, it should be noted that AHS: Coven saw a rise of 31% in both total viewers to 7.27 million in Live + 3 results and 5.068 million among the demo. That went up to 7.777 million and 5.479 million when the Live + 7 ratings came in.
In Live + Same Day results, the January 29 AHS: Coven finale garnered 4.2 million total viewers and 2.84 million among the 18-49s. That 1-hour and 11-minute broadcast was both the most watched finale in the show’s history so far and capped the most watched season of AHS. In Live + 7 results, AHS: Coven averaged over 7.2 million total viewers and 5.1 million in the 18-49 demo.