It has been a long time coming but Ronald Reagan finally uttered those famous words of “evil empire” last night on the Season 3 ender of the FX Cold War spy show. The historic rhetoric and challenge of the Presidential speech of March 8, 1983 set up the renewed stakes for the Joe Weisberg created series as it heads into an already announced fourth season next year.
Bluntly entitled “March 8, 1983,” last night’s The Americans also saw a dip and a chilling drop from its last finale. With The Avengers: Age Of Ultron timed broadcast of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger as its lead-in, the 10 PM Season 3 finale drew 1.220 million total viewers and a 0.3 rating. That’s a slip of 5% for the Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell starring show from the 1.292 million total viewers who watched the May 21, 2014 Season 2 finale.
Steady in viewership, the S3 ender of The Americans nonetheless took a hard hit among adults 18-49 from last year’s finale. Last night’s finale fell 40% from the S2 ender among the key demo to hit an all time finale low for the series. Like last night and the Season 1 ender of 2013, the Season 2 finale faced cable competition from the NBA Playoffs. The Season 1 finale of The Americans on May 1, 2013 pulled in 1.743 million viewers and got a 0.6 rating among the key demo.
While down finale-to-finale, The Americans saw a viewership rise week-to-week. Compared to the 975,000 viewers and 0.3 rating among the 18-49s that The Americans’ April 15 show had, last night’s S3 finale was up 25% in viewers and even in the demo. FX doesn’t dabble anymore in Live + Same Day numbers, instead waiting for the Live + 3 – which in the case of this DVR friendly show should see some noteworthy lift.
Weisberg co-wrote the S3 finale with fellow EP Joel Fields. Graham Yost and Daniel Sackheim as well as Amblin Television’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank also serve as EPs on the show. Fox 21 Television Studio and FX Productions produce The Americans.