Dave Burd (stage name Lil Dicky) has successfully parlayed his strong online following into television success — most of which comes from digital viewing. The rapper-comedian’s new FX comedy series Dave has been a breakout hit, averaging 4.8 million viewers per episode for its five episodes to date across linear, video-on-demand and streaming viewing (most current).
That ranks as the second-largest average audience of any season of an FX Networks comedy, just behind the first season of Atlanta (5.2 million). Given its growth trajectory — Dave‘s average audience per episode has increased by 1.2 million viewers in the past two weeks, having averaged 3.6 million total viewers on March 20 — the show is on track to eclipse Atlanta‘s tally soon.
Under normal circumstances, such a strong ratings performance five episodes in would’ve triggered a second-season renewal. But the current circumstances are far from normal, with all Hollywood production shut down indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic. Given the uncertainty, FX brass are likely taking a wait-and-see approach, but Dave is expected to get a pickup as soon as networks and studios have an idea when production would be safe to resume.
There are asterisks to the Dave-Atlanta comparison. Both totals include linear, VOD and streaming, but Dave is benefiting from streaming on a much bigger platform, Hulu via FX on Hulu; Atlanta was available on the now-defunct FX Now. On the flip side, Atlanta‘s primary network is flagship FX, while Dave is a FXX original. The comedy-centered offshoot network has a slightly smaller reach and lower profile, though Dave’s tally includes repeats on FX.
In original, Live+Same Day linear ratings, Season 1 of Atlanta averaged 888K viewers on FX; Dave is averaging 217K viewers on FX. The newcomer is making up ground and excelling in digital viewing.
The show centers on Dave (Burd), a suburban neurotic in his late 20s who has convinced himself that he’s destined to be one of the best rappers of all time. Now he must convince his closest friends, because with their help, he actually might convince the world.
Dave is co-created by Burd and Jeff Schaffer, and executive produced by the pair along with Saladin Patterson, Kevin Hart and Hartbeat Productions, Greg Mottola, Marty Bowen, Mike Hertz and Scooter Braun, and SB Projects’ James Shin and Scott Manson. The series is produced by FX Productions.