Across town, FX said Thursday morning it was thrilled that 3.2 million people watched it’s unveiling of “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy’s latest TV series, “American Horror Story,” Wednesday night at 10 p.m.
That said, “AHS’s” launch did not attract as many viewers as had: the 2002 launch of Michael Chiklis’ corrupt-cop drama “The Shield” (4.8 million), the 2004 premiere of Denis Leary’s firehouse drama “Rescue Me” (4.1 million), and the 2010 launch of Timothy Olyphant lawman drama “Justified” (4.2 million).
It is, however, on par-ish with the 2003 launch of the plastic surgery drama that put Ryan Murphy on the map: “Nip/Tuck” (3.7 million), the 2007 unfurling of Glenn Close lawyer drama “Damages” (3.7 million) and the 2007 first dishing of Courtney Cox soap “Dirt” (3.7 million).
And yes, we too noticed, that the “AHS” opening attracted about 100,000 fewer viewers than had that third episode of NBC’s “Free Agents” the same night – but “Free Agents” got canceled, while “AHS” got a ticker-tape parade.
(See “Nobody said TV was fair”, above.)
Anyway, FX re-ran “American Horror Story” two times right after its premiere -- At 11 p.m. and 1:22 a.m. Thursday – so it could report it averaged 1.4 million viewers in the first repeat and 438,000 viewers on the second rerun.
Which is why some members of the press reported giddily on Thursday that “American Horror Story” copped 5 million viewers in its first outing.
In case you missed it, “American Horror Story” is about a family of three who move from Boston to Los Angeles “to reconcile past anguish” and things go downhill from there, as the show’s name implies.
In its ratings report, FX focused mostly on the new show’s performance among the 18-49 year olds TV networks target. Here FX had a good story to tell.
The series premiere was the #1-ranked program on basic cable Wednesday night among viewers in the age bracket. Its first telecast attracted about 2 million in the demo, beating the season premiere of Comedy Central’s “South Park” (1.98 million) and the Major League Baseball National League Division Series (1.8 million).