Fans turned out in big numbers Wednesday for the return of FX’s “American Horror Story,” which set series highs and dominated its broadcast competition in the key young-adult demo.
FX has a policy of not releasing ratings analysis of its series until three days of DVR playback are included, but according to same-night numbers released Thursday by Nielsen, “American Horror Story: Freak Show” drew a strong 3.11 rating in adults 18-49 (nearly million in this age group) and 6.127 million viewers overall.
This is the third straight year that “American Horror Story” has opened to a higher number. The premiere of the “Murder House” season in 2011 did a 1.59 rating and 3.184 million total viewers, and that was followed a year later by “Asylum” (2.20 rating in 18-49, 3.848 million total viewers), and then last year by “Coven” (3.05 rating in 18-49, 5.538 million total viewers).
“Coven’s” finale in January of this year did a 2.23 demo rating and 4.242 million total viewers.
The 3.11 rating in adults 18-49 towered over the broadcast dramas in the 10 p.m. hour: a 1.7 for CBS’ “Stalker,” and a 1.5 for both ABC’s “Nashville” and NBC’s “Chicago PD.” And among all programs on Wednesday, only ABC’s “Modern Family” fared better (3.6).