FX’s Zach Galifianakis Comedy ‘Baskets’ Off to Promising Ratings Start

FX’s new Zach Galifianakis-fronted comedy “Baskets” wasn’t clowning around in its debut last Thursday, as it has become the most-watched comedy premiere on basic cable in 18 months.

In Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates, “Baskets” averaged a 0.83 rating in adults 18-49 (1.05 million) and 1.75 million viewers overall — the best for a comedy on ad-supported cable since the network’s own “Married” in July 2014 and the second best since Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” in April 2013. While admittedly 1.75 million total viewers is still pretty low, it points out the challenge that every network faces in the comedy genre these days.

The “Baskets” premiere spiked from its “live plus same-day” average by 80% in adults 18-49 — the biggest lift for an FX comedy to date. By comparison, “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” and “The Comedians” grew last summer by 61% and 34, respectively. “Baskets” also grew in total viewers by 69%, again better than “Sex&Drugs” (57%), “The Comedians” (34%) and all other FX comedies to date.

In “Baskets,” Chip Baskets (Galifianakis) wants to follow his dream of being a French clown — however, reality keeps interfering. It was co-created by Executive Producers Jonathan Krisel, Louis C.K.and Zach Galifianakis. M. Blair Breard, Dave Becky, Marc Gurvitz and Andrea Pett-Joseph are also executive producers. The series is produced by FX Productions.

Also on the cable comedy front, IFC’s “Portlandia” kicked off its sixth season with gains over last year in key demos, according to “live plus-3” ratings from Nielsen; it was up 3% vs. last year in 18-49 (to 266,000) and 15% in adults 25-54 (to 275,000). Thursday’s premiere averaged nearly 400,000 total viewers overall (up 87% from its same-day delivery).

 

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