‘Hell’ fires up FX rating

Caan starrer preems to 2.7 million viewers

Cable net FX drew its highest level of households and viewers Sunday night with the latest installment of its original pic franchise, “A Glimpse of Hell.”

“Hell,” starring James Caan, Robert Sean Leonard and Daniel Roebuck, preemed Sunday night to a 3.3 rating in cable homes, reaching 2.2 million households and 2.7 million viewers.

That’s the highest number of households and viewers the net has drawn with any program — original or acquired.

The previous record was held by a 1998 run of “Terminator 2,” which drew 1.4 million households and 2 million viewers.

“Hell” is the first original project commissioned by FX prexy of entertainment Kevin Reilly, who joined the net from Brillstein-Grey in September.

“It feels good because the biggest thing I’m hoping for is momentum. This just sort of adds fuel to the fire,” Reilly said. “If this helps gain more credibility for the network with viewers and the creative community, I’ll be happy.”

Pic’s the third original movie from FX, which preemed its movie franchise in August with “Deliberate Intent,” followed by “The Sight” in October. Both pics earned about a 2.4 cable rating, reaching 1.3 million households and about 1.9 million viewers.

While the franchise is clearly working for the net, FX prexy Peter Ligouri said he is not likely to be tempted to ramp up beyond the one-per-quarter pace he’s set for the movies for this year and next.

“We are on a quality, not quantity, strategy here,” he said. “We do look at these movies as tentpole events; we’re very selective and support each one in almost a theatrical approach. We’re heartened by how they’ve been received, but we want to continue to be selective.”

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