The final verdict is in, and FX’s acclaimed “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” has finished as cable’s most-watched new series of 2016 and as the network’s top-rated first-year series ever.
An examination of the “trial of the century” through the eyes of the lawyers on both sides, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” closed out its 10-week run last Tuesday with 6.2 million viewers and a 2.6 national rating among adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates, marking a six-week high in total viewers and a five-week high in the demo.
On a “live plus-7” basis through eight weeks, “People v. O.J. Simpson” averaged 7.5 million viewers, a 3.15 rating in adults 18-49 and a 2.8 rating in adults 18-34. It was Tuesday’s No. 1 program on television during its run among adults 18-34 and No. 2 behind only NBC’s “The Voice” in 18-49.
Among all scripted dramas to have aired multiple times this spring, the FX series ranks second in adults 18-49 on cable (behind only AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) and seventh overall, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.
Inclusive of linear and non-linear viewing through the first eight episodes, the limited series was averaging 12.7 million total viewers each week. It is anticipated that this average will hold and likely increase with the final two episodes and the accumulation of non-linear viewing in the weeks and months to follow.
And time spent viewing “The People v. O.J. Simpson” equates to 143.9 million hours or 8.63 billion minutes, according to Nielsen estimates supplied by FX.
The limited series has been hailed by critics from the outset, with its score on Metacritic (90) the highest for any new show on television in 2016 and the second highest among all TV series in 2016 — behind only FX’s “The Americans.”