×

‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ Ratings Rise After Headline-Making Knife Discovery

With the real case back in the headlines last week, FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” edged up in the ratings Tuesday.

FX will report three-day ratings next week, but according to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day” estimates for last night, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” averaged a 1.25 rating in adults 18-49 and 3 million viewers overall for its regular 10 p.m. telecast — besting timeslot drama competitors “Limitless” on CBS (1.1 in 18-49) and “Of Kings and Prophets” on ABC (0.8). For “People v. O.J. Simpson,” this was a week-over-week increase of 8% in the demo (from 1.15) and 10% in total viewers (from 2.72 million) for the show’s most-watched episode in three weeks.

Tuesday’s episode, the sixth of 10 in the series, came four days after news surfaced that a knife was found buried on Simpson’s former property. It wasn’t investigated until now because a Los Angeles police officer had sat on it for nearly 20 years.

On average through its first four weeks, the first season of FX’s “American Crime Story” anthology series has averaged a 1.5 in 18-49 and 3.83 million total viewers in same-day numbers. And in “live plus-3,” which includes three days’ worth of time-shifted viewing and VOD, it mushrooms up to 3.0 in the demo and 7.21 million. Among original scripted cable series this winter, only AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has been drawing better than “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

The show has been especially strong in Xfinity on Demand, with its Feb. 23 episode the top-rated program for the week on the service, ahead of even “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Walking Dead.”

FX sought to take advantage of the free publicity by scheduling a special, commercial-free marathon on Saturday night. It didn’t do great ratings wise (averaging about 530,000 viewers), but it gave more people a chance to discover the buzzed-about series.

Over the weekend, NBC also benefited from heightened interest in the “Trial of the Century” with its two-hour special Sunday edition of “Dateline” called “The People v. O.J. Simpson: What the Jury Never Heard,” featuring an interview with Marcia Clark, the prosecutor in the 1995 murder trial. It averaged a 1.4 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 5.94 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, making it the newsmagazine’s top-rated Sunday edition in more than three years and its top-rated on any night since a Friday installment in November 2014.

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets

    TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets 50th Anniversary Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Sesame Workshop announced a premiere date for “Sesame Street’s Historic 50th Anniversary Celebration” and “Brave New World” adds Sophie McIntosh. CASTING New Zealand actress Sophie McIntosh has been cast in USA Network’s “Brave New World” series, Variety has learned exclusively. She will play the recurring role of Jane, and joins a cast [...]

  • HBO Max Adds Three Execs to

    HBO Max Adds Three Execs to Drama Team

    HBO Max is continuing its spate of executive hires. The nascent WarnerMedia streamer has now tapped Roberto Alcantara, Chika Chukudebelu and Mark Tuohy to all be vice presidents in the drama department. The announcement was made by Joey Chavez, EVP of original drama at HBO Max, to whom they will all report. Chavez and his [...]

  • STRANGER THINGS

    'Stranger Things 3' Is Most-Watched Season to Date, Netflix Says

    The Upside Down delivered upside for Netflix in the third quarter: “Stranger Things” season 3 was the most-watched season of the series to date, according to the streamer. In the first four weeks of release, “Stranger Things” season 3 was watched by 64 million member households, Netflix said in the Q3 letter to shareholders. The [...]

  • HBO Max - WarnerMedia

    HBO Max Orders LGBTQ Movement Docuseries From Scout Productions, Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti

    HBO Max has commissioned a four-part docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. Titled “Equal,” the series will explore the true stories of leaders and activists of the movement. Each hour-long episode will feature interviews, reenactments, and never before seen footage. The series hails from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. “We are extremely proud to [...]

  • Dead To Me

    Streaming Shows Nearly Doubled in Last Year, Boosting Los Angeles TV Production

    Television production in Los Angeles has received a major boost from streaming shows, according to a new report from the permitting organization FilmLA. The number of new digital projects nearly doubled between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 development cycles, increasing approximately 85.3% in a year. The number of digitally distributed original series in production has increased by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content