The American Horror Story: Cult premiere absolutely brought a great deal to the table in terms of drama; however, we’re also wondering if the premise alone was enough to scare some people out there off.
The ratings are in for the first episode of the seventh season, and for the first time in the history of the franchise, the show took a big tumble in terms of premiere numbers. Tuesday’s premiere drew a 2.0 rating, and while that’s great by cable standards, it is now down almost 28% in live+same-day viewing from the 2.8 that the show drew for the American Horror Story: Roanoke premiere. (American Horror Story: Freak Show and Coven had the strongest starts courtesy of 3.1 premieres, whereas Hotel had a 3.0. Before this year, the drops were minimal.)
Were people scared off of Cult because of politics? That’s possible, but it could’ve also been for a few different factors. For example, last year had the super-mysterious marketing campaign helping it, given that there wasn’t exactly much that anyone knew about the show before they had a chance to check it out. Before that, previous seasons had a little bit more in the way of star power. For example, Hotel had a heavy push thanks to Lady Gaga appearing as The Countess, whereas the first four seasons all had the iconic Jessica Lange. There are big stars in Cult including Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Colton Haynes, and Billie Lourd, but they don’t necessarily have the same pull with casual viewers that a pop star like Gaga would.
Here is the interesting thing about Cult as a whole, though — if the show actually holds on to most of its premiere audience for the entirety of the season, it would draw the best overall ratings for the show since Coven. One of the things that is pretty indicative of this franchise is that it gets off to really great starts, only to then lose a ton of its live viewers a few episodes in. Last season, for example, it went from a 2.8 the first episode down all the way to a 1.8. Clearly, there were a good many people who watched, didn’t like what they saw, and just walked away. (Ironically, we actually liked Roanoke more than Hotel by a pretty wide margin.)
What do you think about the American Horror Story: Cult premiere ratings?
Do you think that politics played a role? Share in the comments below, and head over here if you didn’t see our CarterMatt piece previewing the next installment of the show. (Photo: FX.)