There were times during “American Horror Story: Asylum” that we genuinely felt like the numbers were going to be a bit of a letdown given the aggressive promotional push and all of the hype surrounding the show; and with that in mind, we did not expect the “Coven” installment to be that much of a ratings warrior.
But, sometimes you can never underestimate the power of A-list casting and a great marketing campaign, and even though the premiere had a gratuitous first-person rape scene that made the entire first episode horribly uncomfortable to watch, the show still set ratings records. The 5.54 million total viewers is the largest audience ever for the show, and the 3.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic is the same thing. This rating was enough to beat everything on TV in the 10:00 p.m. Eastern timeslot, and it even had the best rating overall in the 18-35 demographic out of anything on the night (even “Modern Family,” the typical Wednesday-night warrior).
So how does “American Horror Story” pull this off? The biggest reason is the marketing campaign, which is always extremely well-done, super spooky, and grabs your attention without giving too much away about the actual story. But you also have to consider that a big reason for the success is simply that every season is a new story. There is no reason to binge-watch or catch up every year; you can simply hear from your buddies that the show is entertaining, and then decide to watch yourself and see if it is worthy of all the crazy hype.
With DVR numbers included, it’s possible that the show will pass the “Sons of Anarchy” premiere last month as the most-watched program in FX history. (The past two seasons of this show have been very time-shifted, with many viewers watching throughout the week). If the numbers stay anywhere near this, expect a season 4 renewal to come by the time you are celebrating Halloween.
Click here if you’re curious as to what is happening on “American Horror Story” next week, and we will of course have more news on the subject soon.