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With the real world caught in a cycle of rage and furor over [fill in the blank], the politically charged American Horror Story: Cult might not have seemed like the best form of escape for some TV viewers, as evidenced by its initial premiere numbers being fairly low. But more than any other previous season, American Horror Story: Cult has been extremely impressive when it comes to people watching episodes in the days and nights after they air, with time-shifted totals nearly doubling in the first week, and indeed doubling for Episode 2.
Call it an American delayed viewing story -- or don't, seriously -- because American Horror Story: Cult is apparently making just as much progress in the post-Tuesday night timeframe as it is for its live airings. The most recent stats from TVBytheNumbers point out that Episode 2, titled "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," was watched by 2.38 million people on the night, which is the least-viewed second installment of any AHS season, earning a still-respectable 1.2 demo rating for adults 18-49. But after the Live+3 DVR totals were added up, the viewership jumped up to 4.76, doubling the former results, while the rating even skewed a little higher, rising up to a 2.5 for the key demo.
After all that delayed viewing was put together, American Horror Story: Cult was an easy winner for the night in the top 25 cable shows that weren't NFL football games. (Both of ESPN's Monday Night Football telecasts, as well as NFL Network's Thursday Night Football, took the top slots, and without very much delayed boosts.) The only series to get bigger percentage gains in both viewers (115%) and ratings (140%) was USA's The Sinner, but it still didn't top Cult in the actual totals.
When it came to the premiere episode "Election Night," American Horror Story: Cult saw its 3.93 million-strong viewership jump up to 6.91 million, with its demo rating also spiking. And with that episode, FX had announced another 2.1 billion people had watched the premiere when non-linear methods of viewing were accounted for, bringing the total to around 9.1 million people. Much more impressive than those early number had us thinking.
Of course, there's much wonder to be had as far as why American Horror Story: Cult is excelling in time-shifted viewing instead of live airings. After all, it's not up against the NFL on Tuesday nights, and it debuted weeks ahead of network TV's big premiere week, so there wasn't exactly the most stiff competition that would take viewers away. Maybe people keep waiting to hear what others think about the episodes before tuning in?
We're wondering if that trend will keep going with last week's "Neighbors From Hell," where some crazy shit went down and furthered the plot a bit, and in this week's "11/9," which offers a closer look at Evan Peters' antagonist-esque Kai Anderson. Especially since this is the big premiere week across the major networks. which will see AHS going head-to-head with NCIS: New Orleans and the series premiere of Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.
Are you guys watching American Horror Story: Cult every Tuesday night on FX at 10:00 p.m. ET? Or are you watching later? Let us know in the comments, and hit up our fall premiere schedule to see everything else your TVs will be cranking out in the coming months.