American Horror Story: Freak Show Is Even More Popular Than We Thought

As you may have noticed, we’re pretty huge fans of American Horror Story here at Cinema Blend, and it turns out we share our favorable opinions with a huge chunk of the American TV audience. The premiere episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show was an absolute ratings smash, becoming the most-watched 90 minutes of FX television in the network’s 20 years of existence. FX is so happy with these numbers that network CEO John Landgraf has already renewed the horror anthology for a fifth season. Let the conversations begin on where we think that iteration will take place. My guess: outer space.

So let’s talk about how many people actually watched this thing. According to the press release, the Freak Show premiere “Monsters Among Us” brought in over ten million viewers total, with 6.54 falling into the coveted 18-49 demographic. And that was only after the Live+3 numbers were accumulated, so we can expect the Live+7 results to be even steeper. Already, this makes the episode the highest-rated piece of FX programming, beating out Sons of Anarchy’s Season 7 premiere, which only broke that record itself last month with 9.25 million total viewers. If you also take into account last Wednesday night’s two encore telecasts, the Freak Show numbers rise to 13.36 million.

Obviously, American Horror Story: Freak Show has already beat out the past three seasons of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s anthology. In comparison, Coven averaged around 6.54 million total viewers, while Murder House averaged around 4.03 million. This is a series that has yet to take a major dip in ratings, so it’s no surprise that Landgraf and other FX brass are interested in keeping this series on the air as long as possible. And you can bet they’re hoping the recently revealed spinoff American Crime Story does equally well, though that will be a tougher pitch.

From a network perspective, more seasons mean more chances to build up the series’ ridiculously impressive collection of accolades and nominations. (Though it will now be matched up against True Detective and a growing number of limited and event series.) From a viewer perspective, more seasons mean more chances for heavenly absurdities like the video below, in which Jessica Lange and the Freak Show crew perform David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”

That kind of entertainment just doesn’t happen anywhere else, for better or worse. Find new episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show every Wednesday night on FX. Fair warning: the next one is a doozy.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.