TV Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Scares Up More Records, Jumps 44 Percent

The third season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's anthology series, "Coven," ranks as one of FX's top telecasts to date with highs in total viewers and all demos.
Michele K. Short/FX

The latest iteration of FX anthology series American Horror Story debuted to huge gains on Wednesday night, pulling in a record 5.54 million viewers in its original telecast -- an improvement of 44 percent over the previous series high.

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Coven, which moves TV's most Emmy-nominated work down to New Orleans, also averaged 3.87 million adults 18-49 -- another high for the series, and an improvement of 39 percent from the previous record. It also outranked all 10 p.m. series on the broadcast networks in the demo. By all standards, the episode ranks as one of FX's highest-rated telecasts to date.

Last year's American Horror Story premiere set the previous series records with 3.85 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 (2.78 million demo viewers). It dipped throughout its run before pulling in 2.3 million viewers and a 1.3 adults rating during its January finale. 

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And while American Horror Story has seen overnight ratings fluctuate throughout its two-season run, its averages have been quite steady. The first run, which premiered in October 2011, averaged 4.39 million viewers and a 3.02 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Seven Day returns. At the time, it was cable's most time-shifted series.

Last season, Asylum, held steady with 4.24 million viewers and a 2.98 rating among adults 18-49 after seven days of DVR usage.