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FX’s big campaign for The Americans paid off Wednesday night, with 3.22 million viewers tuning into the inaugural telecast of the pilot episode.
The series premiere, which aired from 10 and 11:38 p.m., also delivered 1.57 million adults in the 18-49 demographic. As FX drama premieres go, it outranks American Horror Story (3.18 million) in total viewers and Sons of Anarchy (1.55 million) in the key demo. It also bests recent time slot-showings from American Horror Story, which exited the Wednesday hour last week with 2.3 million viewers for its season two finale.
During the course of the original episode and two encores, The Americans pulled 4.7 million viewers and 2.54 million adults 18-49 to FX.
“We’re very happy with premiere ratings for The Americans and, just as importantly, proud of the widespread critical acclaim the show has received,” said FX president and GM John Landgraf. “We have no doubt that when we get the Live+Seven time-shifted ratings from [Wednesday] night, The Americans will rank among the best series debuts ever on FX.”
The Americans was created by Joe Weisberg, who joins Joel Fields and Justified‘s Graham Yost as executive producers. It stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB spies living undercover in the 1980s suburbs of Washington, D.C.
“Comparisons with Homeland are inevitable,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief TV critic Tim Goodman wrote of the first two episodes, “but the pacing and nuance driving FX’s look at enemies among us might have real staying power.”
Beefing up its original offerings for the winter, FX is having its highest-rated month since its launch. Although American Horror Story finished its season down year-over-year and recent comedy debut Legit has gotten off to a slower start, the network recorded all-time highs for total viewers, adults 18-49 and all key male demographics.
Justified recently premiered to its most-watched episode ever, pulling 5.3 million total viewers with Live+Seven.
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