Its reviews might be mixed, but FX's "Tyrant" is showing some life in the ratings. Tuesday's episode drew a larger audience than the previous week's.

When it comes to a serialized drama’s first few broadcasts, the concept of a ratings increase rarely even enters the conversation. The dialogue instead concerns how long and far the series will fall before it reaches a point of stability.

Subverting the grim expectations created by that pattern, FX’s “Tyrant” actually enjoyed a live ratings increase in its third week of broadcast.

After slipping to a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating with 1.39 million viewers for its second broadcast, “Tyrant” responded with a 0.6 rating and a viewership average of 1.70 million in week three.

Though its viewership average trailed the 2.10 million posted by the premiere, the third episode matched the inaugural broadcast’s adults 18-49 number.

While the week-to-week gain might be unusual for a show within the genre, it was technically signposted for “Tyrant.” Despite posting a lower live rating, last week’s episode actually bested the premiere in Nielsen’s Live+3 results. The initial adults 18-49 interest in the series clearly remains intact.

Because the show is both early into its run and removed from the ratings territory occupied by bona fide blockbusters, there is no way to fairly formulate a conclusion about the show’s future at this point.

But the week three increase should serve as both a source of optimism and a source of vindication for the series, which has received mixed-to-negative reviews from many critics.