The bad (yet predictable) news: The premiere of FX’s “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” drew fewer live+same-day viewers than any installment of “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.”
The good news: Wednesday’s premiere was still the day’s top cable original in adults 18-49.
According to live+same-day data posted by Showbuzz, Wednesday’s “American Crime Story” premiere drew a 0.72 adults 18-49 rating and averaged 2.22 million overall viewers.
The numbers markedly trail the February 2, 2016 “People v. OJ” premiere, which drew a 1.96 in the demo and 5.11 million in overall viewership.
“The People v. OJ” fell considerably in subsequent weeks, but it never went below a 1.11 in the demo or 2.72 million in overall viewership.
The series-to-series decline is not at all surprising, however. In addition to lacking the novelty factor, the second season features a less notorious/iconic case.
The “Gianni Versace” numbers, moreover, are still strong by cable standards. The premiere was Wednesday’s #1 cable original in adults 18-49. It was a top ten performer for overall viewership.
Citing the changing television landscape, FX publicly dismisses the importance of adults 18-49 numbers. The network professes a preference for data that includes DVR and multi-platform viewership. “Gianni Versace” is expected to receive a substantial lift from delayed/non-linear viewing and thus look even more favorable under the microscope FX deems relevant.
The short story here is simple: “Gianni Versace” got off to an underwhelming start in comparison to “People v. OJ,” but its numbers were still quite solid by typical cable standards.