L+SD Ratings: “Assassination Of Gianni Versace” Premieres Well Below “People v. OJ,” Still Wins Wednesday Night

The “American Crime Story” premiere was Wednesday’s #1 cable show.

ACS Versace | FX Networks

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.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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