'American Horror Story: Asylum' Premieres to Insane Ratings

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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October 18th, 2012

via press release:

American Horror Story: Asylum Premieres to Insane Ratings

Television’s #2-Ranked Program in Primetime Wednesday (10/17)

Among Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and Men 18-34 Behind ABC’s Modern Family

And TV’s #1-Ranked Program in Those Demos in the 10 PM Time Period

Cable’s #1 Show on Wednesday Among Adult 18-49, Women 18-49, Adults 18-34, Women 18-34, and Men 18-34

Miniseries Debut Scares Up a Combined 5.79 Million Total Viewers, 4.17 Million Adults 18-49 and 2.7 Million Adults 18-34

Asylum Premiere Was the Talk of Social Media Wednesday


October 18, 2012 – The new FX miniseries American Horror Story: Asylum got off to an insane start as its premiere telecast (10/17/12, 10-11:05 PM) was the #2 two-ranked primetime program on television Wednesday in Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and Men 18-34 behind ABC’s Modern Family, and it was TV’s #1-ranked program in the 10 PM time-period in those demos. In addition, it ranked as cable’s top program on Wednesday in Adults 18-49 and Women 18-49.


For the night, Chapter 1 of American Horror Story: Asylum, “Welcome to Briarcliff,” drew a combined multi-telecast audience of 5.79 million Total Viewers, 4.17 million Adults 18-49 and 2.7 million Adults 18-34 (premiere at 10, and encore telecasts at 11:05 PM and 1 AM). Those totals marked respective gains of +15%, +29% and +50% over the multi telecast audience for the 2011 premiere of its predecessor American Horror Story (10/5/11).


“We congratulate Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto and Tim Minear, the producers, writers, crew, and especially our award-winning cast,” said FX Networks President and General Manager John Landgraf. “Ryan’s decision to make this show a new miniseries every year was a stroke of genius and the audience totally embraced the concept. For FX to have Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story: Asylum on back-to-back nights as two of TV’s top-rated shows is a wonderful achievement and a true credit to our showrunners.”


On a first-run basis, AHS: Asylum posted 2.78 million Adults 18-49 (2.20 rating), 1.78 million Adults 18-34 (2.63 rating), 1.62 million Women 18-49 (2.54 rating), 1.01 million Women 18-34 (2.97), 771,000 Men 18-34 (2.28 rating) and 3.85 million Total Viewers. The debut of American Horror Story: Asylum outpaced any single telecast of American Horror Story (10/5/11), and topped that miniseries’ debut with increases of +37% in Adults 18-49; +50% in Adults 18-34; +49% in Women 18-49; +54% in Women 18-34; +44% in Men 18-34, and +21% in Total Viewers.


American Horror Story: Asylum was the #1 program last night at 10 PM in Adults 18-34 by a landslide, beating Nashville (ABC) by +56% (1.78 million vs. 1.14 million); CSI (CBS) by +111% (1.78 million vs. 844,000); and Chicago Fire (NBC) by +133% (1.78 million vs. 763,000). It also was the runaway #1 program at 10 PM vs. broadcast in delivery of Women 18-34 outpacing ABC, CBS and NBC in that demo by +26%, +106%, and +112% respectively.


It ranked as television’s #2 program Wednesday at 10 PM in delivery of Adults 18-49 on Wednesday at 10 PM behind CSI (2.35 rating), and ahead of Nashville (ABC) by +8%, and Chicago Fire (NBC) by +45%.


FX’s lead-in movie to American Horror Story: Asylum, the broadcast premiere of Twilight: New Moon, turned in an outstanding performance, delivering 1.55 million Adults 18-49.


American Horror Story: Asylum also was a huge topic on social media last night according to Bluefin Labs Social Media (see Social Television chart below). According to Bluefin’s measurement of comments about primetime TV programs on Wednesday, AHS: Asylum dominated cable and was #2 in all of television for the night with almost half a million Total Comments. It was by far the #1 telecast in cable for the night and was the #1 scripted program in all of television. Its delivery of comments was 14x the amount delivered by last year’s American Horror Story premiere (437k vs. 31k).


Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum takes us into a Church-run haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past. Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner. From Nazis and serial killers, to mutants and aliens, no one is safe inside these walls. Starring Jessica Lange as “Sister Jude,” Sarah Paulson as “Lana Winters,” James Cromwell as “Dr. Arthur Arden,” Evan Peters as “Kit Walker,” Lily Rabe as “Sister Mary Eunice,” Lizzie Brocheré as “Grace,” Zachary Quinto as “Dr. Oliver Thredson,” and Joseph Fiennes as “Monsignor Timothy Howard.” Guest stars for the miniseries will include Frances Conroy, Chloë Sevigny, Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Mark Consuelos, and Ian McShane. American Horror Story: Asylum is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.


About FX

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 98 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series Sons of Anarchy and Justified; the miniseries American Horror Story: Asylum; the acclaimed hit comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Louie, Archer, Wilfred, BrandX with Russell Brand, and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. The network’s library of acquired box-office hit movies is unmatched by any ad-supported television network. FX's other offerings include the acquired hit series Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother, and live sports with UFC and NCAA football.



(SOURCE: The Nielsen Company, NHI)

  • Max

    gotta love it.

  • XL

    Wow! FX has to be happy with that.

  • jon

    @ max/ intensity

    all talk no bite….all u do is talk and got nothing to back it up.

  • Ricardo

    4.17 million Adults 18-49. What’s the rating?

  • the_troubke_with_the_truth

    Max if your not intensity( which I suspect you are) then yall should be twins. This show is doing better than half the shows on broadcast in the key demos. how is that not a big hit for a cable channel? Get over yourself, your pathetic.

  • Ricardo

    I did some math and the ratings could be 3.7! But that’s crazy, right?

  • RJ


    It’s a 2.2 demo.

  • Jay

    Man, that skewed soooo young!

  • Feedback

    How is that “insane”? The Walking Dead pulled a 5.8 on a lower-rated cable network. Now THAT is insane.

  • Gleebo

    The ratings for True Blood, AHS, Sons of Anarchy, and Walking Dead prove that if you want original drama and sci fi programming you turn to cable channels. Avoid the networks unless you are looking for singing competitions and procedural cop dramas.

    Even shows like Falling Skies, Dexter, Shameless, Boredwalk Empire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad are lesser but decent ratings draws that are safe enough to continue as long as the people making them want to do it.

    The same can be said for cable comedy. Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer, The League, others I am not thinking of are safe bets to stick around for a while on their cable homes.

    It gets said here a lot that network television is dying and cable is where to go and its mostly right. Network television will never die but they will survive by the safest and cheapest routes possible completely putting a lid on producers of new shows ever wanting to take their product there when cable is an option that gives them more freedom. Probably a lot less money up front but in the long run its a better choice.

  • ZmaX

    @ Feedback

    they used “insane” as a joke/reference to the show’s title ‘Asylum’

    kinda like if they said ‘Arrow’ was on “target”
    or ‘Once Upon a Time’ was “magical”

  • j

    Grey’s Anatomy, Revolution, Once Upon a Time, and Revenge aren’t cop dramas.

    I would say that cable IS the best place to be if you’re a “genre” show – of the T5 scripted cable shows, 4 have supernatural elements: Horror/True Blood/Game of Thrones/Walking Dead. The other one is Sons of Anarchy.

  • I like this show

    AHS sucks not scary nor entertaining.

  • Grimman

    So far not as interested as I was after episode one last season, but it’s gonna be good.

  • Martine

    @ Gleebo. There are some wonderful shows on network tv. Person of Interest, Grimm and Haven are all rather off the beaten path. And no one would call Revenge, Revolution or Once Upon a Time cop shows.
    Not to mention the fact that half the cable shows you mentioned are actually cop shows anyway. Dexter and Breaking Bad are certainly in the cop show category even if they are told from the criminals point of view. I don’t think its such a big difference. Besides post apocalypse survival shows are rather plentiful. Not quite as bad as cop shows, but up there with medical shows.
    My two favorite shows are both network shows. I love American Horror Story, and am thrilled its back, but frankly many of the more original long running cable shows, like True Blood have really lost their direction.
    Also some of my best guilty pleasure shows( like Pretty Little Liar) are network.
    When show creators and writers switch from cable to network and back, hoe can you say one has better written shows? they are written by the same people.

  • AHS for the win!

    I love the show. Its actually off to a better start then the first season. its a lot creepier, but its not your basic boring horror porn ( like Saw, for example). Its definitely a thinking persons campy scare ride. I love the way they put the same actors in totally different roles, so you can’t help but have trouble readjusting to seeing them as this different person. Which is of course the whole point. Actors that were badass in the first season are victims in the second season. Actors that were playing an innocent are now guilty, and vice versa. Its going to do better and better as people who generally are bored b y scary movies( everyone) realize that this is much better. That said it scared the heck out of me, and that never happens. Anyone who watched this episode without cringing is a vegetable.

  • nerv

    If only The Walking Dead and American Horror Story were on the same network, I bet both shows will scare the heck out of their competition in ratings. I have to say that if only broadcast networks give show producers more creative freedom like cable networks do, many viewers won’t have to spend extra bucks to look for quality programming.

  • City Kitty

    the first show did not seem particularly wonderful to me. But, it did introduce several avenues that, if fleshed out, could be very intriguing!!! It is on my schedule.

    Can anyone confirm— Is ‘bloody face’ the boy who was abducted by aliens?

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