In its initial 10 pm airing, American Horror Story spooked 3.2 million viewers, with 2.0 million falling in the coveted 18-49 category — that equals the demo rating of the series debut of Horror Story cocreator Ryan Murphy’s Nip/Tuck and is 33 percent higher than Sons of Anarchy‘s 2008 bow. Encore AHS telecasts added 1.84 million viewers and 1.2 mil adults 18-49.
“We’re really thrilled by the premiere ratings performance of American Horror Story,” FX president John Landgraf said in a statement. “We know that when the Live+7 ratings come in, that of the 13 drama series FX has premiered, AHS will rank at least No. 2 all-time in Adults 18-49 behind The Shield, and there is a possibility that it could be our highest ever.”
UPDATE: It looks like Landgraf’s prediction is proving dead-on: Live+3 ratings data propelled AHS to the No. 2 spot behind The Shield among adults 18-49 and No. 1 among women 18-49. Live+7 ratings, which will likely give AHS more of a lift, are due later this month.
While Horror Story measured up well against Sons and Nip/Tuck — and more than doubled FX’s most recent drama debuts, Terriers and Lights Out — it fell shy of the total audience Justified (4.2 mil) drew a bead on in March 2010.