American Horror Story's best days are most definitely behind it.
The veteran series returned with American Horror Story: Apocalypse Wednesday night, but the debut marked the least watched and lowest-rated premiere to date.
With 3.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, it still managed to come in first place in the 10/9c slot.
For comparison purposes the previous seasons debuted as follows:
- American Horror Story Season 1 launched with 3.2 million viewers and a 1.6 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 2 launched with 3.9 million viewers and a 2.2 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 3 launched with 5.5 million viewers and a 3.0 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 4 launched with 6.1 million viewers and a 3.1 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 5 launched with 5.8 million viewers and a 3.0 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 6 launched with 5.1 million viewers and a 2.8 rating.
- American Horror Story Season 7 launched with 3.9 million viewers and a 2.0 rating.
Given that American Horror Story: Apocalypse is the highly anticipated crossover between American Horror Story: Murder House and American Horror Story: Coven, these figures have got to be a little disappointing for FX.
The show has always been a heavy hitter in delayed viewing, so it remains to be seen whether it could recoup some of the erosion with that factored in.
It also typically experiences a big drop between the first and second episode of the season, so the numbers could continue to drop in the coming weeks, especially as the fall TV season gets underway.
Still, the show is still a huge hit for FX. If the numbers hold up, it will remain as the top show on the network, considerably ahead of Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans MC.
Mayans MC Season 1 is currently averaging 2.3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse focuses on what happens when the world comes to an end, and selected individuals are sent to a doomsday shelter under the strict rules of a lady named Wilhemina Venable.
Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Gabourey Sidibe, Taissa Farmiga, Stevie Nicks, Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Adina Porter, Evan Peters, Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson, Cody Fern and Jessica Lange are all slated to appear.
What are your thoughts on the ratings dive? Did you like the openers?
Hit the comments below.
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American Horror Story continues Wednesdays on FX.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.