American Horror Story: Cult Premiere Rakes in 3.9 Million TV Viewers
The numbers are in for Tuesday’s premiere and they point to about 1.2% of the U.S. population – 3.93 million people – tuning in to see “Election Night”, season 7’s first episode.
That number is the lowest season premiere total for AHS since season 2, while American Horror Story was still trying to find its stride.
It’s a trend that is being repeated everywhere in the television world – declining viewership numbers as other forms of entertainment are grabbing a larger share of America’s free time. Though the final numbers for DVR and on-demand playback will not be in for awhile, it’s looking like season 7’s premiere isn’t going to be bigger than season 6’s.
Streaming services, while being counted in Nielson ratings (they include Hulu and Youtube TV), also give people access to many more small screen entertainment options than they ever had before. $500 a year gives you Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and Amazon Prime’s library, all of which are on demand, giving viewers the chance to watch shows as they please without needing to set a DVR.
Those services are likely the cause of the overall reduction in viewers for live TV and the first airing of new episodes. Since American Horror Story is set up as an anthology, previous seasons have little effect on the storyline and production of new seasons.
Most critics seemed to enjoy “Election Night”, which along with the anthology platform, gives credence to the thought that viewership is down for non-show related reasons.
Next Tuesday should be interesting as the last few seasons have seen a sharp decline in viewers from episode one to episode two. Measuring how deep of a dip Cult has between 1 & 2 should give us a better idea regarding how well the premiere has been received by regular show watchers.