By Josef Adalian
The third installment of FX’s “American Horror Story” is off to a wicked good start in the ratings: 5.5 million viewers caught the premiere telecast of “AHS: Coven” Wednesday, easily making it the most-watched episode in the franchise’s three-year history.
Coven was up a stunning 44 percent from the then-record premiere last year of “AHS: Asylum” and a whopping 77 percent over the original “AHS” (which FX has now tagged “Murder House”).
As always, “Coven” did particularly well with viewers under 35, beating everything on network TV on Wednesday; among viewers under 50, “Coven” notched a 3.0 rating, beating everything on the networks but “Modern Family.” (“Duck Dynasty” was likely the top show on all of TV Wednesday night, but its ratings weren’t available as this story went to post.)
Two other impressive stats: “Coven” will end up beating both “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “NCIS” this week among adults under 50, and the debut of “Coven” drew slightly more viewers than the first season average for another iconic witch drama, 1998′s “Charmed.”