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'American Horror Story' and its scary ratings

October 6, 2011 |  3:11 pm

'American Horror Story'Critics were divided on "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy's latest, "American Horror Story" on FX, and it looks as if audiences are too.

Wednesday's 10 p.m. premiere spooked 3.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. (Two repeats over the next few hours added nearly 2 million more.)

Those are decent numbers, and FX is understandably depicting them as a big win, with ratings in the 18 to 49 demographic matching "Nip/Tuck" — a previous Murphy hit for FX — and higher than for "Sons of Anarchy," now FX's most-watched show.

But "American Horror Story" drew fewer viewers than a number of previous FX drama premieres, including "Justified" (4.2 million), "Damages" (3.6 million), "The Riches" (3.8 million), "Dirt" (3.7 million), "Over There" (4.1 million) and of course "The Shield" (4.8 million), which remains FX's biggest opener.

The good news for FX is that "Horror" performed much better than two recent bombs, "Terriers" (1.6 million) and "Lights Out" (1.5 million).

"Horror," which concerns a troubled family embroiled in otherworldly happenings — including some high-jinks with latex catsuits — after it moves to Los Angeles, got a mixed reaction from critics, with a few withering pans thrown in. The Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara called it an "occasionally compelling mess of a show."

What did you think of "American Horror Story"?


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Photo: Connie Britton, left, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga in FX's "American Horror Story." Credit: Robert Zuckerman / FX.