FX’s Atlanta Premiere Had the Best Ratings of Any Basic Cable Comedy in Three Years

By
Photo: Guy D'Alema/FX

Donald Glover’s critically hailed FX comedy is shaping up to be a commercial success. Including three days of DVR replays, last Tuesday’s series premiere drew 1.8 million total viewers and 1.2 million telecast viewers in the network’s target demo of adults under 50. The latter figure represents the best premiere tune-in for any basic cable comedy since 2013’s launch of Inside Amy Schumer. What’s more, Atlanta also stands as the biggest comedy debut for any FX or FXX half-hour since 2011’s Wilfred, including last winter’s Baskets (1.75 million total viewers and 1.05 million adults under 50). FX benefited mightily from the rapturous buzz around the show, as well as an early start that allowed Atlanta to get sampled before a flood of broadcast, cable, and streaming comedies are unleashed later this month. It’s far too soon to declare the series a hit (no “Hotlanta” puns yet, please). But in a sign audiences liked what they saw, a second episode of Atlanta, which aired immediately after the premiere, retained 92 percent of the demo audience. As the best friend of one of Glover’s former alter egos might say, “Cool. Cool, cool, cool.”