American Horror Story: Freak Show has beaten out fellow FX favorites to become the network’s most-watched program when all viewing platforms are taken into account. Nielsen estimates place Freak Show viewership atop of Coven, the previous American Horror Story installment, as well as Season 7 of Sons of Anarchy. On average, 12.64 million viewers per episode tuned in for Freak Show.
The show’s impressive numbers include VOD and streaming viewership, showing that its record was aided by a growth in on-demand viewership. Those platforms accounted for 12 percent of its total viewers (1.91 million), which is the highest percentage for any FX program ever, according to the study. Created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the FX horror anthology has only grown in popularity each season. When Freak Show premiered in October 2014, it topped the season opener of Coven by 38 percent in total viewers.
Hotel, the fifth season of the series, will have its work cut out for it to top Freak Show‘s impressive ratings, in addition to filling the void left by the departure of series star Jessica Lange. However, the show’s star-studded cast seems equipped to manage it. Hotel has added Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson to the cast, and even Lady Gaga, who will play a lounge singer. We’ll also get to see more of old favorites, with the return of Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, West Bentley, and others. Plot details are scarce at this point, but with a hotel being central to the plot, there will be plenty of opportunities for exciting and horrifying storylines as guests check in and out.
The 13-episode season of the latest installment of American Horror Story starts production this summer and premieres in October.