- FX had the headline of the cable ratings week with an incredibly strong return from American Horror Story (2.78) at 10/9c. Despite the show's massive collapse last season (as low as a 0.85, and frequently in the vicinity of -30% year-to-year), the franchise somehow pulled itself all the way back to within 7% of last year's inflated premiere. This is AHS, so another collapse is probably coming, but it's kinda hard to imagine it being worse than last year. Even if it's exactly as bad as last year, that means -7% for the season, which would be extremely healthy!
- Almost as amazing as AHS was its 10/9c competition South Park (1.32), as another topical edition of the veteran Comedy Central cartoon exploded to 27% above last season's premiere. It was South Park's biggest raw number since the season premiere two years ago, which is really hard to pull off on cable.
- Horror Story was not the only thing coming up FX this week. On Tuesday, the Donald Glover comedy Atlanta was up to 0.56 in week two, 0.03 above the week-ago pilot (and 0.08 above the second ep on the same night). I said last week that it could compare more favorably with year-ago occupant The Bastard Executioner if it held up reasonably well. This definitely qualifies. (Week two of Bastard had a 0.39.)
- And FX also had the premiere of Pamela Adlon comedy Better Things (0.31) last Thursday. While not as impressive as its other network mates from this week, it (for now) lines up rather favorably with some of the stuff against which it will be compared. The most recent seasons of Married and The Comedians only got this high in raw numbers one time. And it was almost a full tenth higher than anything from the recently wrapped season of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Even Louie, the mega-acclaimed comedy with which Better Things shares a lot of pedigree, never went higher than 0.28 in its spring 2015 run.
- Sunday brought double-digit bounce-backs for Fear the Walking Dead (1.49) and The Strain (0.47) after big hiccups over Labor Day weekend. But the news was not nearly as positive for HBO's Ballers (0.38) and Vice Principals (0.29), which were down even more from two weeks ago when they were bumped out of primetime by The Night Of. These shows have had chaotic scheduling and rough competition (Ballers is probably hurt a lot by the return of the NFL), but they've still deteriorated quite a lot since their 0.79/0.55 premieres back in July.
- The premiere of note on Sunday was Showtime's Masters of Sex (0.13), matching the year-ago raw number with an assist from a season high Ray Donovan (0.36) lead-in. Maybe this will be another show like You're the Worst, which has seemingly stopped the bleeding at a low level.
|American Horror Story||FX||1||2.78||6||2.78||-7%||1.39||95||69%|
|Fear the Walking Dead||AMC||11||1.49|
|Talking Dead: Fear||AMC||11||0.42|
|The Last Ship||TNT||13||0.47|
|Queen of the South||USA||12||0.36|
|You're the Worst||FXX||3||0.14|
|Halt and Catch Fire||AMC||5||0.13|
|Masters of Sex||SHOW||1||0.13||4||0.13||0%||0.13||9||32%|
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