Donald Glover's Atlanta Had the Highest Ratings For a Comedy on FX in Years

Screenshot via FX.
Screenshot via FX.

Atlanta’s mysterious, beautiful trailers paid off. Lots of people wanted to know a little bit more about what this show even was other than slow pans across the landscape.

Clover Hope gave the first few episodes a stellar review, but what are the cold hard numbers? Vulture reports that Atlanta has exceeded expectations, with the highest numbers for premiere viewing for any basic cable comedy show since Inside Amy Schumer premiered in 2013.

It’s also the biggest comedy half-hour premiere for FX since Wilfred debuted in 2011. There were 1.8 million total viewers, including DVR replays, 1.2 million of which were in the network’s target demo of adults under 50. That’s a broad target, but still very awesome.


In another good sign for the show, 92% of the demo viewers stayed tuned in for the second episode, which aired immediately after the first. The Washington Post took this opportunity to ask, “Is Diverse TV Here to Stay?” pointing out that a multi-camera sitcom with a predominantly white cast like The Big Bang Theory brings in around 20.3 million per episode in comparison. But The Big Bang Theory also airs on CBS, which has very different reach from FX. They generally opined that “diverse TV” is becoming the new normal, and a show like Atlanta having a successful start is proof of that. It may also be proof that “diversity” isn’t a passing fad or genre.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Really enjoying Atlanta. The music, the cinematography, the amazing Donald Glover. It is a brilliant show with both laughter and sadness. Just beautiful.