Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story, Connie Britton, Nashville


File this under: Crazy-banana things we did not see coming!

American Horror Story's second-season premiere got off to a real bang last night, with a combined multi-telecast total of 5.79 million viewers. And now for the shocking part: Despite rave reviews (and strong premiere ratings) for AHS alum Connie Britton's new ABC series, Nashville, the freshman drama dropped a whopping 29 percent (say wha??) in viewership, leading AHS to beat out Nashville in the 18-34 demo.

So not cool! And certainly calls the longevity of Nashville into question--despite nearly every critic out there singing its praises. (Don't make us make a Lone Star reference just yet...It's just. Too. Soon.) Nashville received a total of 6.8 million viewers, according to early estimates.

"We congratulate Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto and Tim Minear, the producers, writers, crew, and especially our award-winning cast," FX Networks' President and General Manager John Landgraf says in a statement.  "Ryan's decision to make this show a new miniseries every year was a stroke of genius and the audience totally embraced the concept.  For FX to have Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story: Asylum on back-to-back nights as two of TV's top-rated shows is a wonderful achievement and a true credit to our showrunners."

Also fizzling out: NBC's Chicago Fire, starring Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, which dropped 21 percent in its first night against AHS.

The silver (green) lining? The CW's Arrow was the only network series to hold its own in week two up against American Horror Story. And Supernatural held strong, too, with 2.2 million. You can expect a full-season pickup for Arrow any nanosecond now.

Hey Ryan Murphy: Is it too late to sign up Connie for AHS' season two (alongside Dylan McDermott), just in case?

(Originally published Oct. 18, 2012, at 11:50 a.m. PT)

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