The People v. O.J. Simpson Ratings Are In: Did the Trial Captivate the Nation Again?

American Crime Story's first installment opened to huge numbers on FX

By Billy Nilles Feb 03, 2016 10:37 PMTags
People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime StoryFX

FX has another hit on its hands.

The numbers are in for the premiere of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, making it the network's most watched series launch ever. Pulling in 5.1 million total viewers, the Cuba Gooding Jr.-starring series bests tops FX favorites including American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, and Fargo.

In the key 18-49 demographic, the series' 2.0 rating marks the network's best since 2002 when The Shield premiered to a 2.4 demo rating (though only 4.8 million overall.)

For proof at just how huge an opening this is for the network, here's a few stats to compare to:

- American Horror Story's first season, Murder House, premiered to 3.2 mil and a 1.6 rating
- The Americans' first bowed to 3.2 mil and a 1.2
- Fargo earned 2.7 mil and a 0.8 
- Sons of Anarchy rustled up 2.5 mil and a 1.2

One set of famous eyeballs in The People v. O.J. Simpson's mammoth audience? One of the series' central characters, Marcia Clark. The former prosecutor, who famously failed to convict Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman, visited The View on Wednesday, where she shared her thoughts on the series. "I think it's amazing," she said. "It's really amazing. I can't watch it the way most people do, to me it's reliving a nightmare."

The People v. O.J. Simpson also stars Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, and David Schwimmer.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Watch: Sarah Paulson Talks Portraying Marcia Clark