Written By | Joe Otterson
The premiere of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” is off to a solid start on FX in delayed viewing.
According to Nielsen Live+3 data, the launch of the second installment of the Ryan Murphy anthology series drew 5.5 million viewers, including the premiere telecast, three encores, and multiplatform viewing. The premiere telecast alone accounted for 3.6 million of those viewers in Live+3, making it one of the top cable premieres of the last two years. It also ranked number one for the night of Jan. 17 in multiple demographics, including adults 18-49, and total viewers.
Of its 5.5 million viewers, 1.5 million fell in the adults 18-49 demo, making it FX’s most-watched drama or limited series premiere in Live+3 since “Legion” drew 1.8 million last February.
Nevertheless, the series has failed to come close to the record-setting numbers achieved by the first season of the show “The People v. OJ Simpson.” The premiere of that series drew 8.3 million viewers in Live+3, rising to 12 million when encores were included, with 6.1 million in the key demo.
Inspired by actual events, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” profiles spree-killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), whose cross-country path of destruction earns him a spot on FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, before his murder of international fashion icon Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez) on the steps of Versace’s South Beach residence in 1997. Based on the book “Vulgar Favors” by Maureen Orth, the series examines how cultural homophobia and prejudice delayed law enforcement’s search for Cunanan, as well as Versace’s relationship with his sister and muse Donatella (Penélope Cruz).