We already know that Donald Glover's long-awaited FX series Atlanta is undeniably great, but is it also undeniably popular? According to the stats surrounding last week's double-episode premiere, the answer is a very firm hell yes. FX Networks announced Tuesday that Atlanta bagged the "best audience of any basic cable primetime scripted comedy" in more than three years in the coveted 18 to 49 demographic.
When measured under the Live+3 (i.e. DVR-esque viewing included) criteria, that brings Atlanta's total audience for the series premiere to an impressive 3 million. As for that braggable 18 to 49 demographic, 1.9 million of the premiere's viewers fell within that range. 1.2 million people of them wisely watched the premiere telecast instead of waiting around like a lame, marking the strongest primetime comedy debut since Inside Amy Schumer in 2013. Critically speaking, well, don'tjust take our word for it. Let's crunch the numbers.
Atlanta now stands as the most critically acclaimed comedy series of the year, currently resting atop a Metacritic score of 90. Are you really about that numbers life? Here's some more:
"Among FX Networks series, Atlanta is FX’s most-watched original comedy series premiere in both Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers since Wilfred’s premiere in June 2011. The Live+3 lift of the series premiere of Atlanta in Adults 18-49 (72%) and Total Viewers (68%) was one of the highest among FX comedy series premieres, behind Baskets in Adults 18-49 (80%) and Total Viewers (69%). In January, the series premiere of the FX comedy series Baskets was the most-watched basic cable primetime comedy series premiere since 2014 in both Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers on a Live+3 basis."
So with Atlanta doing numbers both critically and commercially, what should we lowly viewers expect in the episodes ahead? According to the show's stars, it's best to expect the unexpected. In fact, maybe just don't bother with expectations at all. "I don't want to release too much, because I don't think even the first few episodes encapsulate everything the show is about," Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi) told Complex last week. "This show is really going to cover all things, and nothing at all."