FX's spy drama "The Americans" got off to a strong start with its premiere Wednesday night, besting the premieres of the network's "Sons of Anarchy" and "American Horror" story, FX said Thursday.
The initial broadcast of the "Americans" premiere at 10 p.m. grabbed 3.22 million total viewers, 1.57 million of them in the advertiser-preferred 18-49 demographic. Those numbers narrowly edge out the series premiere of "Sons of Anarchy" in the key demo (the "Sons" premiere drew 1.55 million viewers 18-49) and the "American Horror Story" series premiere in total viewers ("AHS" drew 3.18 million total viewers with its maiden episode.)
Of course, time will tell if "The Americans" will grow to enjoy the popularity that those two shows currently enjoy. The most recent season premiere of "'Sons" drew 5.4 million total viewers, with 3.5 million of them in the key demo, while the premiere of "American Horror Story: Asylum," the second iteration of the series, took in 3.9 million total viewers with 2.8 million in the 18-49 demo.
With two re-airings factored in, "The Americans" -- which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as a pair of Russian spies embedded in '80s America -- drew a total of 4.7 million total viewers, with 2.54 million of them in the 18-49 demo.
"We're very happy with premiere ratings for The Americans and, just as importantly, we're proud of the widespread critical acclaim the show has received," FX president and general manager John Landgraf said of the performance.
The series is executive produced by Graham Yost (of FX's "Justified"), Joe Weisberg ("Falling Skies") and Joel Fields ("Rizzoli & Isles," "Ugly Betty").