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Scream Queens Ratings Proves Premiere Nights Aren’t Everything 

NOTE: This article is 6 years old and may not include the most recent information.

 Let’s be honest as much as we would all like to watch the hottest tv shows the night they premier between school, work, and just life in general sometimes it just isn’t possible. Luckily we live in a day and age where things like DVR, Hulu, and even pirited sites exist and it makes all our problems go away.

Last Tuesday was the anticipated debut of the new horror comedy from Ryan Murphy Scream Queens. It was up against the muppets and limitless  so many wondered how it would do.

Following its debut on Tuesday  Scream Queens gained 1.07 ratings points in adults 18-49 (or 65%) in rising to a 2.73 for its premiere. Tuesday’s youngest-skewing broadcast (median age: 36) was the night’s biggest gainer in both raw numbers and percentage, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates

The show added more than 2 million total viewers, rising from 4.04 million to 6.24 million. It also added about 1 million viewers via streaming on Fox Now and Hulu, the largest-ever lift for a Fox premiere (ahead of even “Empire”) in this window, to bring its three-day viewership to about 7.3 million.

Ryan Murphy had this to say about the numbers: “The story of the fall is just how much people are time-shifting and watching programming in new and much more dramatic ways than even six months ago”. He admits he was a bit confused on Wednesday morning but now realizes,” he’s had a huge learning curve as the week went on and viewing numbers started to come on from digital platforms. Nielsen’s overnights are only telling half the story.  “It’s like reporting on a football game after the first quarter.” Murphy went on to say that “younger viewers look at watching on premier night the same way they look at MySpace, it’s not cool so they won’t do it”

While commenting on the matter Murphy reported that he asked the cast members who are the ages of 18-28 don’t even own a tv. He knows that now days people want to watch how and when they want too.

He compares it to what he’s learned from American Horror Story, which has seen exponential growth in viewers over the course of its four seasons. “Anything that is horror, the viewing audience is biggest on the weekends, because young women want to watch it during the day with the lights on,”

Fox’s chairman Dana Walden had this to say about how ratings are now viewed.  “It’s tempting to jump on live/same day numbers, “It’s no longer the way we can look at our business,” she says. “This is the watercooler show. We knew once we had greater measurements to look at, it would be told in an accurate way. Being a trailblazer is hard.”

Before Fox can make any decisions about renewing the show they want to look at the whole picture and Murphy is optimistic that the show will do well with it being October and all.

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