The series premiere of FX’s critically acclaimed animated comedy Archer got off to a sterling start on Thursday night (10 PM) delivering 1.8 million total viewers and 1.2 million Adults 18-49. Archer ranks as FX’s highest rated comedy series premiere in delivery of Adults 18-34 (786,000) surpassing Lucky (771,000, 4/03).
An encore presentation of Archer’s pilot episode (10:30 PM), which received a preview airing last fall, held up strong with 1.4 million total viewers and 955,000 Adults 18-49.
“The numbers for Archer are very encouraging and it is nice to see it off to such a good start,” said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. “With the stunning growth of Sunny’s fifth season and The League’s successful first season, our ambitious comedy expansion is moving full steam ahead.”
Thursday was the actual 20th Anniversary of The Simpsons premiere on FOX, and last night’s commercial television premiere of The Simpsons Movie on FX provided an outstanding lead-in for Archer. The movie (8-10 PM) delivered 2.3 million total viewers and 1.45 million Adults 18-49.
For the night (8-11 PM), the combination of The Simpsons Movie and Archer propelled FX to basic cable’s top network in delivery of Adults 18-49 (1.26 million), Men 18-49 (776,000) and Men 18-34 (485,000). The Simpsons Movie and Archer ranked #1 (675,000) and #2 (668,000) respectively in Men 25-54 among all basic cable programs. In Adults 18-49 The Simpsons Movie ranked #3 and Archer ranked #6, and #2 and #4 respectively among Adults 18-34. In the 10:00-11:00 PM time period, the two episodes of Archer topped The Jay Leno Show in Adults 18-34 (685,000 vs. 666,000) and Men 18-34 (436,000 vs. 364,000).
FX will air new episodes of Archer on Thursdays at 10 PM ET/PT followed by a repeat of a previous Archer episode at 10:30 PM ET/PT. On February 25, in lieu of a new episode of Archer, FX will run a four-episode Archer marathon from 10-midnight.
In next week’s episode (January 21, 10 PM), “Diversity Hire,” a new field agent, “Conrad Stern,” makes an impressive splash at ISIS, but Archer and Lana suspect there may be something all too perfect about their new diversity hire. “Training Day” follows at 10:30 PM.
Next Thursday from 8-10 PM ET/PT leading into week two of Archer, FX will air the commercial television premiere of the box-office smash comedy Superbad, starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader and Seth Rogen.
The premiere ratings for Archer surpass the premiere of the network’s other two comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League. Below are premiere ratings for all comedy series on FX since 2000 (numbers in 000s).
A18-49 A18-34 M18-34 P2+
Archer (1/10) 1,176 786 514 1,824
The League (10/09) 779 609 478 994
Testees (10/08) 700 559 361 976
Sunny (8/05) 925 473 252 1,418
Starved (8/05) 974 580 279 1,542
Lucky (4/03) 1,732 771 531 2,500
Son of the Beach (3/00) 1,018 502 354 1,482
Archer is an animated, half-hour comedy set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a spy agency where espionage and global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other. The series features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin as suave master spy “Sterling Archer,” whose less-than-masculine code name is “Duchess”; Jessica Walter as his domineering mother and boss, “Malory Archer”; Aisha Tyler as his ex-girlfriend and current co-worker, “Agent Lana Kane”; George Coe as his aging-but-loyal butler, “Woodhouse”; Chris Parnell as ISIS comptroller and Lana’s new love interest, “Cyril Figgis”; Judy Greer as Malory’s lovesick secretary, “Cheryl”; and Amber Nash as “Pam,” the director of human resources for ISIS.
Archer was created by Adam Reed and Floyd County Productions and is executive produced by Reed and Matthew Thompson. The show is produced by FX Productions.