FX's new 10-part limited series and critical juggernaut Fargo received a warm reception among fans, drawing 4.15 million total viewers and 1.79 million Adults 18-49 for its first installment, a very strong initial number which will amount to only a small fraction of its final tally once time-shifted viewing arrives.
Here's what FX Networks EO John Landgraf had to say about the premiere in a statement.
"We are incredibly proud of the towering creative achievement by Noah Hawley and everyone involved with Fargo. The performances by Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and the entire stellar cast are nothing short of extraordinary. This is truly one of the best shows we've ever had on the network. We're thrilled with the initial viewership last night and really excited for audiences to see the rest of the miniseries."
The premiere episode, "The Crocodile's Dilemma", which ran from 10:00-11:37 PM, and encore telecasts (11:37 PM and 1:13 AM) combined to deliver 4.1 million Total Viewers and 1.79 million Adults 18-49. Fargo's first-run episode at 10:00 PM posted 2.65 million Total Viewers and 1.02 million Adults 18-49, which were respective increases of +100% and +67% over its lead-in half hour (the broadcast premiere of the movie Contraband). The network expects a massive spike in viewership when Live+3 ratings data becomes available on Monday and inclusive of Live+7 data in approximately three weeks.
FX will air three additional encore runs of the premiere episode of Fargo, "The Crocodile's Dilemma", this week on Wednesday, April 16 at 12:20 AM ET/PT; Thursday, April 17 at 1:00 AM ET/PT; and Saturday, April 19 at 1:00 AM ET/PT.
In next Tuesday's second episode, "The Rooster Prince" (Airs Tuesday, April 22 at 10:00-11:15 PM ET/PT), Deputy Solverson (Allison Tolman) begins to suspect that Lester (Martin Freeman) is involved with the murders, but her new boss points her in a different direction. Meanwhile, Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) investigates the blackmail plot against a man known as the Supermarket King Milos Stavros (Oliver Platt). (Written by Noah Hawley; directed by Adam Bernstein.)
An original adaptation of the Academy Award-winning feature film, Fargo features an all-new "true crime" story and follows a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and "Minnesota nice" that made the film an enduring classic. Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as "Lorne Malvo," a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman "Lester Nygaard," played by BAFTA Award winner and Emmy-nominated Martin Freeman. Colin Hanks plays Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety when he comes face-to-face with a killer. Allison Tolman also stars as "Molly Solverson," an ambitious Bemidji deputy.
Rounding out Fargo's colorful cast of recurring characters will be Emmy winner Bob Odenkirk as "Deputy Bill Oswalt," Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated Oliver Platt as "Stavros Milos," Screen Actors Guild Award winner Kate Walsh as "Gina Hess," Glenn Howerton (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as "Don Chumph," Joey King as "Greta Grimly," Peter Breitmayer as "Lieutenant Schmidt," Tom Musgrave as "Bo Munk," Josh Close as "Chazz Nygaard," Russell Harvard as "Mr. Wrench," Adam Goldberg as "Mr. Numbers," Keegan Michael Key as "Bill Budge" and Jordan Peele as "Webb Pepper."
Fargo is produced by MGM Television and FX Productions.