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‘People v O.J. Simpson’ Premiere Guilty of Drawing 5.1 Million Viewers

FX dropped the gavel on its cable competition Tuesday

Tuesday’s premiere of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” called 5.1 million total viewers to the witness stand — or at least, to their couches, to witness the opening episode of the highly anticipated FX miniseries.

That impressive total was top across cable in primetime, beating second-place “Fixer Upper” (3.5 million) over on HGTV by about 46 percent.

Rounding out the Top 5 among total viewers on cable last night were History’s “Curse of Oak Island” (3.41 million) Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (3.39 million) and OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” (2.9 million).

How big was “The People v. O.J. Simpson” versus Tuesday’s cable competition? The sixth most-watched show, “The Kelly File” (2.5 million), had fewer than half its eyeballs. Finishing cable’s Top 10 telecasts last night were a movie and a trifecta of reruns.

For more perspective, the FX offering was only even beaten by five broadcast shows in terms of total viewers.

Here are broadcast’s primetime ratings from Tuesday, to compare.

“The People v. O.J. Simpsons” nabbed 2.5 million viewers from the important 18-49 demographic with its premiere.

FX only reports ratings with three-days of delayed viewing, so the network won’t be publicly gloating about last night’s accomplishment.

The first season of anthology series “American Crime Story” airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on FX.