Fargo season 3 ratings sink to new series low for episode 5


Ratings for season 3 of FX’s “Fargo” fell to an all-time low in the 18-49 demo for episode 5.

The most recent episode of FX’s Fargo saw the anthology series sink to a new series low among adults 18-49, while also nearly matching a viewership low mid-way through its third season.  It comes as some critics and viewers have complained that the latest self-contained story has been slower moving and less complex than the first two critically acclaimed seasons.

The fifth installment of season 3, “The House of Special Purpose,” which saw the Stussy brother’s ongoing feud culminate in the beating of Ray’s ex-con fiancée Nikki Swango at the hand of Varga’s henchmen, attracted just 977,000 viewers and a 0.26 rating among adults 18-49, according to Showbuzz Daily. It wasn’t helped by competition from sports programming such as the NBA and NHL playoffs, as well as a busy news cycle.

This marks just the second time in the show’s history that it has dipped under 1 million viewers. The previous low occurred in October 2015 for the second episode of season 2, which drew 962,000 viewers and a 0.27 adults 18-49 rating.

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It’s customary for the series’ ratings to fall throughout the season ahead of its conclusion. For instance, last season’s finale was its highest-rated episode of the season with 1.82 million viewers. However, this season’s ratings have been relatively modest compared to the first two seasons, as broadcast and cable networks alike have seen their live viewership numbers continue to dip since 2014 and 2015.

FX moved Fargo to Wednesdays for the first time this year to a night where the network has found success with such shows as American Horror Story.  Fargo creator Noah Hawley’s recent Marvel series Legion also aired on Wednesday nights earlier this year.

Next: Mary McDonnell joins Fargo season 3 cast as Ruby Goldfarb in episode 5

Season 3 of Fargo revolves around Ray and Emmit Stussy, whose feud over a valuable vintage stamp results in two murders in one night and an ensuing investigation. The talented cast includes Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Stuhlbarg and David Thewlis.

Fargo continues Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.