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‘Fargo’ Season 3 Premiere Outpaces Season 2 in Delayed Viewing

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Joe Otterson
© Provided by Variety

The “Fargo” Season 3 premiere on April 19 saw enough lift in Live-3 to put it a notch above Season 2 in total viewers.

According to Nielsen data, the Season 3 premiere grew to 3 million total viewers over three days, putting it 8% above Season 2’s opener (2.78 million). In the key adults 18-49 demographic, Season 3 was down 2% percent compared to Season 2. The most recent lift was good enough to elevate “Fargo” to the number five show of the night in the demo.

In the live-same day ratings, Season 3 was down from Season 2. This season’s opener drew 1.4 million viewers and a 0.4 rating. Season 2 opened to 1.6 million and a 0.5 rating, for a decline of  12.5% in total viewers and 20% in the demo season-to-season. While the series has never been a ratings juggernaut, it has been a critical darling and a consistent awards winner. To date, the series has been nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one, and 36 Emmy Awards, of which it has won five.

Set in 2010, the third installment of “Fargo” centers on Emmit and his slightly younger twin brother Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor). Emmit, the Parking Lot King of Minnesota, sees himself as an American success story, whereas Ray is more of a cautionary tale. Forever living in his more successful brother’s shadow, Ray is a balding and pot-bellied parole officer with a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt – and he blames his brother. Their sibling rivalry follows a twisted path that begins with petty theft but soon leads to murder, mobsters and cut-throat competitive bridge.

Carrie Coon stars as Gloria Burgle, the steady chief of the local police department. A newly divorced mother, Gloria is trying to understand the new world around her, where people connect more intimately with their phones than with the people around them. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Ray’s girlfriend, Nikki Swango, a recent parolee with a passion for competitive bridge. David Thewlis stars as V.M. Vargas, a mysterious loner and true capitalist whose bosses plan to partner with Emmit, whether he likes it or not.

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