It turns out we've all been waiting for a show about the Atlanta music scene and didn't even know it. Donald Glover's new comedy about an up-and-coming rapper and his manager in the titular city had the best premiere for a basic cable comedy in the "demo" (viewers ages 18 to 49) since Inside Amy Schumer in 2013, Vulture reports. According to the Wrap, 3 million people—1.9 million of them in the demo—watched the first episode of Atlanta when it premiered or on DVR over the following three days. It was the best debut for an FX or FXX comedy wince Wilfred in 2011. In terms of overall numbers, its 3 million viewers made it the second biggest basic cable comedy premiere over the past two years, behind Wrecked on TBS.
As UPROXX puts it: "That's a lot of words and numbers to say one simple thing: Atlanta is really popular." So why is Atlanta apparently succeeding where recent shows about music, such as HBO's Vinyl (expensive, canceled) and Netflix's The Get Down (very expensive, under-performing), failed? For one, it's getting great reviews: It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and FX claims it's the year's best-reviewed comedy on Metacritic. It also helped that it premiered before the glut of fall shows started competing for viewers. And, as UPROXX points out, Atlanta, unlike The Get Down or Vinyl, takes place in the present and "feels vital." Also, people apparently really like Donald Glover.