Donald Glover has been one of the most recent kings of comedy across multiple platforms. He wrote for 30 Rock, gave a hysterical performance as Troy on Community, and riddles jokes and punchlines throughout his songs. His 2012 mixtape Royalty isn’t his only association with the word. In an interview for GQ, the collective behind success of Childish Gambino, who call themselves Royalty, discussed their involvement in refining and crafting what would later become a huge success. Glover and Royalty are looking to continue their reign, as initial ratings for the new FX series Atlanta bode well for both them and FX.
Glover had described Atlanta as “Twin Peaks, but for rappers”, stating that he wanted to just “tell weird stories.” He described the show as a passion project for him, a way to show the true life that lives in Atlanta, and a way to show white people they “don’t know everything about black culture.” Following the shows premiere this past Tuesday, it may still be true that outsiders don’t know everything about black culture, but many tuned in to find out. Deadline has reported that the premiere of Atlanta received over 1.1 million viewers.
The first episode of Atlanta had received 1.1 million viewers by only 10 p.m. the day it released, and the second episode which followed directly after garnered 960k viewers. These numbers reflect live and same day viewership, meaning the numbers are expected to skyrocket as more people tune in following the buzz. It is important to note that FX feels that these initial numbers do not accurately reflect the popularity and success of the show, as it only represents a small portion of modern day viewers. To give you a more accurate sense of what these numbers mean, FX’s most recent comedy series Baskets, created by Louis C.K. and Zach Galifianakis, premiered to roughly 1.04 million viewers. After 3 days, the number rose to 1.75 million, becoming the most watched basic cable comedy series premiere since 2014. By its third episode, Baskets was pulling in an average of 1.5 million viewers, raising it to the status of most watched scripted comedy series of 2016.
If Atlanta is able to woo audiences through its odd yet real story telling, and if FX’s previous comedy show trends are an indication of success, then Glover and Royalty are looking at another big win. This news also comes on the heels of the recent 3-day music event that Glover created to debut his upcoming album Pharos. Though very little is known about the album and the event itself, fans and attendees are hailing the work as the next great album.
Checkout the full first episode of Atlanta below.