From 'American Horror Story' to 'It,' scary clowns are definitely having a moment

Film Box Office
Bill Skarsgard in scene from the movie “It.”

On the heels of  Stephen King’s It‘s breaking box-office records over the weekend comes the news that FX’s American Horror Story: Cult opened big, too.

The seventh-edition premiere of the anthology franchise from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk was the second-most-watched basic-cable entertainment program of the year to date among total viewers and the 18- to 49-year-olds advertisers pay to target, according to FX.

First, of course, is AMC’s The Walking Dead, which scares up its ratings with zombies, not clowns and politics.

Read more: Philly native Jaeden Lieberher stars in killer clown movie ‘It’ 

Clowns, possibly imaginary but undeniably creepy, were a big part of the premiere, “Election Night,” which opened with the results of fall’s presidential election and revealed Sarah Paulson’s character to be very, very afraid of circus performers, especially those found outside the circus.

I don’t happen to suffer from fear of clowns — sometimes referred to as coulrophobia — but I’m definitely American Horror Story-challenged. I watched the premiere, as I do most seasons, to make sure I still felt this way, and I’m afraid I do. Adding politics to the usual insane mix made it feel more heavy-handed than usual. Besides, Saturday Night Live‘s election-night sketch with Dave Chappelle nailed liberal election-night horror way back in November.

Millions clearly disagree with me.

The premiere of the show, which will air its second installment at 10 p.m. Tuesday, attracted 6.91 million viewers within three days of its airing, and an estimated 9.01 million when repeat telecasts and viewing on other platforms is accounted for, said the network.


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