Here’s how Zach Galifianakis and ‘Baskets’ delivered cable’s top comedy premiere in more than a year

Zach Galifianakis in “Baskets”

Zach Galifianakis on FX’s "Baskets.”

(Ben Cohen / FX)

Zach Galifianakis may play a loser clown on “Baskets,” but he’s a winner with his new FX comedy.

Thursday’s premiere of the series, which has film star Galifianakis playing a shlubby guy forced to get a job as a rodeo clown after obtaining expensive circus training in France, drew 1.8 million total viewers over a three-day period, according to Nielsen.

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That’s the most-watched comedy premiere for any basic cable series since 2014.


And “Baskets” got the largest three-day “lift” of any FX comedy, increasing its overall audience by 80% over that time frame. That’s far more than the boost for FX’s acclaimed “Louie” (up 34% in delayed viewing) and suggests that “Baskets” could become an on-demand favorite going forward.

What’s the appeal for viewers in this dark comedy? Well, “Baskets” was generally well reviewed (a solid-if-not-stellar score of 67 out of 100 on the aggegregation site and was co-created by Louis C.K., who rose to major stardom with “Louie.”

But “Baskets” weaved its spell thanks largely to Galifianakis, a comedy star with a huge following thanks to “The Hangover” movies as well as his own Web series, “Between Two Ferns.” Curiosity was strong about what he might do with his own cable series.

What did you think of “Baskets”? Will you keep watching? 


Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT