American Horror Story's risky format appears to be working.
FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum got off to a strong start last night with 3.85 million total viewers. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology series was once again particularly strong in the younger demos, posting 2.78 million Adults 18-49 (2.20 rating) and 1.78 million Adults 18-34 (2.63 rating). Among 18-34, it was the top program at 10 PM last night on broadcast or cable, while in 18-49, it finished second only behind CBS’ CSI (2.39 rating)
American Horror Story: Asylum, outpaced any single telecast of its predecessor, American Horror Story, and was up sharply from AHS‘ series debut last fall: +37% in Adults 18-49; +50% in Adults 18-34 and +21% in Total Viewers.
I saw a lot of kvetching online when the anthlogy format was announced after the end of S1. People were invested in the characters and didn't like how the season ended and that those characters would not be returning. Maybe not everyone in the audience has realized what is happening, and next week the numbers will drop, but the previews pretty clearly communicated that this season is an entirely new story.