Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza in Legion

‘Legion’ Ratings: First Episode Of Marvel’s New Series Gets Off To A Good Start

Marvel’s new superhero television series Legion has seen a strong start for the series premiere in Nielsen’s Live+3 ratings. The show, which aired on FX on February 8, pulled in a total of 3.27 million viewers following its release, with 1.8 million of those viewers coming from the 18-49 demographic. Of course, those numbers only include viewers who watched the show live and via DVR and not streaming via video-on-demand services, which means actual viewership numbers could be a lot higher.

According to Deadline, FX’s new Marvel series saw something of an underwhelming start in its live+same day ratings when the series premiered on February 8. The series initially managed to pick up a total of 1.6 million viewers in total, with 0.8 million of those viewers coming from the 18-49 demographic. However, the Live+3 ratings give Legion’s successes a considerable boost, with its total viewership growing to 3.27 million viewers, with 1.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. That’s a significant increase for the show and likely much closer to what Marvel and FX were looking for in terms of Legion‘s performance.

The new Live+3 figures give Legion a 102 percent bump in viewers aged 18-49 and a 101 percent bump in total viewers. With that in mind, Legion has seen the highest ever ratings for a premiere on FX, however, it’s still lagging behind the series peaks of some of FX’s most popular dramas, including Bastard Executioner, which peaked at 3.61 million and Taboo at 3.43 million.

Legion is a show clearly targeted towards the 18-49 demographic, and with that in mind, it’s no surprise that FX has seen a somewhat delayed success with the show. What’s more, many viewers in the demographic are likely to have watched via streaming and video-on-demand services, which could mean Legion‘s actual viewing figures are even higher. However, as it stands, Nielsen’s system for measuring a show’s ratings doesn’t take into account streaming or VOD figures.


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According to Variety, Legion is Marvel’s latest television series and the first to air on FX. The series follows a young schizophrenic man named David Haller, played by Dan Stevens. Haller realizes his mental illness may actually be a manifestation of his prodigious powers and that there could be both men and monsters after him.

The show is produced by Noah Hawley, best known for Fargo. Alongside Stevens, the show stars Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Jeremie Harris, Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, and Aubrey Plaza. The first season, which premiered on February 8, is planned to be eight episodes long but has already received a good deal of critical acclaim. The cast and particularly Dan Stevens have been subject to a good deal of praise, along with Hawley’s visuals and design, and the nonlinear, unreliable nature of the storytelling. That being said, the series has received some criticism for what has been described as an “unreliable narrative.”

The cast of FX's 'Legion'.
The cast of FX’s ‘Legion.‘ [Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

Marvel continues to develop its umbrella of television shows, with a number of different series spread across different networks and streaming platforms. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in its fourth season on ABC, however, Marvel is now focusing a lot of their attention towards streaming platform Netflix, which is home to three ongoing Marvel series: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. They’ll be joined by three new Marvel series heading to the streaming service this year: Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher, along with a new series headed to ABC, The Inhumans.

The second episode in Legion‘s first season airs February 15 on FX.

[Featured Image by FX]

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