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The Verdict on The People v. O.J. Simpson

According to Variety, FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson finished its season as the second most-watched cable series of 2016, behind only The Walking Dead. Though the conclusion of The People v. O.J. Simpson was of course predetermined, the last episode attracted over 6 million viewers.

To see how the demand for this show grew over time, the Demand Expressions™ in the United States for the second-to-last episode and the finale episode are compared for seven cable dramas that ended in April 2016.

Similar to Nielsen’s audience ratings, out of these titles The People v. O.J. Simpson is behind only The Walking Dead in terms of Demand Expressions™. As the most popular title in the United States during its run, The Walking Dead has nearly 4.5 times more demand than The People v. O.J. Simpson, while The People v. O.J. Simpson has only 1.2 times the demand of the next-most popular title on this list, The Magicians.

Demand for The People v. O.J. Simpson increased by over 50% between the final two episodes. In contrast, The Walking Dead, which ended its season in typical cliffhanger fashion, had a demand increase of only 26%, and several less popular cable shows, such as Shadowhunters and Togetherness, actually decreased in demand leading into their final episode. As opposed to the other, purely fictional shows, The People v. O.J. Simpson clearly benefited from the continuing public interest in the case, capturing an echo of the millions of people who tuned in to watch the real verdict.