American Horror Story ended on a high note.
The FX thriller from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk capped off its first season run with a record 3.22 million viewers -- a strong finish for the top-rated first season series in the network's history.
The finale, which drew mixed reviews from critics, delivered 2.2 million viewers in the coveted 18 to 49 demographic, and ranked as cable's No. 1 program in all of key demos Wednesday. Once DVR viewership is factored in for what Nielsen named the year's most time-shifted program, the final tally will likely exceed 5 million total viewers.
Still more impressive, over the course of the season, AHS averaged 3.3 million adults in the 18 to 49 demo on a live plus 7 basis, making it tied with TNT's Falling Skies as the top rated new scripted series in cable.
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Murphy addressed the future of the series, which he explained would become a seasonal anthology show going forward. Next season, which is expected to bow around Halloween 2012, will feature a new cast, house, theme and storyline.
"Every season of the show will be a different haunting," said Murphy. "What you saw in finale was the end of the Harmon house and the second season of the show will be a brand new home or building to haunt. Just like this year, every season of the show will have a beginning, middle and an end."