'Fargo' series off to strong start with viewers, don't cha know

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The debut episode of the TV series based on Joel and Ethan Coen's quirky crime thriller "Fargo" is off to a strong start, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The trade publication says the first chapter of the FX series' 10-episode run pulled in 2.65 million viewers Tuesday night. Along with the two repeats of the show that followed back-to-back, the episode had a total of 4.15 million viewers, THR said.

By contrast, the series had about twice as many viewers as the hit AMC series "Mad Men" had in its recent Season 7 debut, the Star Tribune says.

The premiere episode of "Fargo" will repeat at midnight both Thursday and Saturday, and the next episode of the series airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. CDT.

"Fargo," which features Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton and "The Hobbit" star Martin Freeman, is set in Bemidji. The original "Fargo" movie was set in Brainerd, as well as Fargo, North Dakota.

The series tells a new story inspired by the tone and unique characters of the 1996 film, which earned Minnesota natives Joel and Ethan Coen an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

While the intention of series creator Noah Hawley was initially to produce a limited, 10-episode series, there may be more "Fargo" on the horizon, THR says.

"I said it was a 10-hour movie," Hawley told THR earlier this week. "It's an anthology. If you did a second 10-hour movie, it would be a completely new story from the Coen brothers universe."

The series is also a hit with critics. In addition to local praise from the Star Tribune, it has earned kudos from Time, Variety and THR.

In its review of the series, GQ online called "Fargo" a "wood-chipper off the old block."

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