One of the things that we admire most for networks are when they are willing to take big risks. For Fox, that meant deciding to bring a version of “The Exorcist” to television. Sure, it’s a franchise name and there was some expectation for ratings that came with that, but it’s still a risk to put on a horror show on network TV — other than “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” That was a bit of a slam-dunk.
Now that we’re a decent ways into “The Exorcist,” we’re starting to see how it performs and what the viewer reactions are to it. With that, another question rises to the surface: Could we see more of it? That’s something we’re looking to highlight further in the latest edition of our Ratings Progress Report series.
The good news – It’s on a night first and foremost with fewer expectations of big numbers. We imagine Fox is aware that they are not going to generate huge ratings with anything that they put on the air in this spot, so they may as well try to get some love from horror fans. It’s averaging a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic, and we have seen worse. It also can fall back a little bit on DVR ratings to pull that average up. Horror naturally skews young, so there may be more viewers watching this via delayed viewing or other means. The numbers in the end may be a little skewed in terms of live viewing.
The bad news – Live viewing still matters more than people watching late and skipping through commercials. The ratings are mediocre at best for Friday nights for Fox, and at worst disappointing. The major cause for concern is that as we move away from Halloween, we tend to see ratings full at a fairly steady rate for horror-themed shows. We’ve seen this on several occasions in particular with “American Horror Story.”
Overall expectations – We’re not hopeful for more of “The Exorcist,” but we’re certainly going to keep our fingers crossed that something happens to turn things around for people who watch it. We just don’t see the trajectory pointing in the right direction.
What do you want the future of the show to be? Share now in the attached poll! (Photo: Fox.)