If you are a big-time fan of The X-Files, then you may be aware that season 11 is currently in production up in Vancouver. Stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are bringing Scully and Mulder back, and the hope is to give you both the sense of drama and of whimsy that you had when the show returned back in 2016 — let alone back during the show’s original run.
The moment that Fox saw the ratings for season 10, it was pretty clear that they would be bringing it back. After all, the first episode of that season drew a monstrous 6.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic airing following the NFC Championship Game. As a whole, the six episodes averaged a 3.2. Even if you remove the inflated premiere from the equation, you are still looking here at a show that posted an average above a 2.5 for the final five episodes. That’s a better average than any show Fox had this past year other than Empire, and even with it The X-Files performed better than an Empire did the entire second half of its season.
Would Fox anticipate the show to still post ratings in that sort of ballpark? Probably not. For one, the tenth season was the first time anyone had seen these characters in many years. Beyond just that, it also had that NFL lift creating a huge pool of viewers right from the get-go. With more episodes this coming season (ten), it may also feel like less of a limited event. Going into season 10, the sentiment was to just enjoy those stories since there was no clear hope that there would be any more beyond that down the road.
Our feeling is that if we were a Fox executive, we would put our hopes on season 11 generating around a 2.0 on average. If the show even retains 80% of the final five episodes, it will still be considered an enormous hit and a show they will bring back again down the road. This is an era where so few scripted properties on network TV are even getting a 2.0 or higher anymore. Grey’s Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory pull it off, but now even some shows like Modern Family and NCIS are no longer the beasts that they once were. There are so many more viewing options, and thanks to the rise in DVRs and other methods of viewing, there is less of an incentive for people to actually watch live when they can do so on their own terms down the road.
In the end, there’s probably no concern as to whether or not the ratings will dictate a X-Files season 12; that is more likely to be a matter of discussion with Anderson, Duchovny, and the show’s longtime stars.
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If you are to head over to the link here, you can see some additional news on both The X-Files and what the future could hold for the property as a whole. The new season will likely premiere in either January or February. (Photo: Fox.)