Is an X-Files season 12 even possible? Before the season, CarterMatt did think that Fox could try to pull a fast one and renew the show even without Gillian Anderson on board. After all, there’s nothing that network executives love more than money, and finding a way to milk a franchise down to the very last drop.
Now that we’ve seen some of the latest Wednesday ratings though, it’s starting to feel as though there isn’t that much of a reason to bring The X-Files back even if Anderson was staying put. This past episode, (only the second of the season) ended up generating just a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic. While that’s not really any worse than most of the other shows on Fox we have to believe (slight X-Files nod intended) that this is a show they were expecting more out of given its fame and pedigree.
We do think that there are a few different reasons for the lower ratings last night, with two of them being a so-so reception for the tenth season and less buzz overall entering season 11. Beyond that though, the controversial Scully twist at the start of season 11 may have frustrated some loyal viewers who felt that it was a little beyond the pale. CarterMatt has certainly heard from viewers who would’ve rather seen the show end than cope with the idea of William being born out of Science based insemination.
For the sake of comparison, there wasn’t a single episode during season 10 of the series that drew less than a 2.1 rating in the demo — we know that it’s a little skewed to compare season averages here given that season 10 had an enormous start following the NFC Championship Game, but just looking episode by episode some of the numbers are concerning. Obviously The X-Files is in no danger of being moved off of Wednesdays, but with Anderson deciding to leave there’s nothing about these numbers that make us think that there is value in the franchise moving forward. It’s a great series that has earned its place in TV history. It’s fine to let it walk into the sunset.
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