“X-Files” return does it for Fox

Reunited: David Ducvony (l.) and Gillian Anderson.
Reunited: David Duchovny (l.) and Gillian Anderson.



Strong football numbers power X-Files return

(Editor’s Note: Contains spoilers.)

The Truth is still out there.

The X-Files‘ return Sunday night was as good as gold as the return of the Emmy-winning 1993-2002 series paid dividends for Fox.

According to Nielsen, the “10th season premiere” of the series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson scored a 15.1 household overnight rating and 28 share, a 6.1/19 final rating/share in the key 18-49 demo, and 16.1 million viewers. It was the most-watched episode of The X-Files since 2001.

Of course, it helps to have a strong lead-in: the NFC Championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and Charlotte-based Carolina Panthers. The contest drew 45.7 million viewers, a 21.4/37 household rating/share and a 15.7/42 in the adult 18-49 demo. Despite those numbers, it was the lowest rated NFC Championship Game since 2009. (The AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos drew 53.3 million viewers for CBS- the most ever for a championship game in the early window.) Charlotte’s WJZY, which was acquired by Fox in 2013, scored a 54.2/73 with the NFC Championship – the highest rating ever for the station. WJZY signed on as an independent in 1987.

Monday’s second episode of X-Files handily won its time period, drawing a 3.2 rating in adults 18-49.

This section contains spoilers.

The first episode of the “six-hour event”- screened first at New York Comic-Con last October – seemed to have some rust as the series hadn’t been on TV in fifteen years. The only changes is Scully is now a surgeon; and yes, they’re carrying smartphones now, so at least Mulder and Scully are up with the times.

Quite interesting: Mulder was led to believe the nine years of the X-Files wasn’t what it was made out to be. Indeed, there were several plot twists and turns, including a woman who claimed her fetuses were stolen by aliens, was killed when an UFO destroys her car.

At the end of the show, we see a rather disturbing  appearance by the Cigarette Smoking Man, saying after fourteen years, the X-Files – have been reopened.

Aside from the laughable “Truth Squad With Tad O’Malley” stuff (which had yours truly in stitches given this is supposed to be a drama…sort of), the return of the X-Files was quite solid. It’s like Mulder and Scully never left – proof series creator Chris Carter still has what it takes to write a good script. Grade: B

As for the layout for the remainder of the series, Monday’s and next week’s installments are standalones (or often referred to as “Monster Of The Week” episodes) and is airing out of order.

(Numbers provided by The Programming Insider.)