By mid-May, the broadcast networks must make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2018-19 TV season, and which… won’t.
As that deadline draws near, TVLine is singling out a few “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on their creative strides (…and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to cold, hard numbers.
Next up is a Fox supernatural drama in danger of getting banished from the schedule.
THE SHOW | The Exorcist (Season 2 aired Fridays at 9/8c)
THE CASE FOR KEEPING | As excommunicated exorcist Marcus and his (increasingly less) naïve protégé Father Tomas, Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrera, respectively, have one of the most captivating partnerships currently on television. Their relationship, which unfolds as the men of faith explore a new case each season, is rife with love, jealousy, admiration, betrayal and fear; the fact that Marcus fled after killing an innocent man to save Tomas in the Season 2 finale just means that there are even more levels of their fraught friendship to explore in a potential Season 3.
That Season 3, by the way, likely would feel like a different drama — by design. Each tight, 10-episode season is one chapter in an anthology, with only Marcus, Tomas and a few other characters carrying over from year to year. Put simply: Each new season is literally a fresh hell full of opportunities to explore new horror subgenres, which keeps the storytelling from getting stale. The Season 2 addition of Zuleikha Robinson as Marcus’ badass former apprentice Mouse, as well as a severe complication involving Kurt Egyiawan’s Father Bennett, also provide plenty of dark, scary fodder for more episodes of the exquisitely shot drama.
THE CASE FOR CUTTING | There’s only one reason for Fox to strike the excellent Exorcist from its primetime lineup, but that reason’s a biggie: the show’s frightful ratings. Averaging 1.3 million total weekly viewers and a 0.4 demo rating, The Exorcist is down sharply from the 1.9 mil/0.7 that mustered a renewal last year. Worse, it not only stands as Fox’s least watched and lowest rated program this TV season (save for some boxing show that airs on Saturday nights), it possesses the worst numbers of any non-CW drama.
Vote below, then state your own case for keeping or cutting The Exorcist.