Fox won’t have to create any conspiracy theories to explain their ratings this time: The X-Files premiere numbers are looking pretty impressive.
Nielsen’s early returns for Sunday’s heavily marketed debut are still sketchy — they need to be “time zone-adjusted” since the sci-fi drama got off to a late start on the East Coast (beginning at 10:24 p.m.). But even if you ignore the inflated first half hour and just look at 10:30 to 11 p.m. on the preliminary national chart, X-Files reportedly had 13.5 million viewers and a big 5.1 rating among adults 18–49. We will update this post with the new numbers once Nielsen accounts for the late start and entire hour of viewership.
The network strategically put The X-Files debut right after the NFC championship game to give the series a huge potential audience. The sci-fi drama now shifts to Mondays — starting tonight — for the remaining five episodes.
Creatively, the first episode provoked divisive responses. Critics typically thought it was exposition-stuffed, sleepily acted and dull, while many fans countered that they were perfectly satisfied. Here’s Jeff Jensen’s recap for EW, and Darren Franich’s reviews of the first three episodes.
Also, here’s creator Chris Carter interviewed about that new conspiracy.