'Simpsons' marathon launches FXX as a major cable network
Having taken the crown as the longest TV marathon ever, The Simpsons can add another achievement to its trophy case—launching FXX as a viable network.
While many at FX expected the “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon to draw viewers, the results proved to be beyond anyone’s expectations. Bill Carter at The New York Times has a breakdown of the 12-day marathon’s viewership, and the results would even make Comic Book Guy crack a smile.
Simpsons episodes screened in prime time averaged 1.32 million viewers over the course of the marathon, a huge jump from the network’s previous average of 206,000 viewers at the same time. These numbers not only catapulted FXX to third place among all cable networks in the 18-to-49 demo during the marathon, but it also made it the highest rated network in all of cable television for three out of the 12 nights.
Somewhere, Mr. Burns is whispering “Excellent” to himself as he looks over the marathon’s results.
The marathon also proved to be a hit with fans. The Every Simpsons Ever Twitter profile tweeted along with each episode, retweeting viewer photos and tweets from Simpsons writers, artists, and others involved with the show’s production.
Only a year old, FXX was, prior to the marathon, a struggling network that took over what had previously been Fox Soccer. The Simpsons marathon gave the channel a needed jolt in the ratings and paved the way for FXX’s nightly programming in the months to come.
Visit the Times for a full analysis of the ratings, along with input from FX executives and James L. Brooks, who helped develop the show with Matt Groening and described viewer affection for the marathon as “emotional in ways that we didn’t anticipate.”