Fox’s ‘The Exorcist’: Bloody hell, this looks bad
The remake of the 1973 horror film has been exiled to Friday nights
August 23, 2016
One in a series of Media Life previews of the new shows debuting this fall. You can find past previews here.
Fox’s “The Exorcist”
Fridays at 9 p.m., starting Sept. 23
Ever since she returned from college, Katherine Rance hasn’t been herself. She refuses to leave her room, and her mom (Geena Davis) fears she’s suffering from more than just depression.
Mom goes to the family priest, Father Ortega, for help. Soon the family and their priest are fighting a demonic possession that Father Ortega will need outside help to fight.
He calls in Father Marcus Keane, a controversial but effective Mexican priest who is willing to try drastic tactics to help the Rances.
The show is based on the popular 1973 film “The Exorcist.”
“Exorcist” has a lot of issues, from its timeslot to its execution to its conception.
The timeslot provides the biggest worry. Friday nights have not been kind to new shows in recent years.
Friday generally posts very low ratings across broadcast, and Fox in particular has struggled on the night with the lowest-rated lineup of any of the Big Four.
It’s been a while since the network made a sustained effort with scripted content on Friday, and there’s no reason to think viewers’ patterns will change, especially since Fox has the youngest-skewing audience of the Big Four and thus the group least likely to be home on a Friday night.
But “Exorcist” has other woes, too. The show is, creatively, among the weakest of the fall pilots, and buyers question why the network remade the movie, which is so old many Millennials aren’t even familiar with it.
What media people say
Buyers say that if “Exorcist” had potential, it would be airing on a different night.
“Why would Fox put one of its few new shows on little-watched Friday?” wonders one buyer. “They must not have much faith in it.”
The show’s weak pilot concerned some buyers, too, with one saying not only was the writing convoluted but she was baffled by the need to revive something from four decades ago.
What our readers say
In a Media Life poll asking readers to weigh in on the fall season, they voted “Exorcist” the least-promising new fall program on Fox.
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