Fox‘s Exorcist anthology series, based on the novel and film of the same name, is on thin ice. Despite the first season’s impressive reception, drawing ratings of 3.15 million, the second season only pulled 2.36 million viewers. Such a stark plummet in ratings is worrying, especially for a relatively new series.
The series, starring Alfonso Herrera (Sense8), Ben Daniels (Rogue One) and Geena Davis (The Fly), currently hangs in limbo. Despite being praised for its ability to put a fresh take on the decades old and oft-parodied horror trope of demonic child possession, it’s still unclear whether The Exorcist will be renewed for a third season or cancelled altogether.
Considering the second season wasn’t announced until May last year, it’s safe to guess that the show is either having production problems or that the studio isn’t confident in the property. Fox Chairman Gary Newman spoke to Deadline about the show’s uncertain future:
“We had hoped that we would be able to tap into a moviegoing crowd who didn’t want to go out to the movies… and we did get some viewership. I thought the show was incredibly well produced, the stories were great… [The Exorcist] is clearly a show that’s on the bubble.”
What pops this bubble could potentially be Disney‘s recent acquisition of Fox, which has created uncertainty for many of Fox’s properties, including The X-Files and The Last Man on Earth. In December, the show’s creator Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) expressed on Twitter his fear that the Disney/Fox deal could mean the end of the series:
“This Fox/Disney merger is awful for a number of reasons, and I can’t imagine it means good things for the future of our show.”
Slater’s pessimistic tweet may be more prophetic than it initially seemed and it’s clear he’s well aware of the pressure the series is under. So while there may be hope for the continuation of the series, right now things are looking bleak.