August 22, 2014 3:05pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Every Simpsons Ever' Marathon Kickoff Marks FXX's Biggest Day on Record
The 12-day endurance experiment that is FXX's Every Simpsons Ever marathon is off to a running start.
Thursday's kickoff of the iconic Fox cartoon's cable repeats marked the most watched day in FXX history — bringing in 18 of the top 30 telecasts to date. Primetime episodes averaged 1.01 million viewers, up 391 percent from the young net's typical showing.
Among adults 18-49, the average 623,000 demo viewers marked a massive 461 percent surge for a typical primetime showing. And looking across cable, FXX's The Simpsons accounted for 11 of the top 75 telecasts on the entire dial for the day among adults under 50.
Naysayers will be quick to point out that FX is helping lead the charge in TV's campaign to stop focusing ratings reports on live-plus-same day figures, but The Simpsons is a different breed. DVR lifts are typically reserved for original scripted fare, not off-net runs of existing shows. (Day one of The Simpsons marathon, by the way, was solely episodes from the late 1980s and early '90s.)
Comparable efforts — The Big Bang Theory on TBS, Modern Family on USA, Family Guy on Adult Swim — recoup minimal returns from time-shifted viewing, typically generating less than a 10 percent lift.
The Simpsons is a very long play for the FX brand. The record-shattering $1 billion rights deal is intended to usher more (younger) viewers over to the 1-year-old FXX and the upstart FXNow app. Simpsons World, the app's ambitious designated platform for the cartoon, launches in October — but more elements will roll out over the coming year as development continues and the product clears with more cable and satellite carriers.
"If we're going to buy this property that we believe so much in, we want to future-proof it," FX COO and program strategy president Chuck Saftler recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "The critical element of that is owning all episodes on a nonlinear basis all the time. … We look at FXNow as our fourth network that we're curating on top of FX, FXX and FXM."
FXX's Every Simpsons Ever marathon continues through Labor Day … if it doesn't destroy the world first.