In their 25 years on the air, The Simpsons have accumulated truckloads of accolades.
Now they can add one more to the list: saviors of struggling cable networks.
The suits over at the FX Networks-owned channel that was once known as Fox Soccer owe Springfield’s most famous family one helluva thank you basket according to a new report in Ad Week on Monday, since reruns of the beloved animated series have pretty much saved the network.
FXX was ranked 93rd in the primetime cable rankings of networks viewed by adults 18-49 when it flipped over from Fox Sports, but has now risen to 45th, thanks almost entirely to viewership and visibility brought about by a mega marathon of every Simpsons episode ever that marked the launch of the series in off-network syndication on FXX in late August.
The channel shot up to Number One among adults 18-49 during the marathon, and has maintained its hold on primetime viewers ever since with extensive reruns and mini-marathons of episodes grouped thematically.
But Now industry observers are waiting to see if viewers will stick around for original series and non-Simpsons fare. FX is shifting the sophomore season of comedy series You’re The Worst over to FXX, and the network also plans to debut Man Seeking Woman, another original comedy, some time next year.
The success of the marathon means that FXX now has more solid footing to pursue those original series.
“This allows us [to do] what we always intended to do, which is build out a really strong identity for the channel with original programming,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraaf told Ad Week. “But it allows us to do it more quickly and more seamlessly than we thought we were going to be able to.”
Read More: Ad Week
Brief Take: A mega marketing stunt for a struggling network pays off as viewers embrace a channel that has cast itself as the ultimate fan of an iconic series.