FXX kicked off an event this past Thanksgiving that gave folks the chance to celebrate with something other than turkey and stuffing. The cable network hosted the longest marathon in television history by airing 600 episodes of The Simpsons over 13 days from November 24 to December 7. This wasn't really expected to be a ratings winner, but the numbers are now in, and it turns out the gigantic marathon paid off in a big way. 18.2 million total viewers tuned in to the Simpsons marathon on FXX.
The Simpsons marathon attracted 18.2 million viewers overall, but 18.2 million isn't the only significant number. Of those 18.2 million, 9.9 million were in the valuable 18 - 49 age demographic. Throughout the week of the marathon, those numbers ranked FXX as the #6 highest rated basic cable networks in the 18 - 49 demo on average. In primetime, FXX earned the #10 spot among basic cable networks in 18 - 49. The historic Simpsons marathon was ultimately a major success for the viewer-challenged network.
The viewership and ratings for the Simpsons marathon were actually much higher than the numbers generally drawn by new episodes of the series on Fox. The show is currently in its 28th season, and the most-watched episode of Fall 2016 was only caught by 7.4 million viewers overall after delayed viewing. The marathon did better on FXX than any single episode of the surprisingly audience-friendly Season 28.
Of course, The Simpsons doesn't have to worry about getting cancelled due to ratings any time soon. Fox renewed the series for another two seasons back in early November, meaning that Homer and Co. are guaranteed to remain on the air at least through Season 30. The two seasons will raise the total episode count up to 669 episodes, which will result in The Simpsons breaking yet another TV record and becoming the longest-running scripted series in the history of television. Assuming that FXX does another epic marathon at some point in the next few years, it'll have to add another day or so devoted to all things Springfield.
The 2016 Simpsons marathon was the second time that FXX ran hundreds of episodes back to back. The network aired 552 episodes over 12 days back in 2014., and that marathon reportedly tripled the primetime audience for FXX, so it didn't come as a huge surprise that FXX would try it again. Considering how much of a success the 2016 event was for the network, we can probably count on more epic marathons in the future. Who knows? Maybe it could be a new Thanksgiving tradition. Classic Simpsons couch gags are certainly funnier than the crowds on Black Friday.