As the Disney-Fox merger is making headlines as a landmark deal, a lot of folks behind the wheel of Fox franchises are wondering what the merger will mean for their respective series. This includes creator of The Exorcist television series Jeremy Slater, whose show hasn't ever been a ratings juggernaut for the Fox network. Now, the showrunner has cited branding issues with Disney as a possible reason why the series might not see Season 3, saying this about whether the show could possibly be renewed:
You know, I don't think anyone knows at this point. I think this Fox-Disney deal... it doesn't mean great things for 20th Century Fox as a studio and Fox as a network, but you also never know. Now, we're not necessarily on brand for Disney, but they're also going to need a lot of content to fill their streaming platforms and networks, so I don't know. I think there's a lot of options.
It's definitely a confusing situation, as The Exorcist is one of those franchises currently trapped between two worlds. While Disney did not acquire the Fox network as part of the deal, they did acquire 20th Century Fox Television, which is one of the production studios that oversees the series. Jeremy Slater also makes a good point in stating to EW that the franchise's subject matter isn't a topic Disney has pursued, and it's probably safe to say that they've tried to stay away from demonic possession.
At the same time, the main reason behind Disney acquiring Fox was to continue to compete in a changing market of consumers by offering a wide variety of content. As off-brand as The Exorcist may be, it goes without saying that Disney will need to fill a horror gap in the streaming service it plans to launch as a competitor to Netflix down the road. For this reason, Jeremy Slater appears to think the series is an asset, and while the show's fanbase isn't massive, he wholly believes the people the show has won over will maintain loyalty should the series move to a new platform:
We definitely have passionate fans at the network and at the studio -- we just don't have the audience -- and so I don't know whether the option is to roll the dice and just keep producing the show because it's something they believe in, or maybe taking our very loyal fan base that would probably follow us anywhere we go. I think that would be hopefully an attractive prospect if you're a streaming service or something like that that wants to be competitive in the horror genre. I feel that we've made the best horror show on TV for two years running and the fans that have discovered us will follow us. I remain optimistic.
The Exorcist just completed Season 2 and anyone who missed it on Fox can catch up via Hulu or Fox via On Demand services. Those looking to see what shows are guaranteed to return in 2018 can head over to our midseason premiere guide. Those wondering what shows still have yet to premiere in 2017 can find out by checking out our fall premiere guide. For a look at which shows were canceled in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.