The WIT Analysis: FOX


Continuing its analysis of the new fall network shows, The WIT reveals that the Marvel action/fantasy drama The Gifted generated the most interest in social media among FOX’s new slate of dramas and comedies.

Exec produced by X-Men‘s Bryan Singer, The Gifted, from 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television, has been slated for the Monday 9 p.m. slot following the renewed Lucifer. Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (Person of Interest) star as the parents of teens with mutant powers. The trailer outperformed other buzzy shows, among them Will & Grace (NBC) and The Good Doctor (ABC), with 28 million views for the trailer on its official Facebook page and YouTube playlist. There was also a significant level of social-media chatter, with 14,200 comments on Facebook and Twitter over the seven days following the network’s upfront. On Facebook there were 28,000 likes and on Twitter 3,600 followers as of May 23.

“The first reactions to the trailer are quite positive, mentioning, in particular, the lead couple and the mutant storyline,” says The WIT’s Caroline Servy. “Yet before giving its vote of confidence, the social-media crowd seems to have quite a few reservations: first, about the capacity of the series to differentiate and bring something new to the superhero genre, with a share of viewers judging it feels ‘too generic.’ A vast number of comments pointed at a Heroes copy and called for more originality in network programming, while others hoped the teen drama storylines would not [overpower] the fantasy action.”

Second in terms of trailer views but first in social-media interactions is Seth MacFarlane’s hour-long sci-fi comedy The Orville. Landing on Thursday nights following Gotham in its fourth season, The Orville is set 400 years in the future and follows the adventures of a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet. Created by, starring and executive produced by MacFarlane, the drama ratcheted up 22 million trailer views as of May 23 and has already attracted 67,000 Facebook fans and 4,200 Twitter followers. Plus, there were 18,200 comments on Facebook and Twitter in the week since the upfront.

“Opinions are quite polarized around the personality of Seth McFarlane, worshiped on Facebook by its fans, bashed on YouTube by its detractors—leading to two very different [kinds of] feedback, depending on where the trailer is published and commented on,” says Servy. “On the good side, fans of MacFarlane’s humor predict the show will be refreshing, entertaining, dumb but hilarious…. On the negative side, apart from MacFarlane haters, viewers struggle to take seriously what they see as a Star Trek spoof [and think of it as] a ‘one-joke’ comedy that will struggle to get to the end of the season. However, sci-fi lovers sarcastically agree it looks better than CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery!”

Rounding out the top three in FOX’s social-media buzz is L.A. to Vegas, a midseason comedy with exec producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and starring Dylan McDermott. The single-camera comedy focuses on an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who travel on the Los Angeles to Las Vegas route every weekend. In terms of an online fan base, there are some 4,800 Facebook likes and just 200 Twitter followers as of May 23, but the trailer recorded a solid 2.2 million views.

“The online audience has faith in the comedic credentials of Will Ferrell and the creative team behind the show, as well as in the cast and its performance, which seems on point,” Servy says. “The thickness of the plot and the fate of the series, though, arouse more concern, since quite a few social-media users agree they would have loved it as a movie rather than a series. Overall, the expectations remain high and a majority believe they will have a good laugh with ‘Jackpot Airlines,’ only they don’t know for how long.”

Check out World Screen‘s full guide to the 2017-18 season here, with network grids, pop-up trailers and descriptions and a listing of new and returning shows by studio.