Fox has given series orders to five of its pilots, including the Geena Davis’ starring The Exorcist and a Lethal Weapon series based on the popular action film franchise.
Along with these two familiar properties, orders for female baseball pitcher drama The Pitch, historical adventure and contemporary comedy Making History, inspired by true-events Chicago cop drama A.P.B., and fish-out-of-water and rags-to-riches hybrid The Mick were also handed out on Tuesday.
The pickup announcements precede the network’s seasonal upfront presentations, where Fox is expected to reveal their slate of new and returning shows. The pickups follow orders for 24: Legacy, Prison Break reboot Star, event series Shots Fired and Jason Sudeikis comedy Son of Zorn.
Although shows like A.P.B., 24: Legacy and even Lethal Weapon fall in line with Fox’s general programming tone, The Exorcist pick up seems a bit odd to say the least. The cast includes aforementioned star Geena Davis, along with Sense 8’s Alfonso Herrera. Set four decades after the events of the original film, Fox’s modern spin takes the approach of a psychological thriller that follows two priests as they attempt to address one family’s horrifying run-in with demonic possession.
Despite the story seeming somewhat believable, part of The Exorcist’s appeal was how simply horrifying it was. Commonly referred to as one of the scariest films ever made, it seems odd that a broadcast network like Fox would choose a story that doesn’t appear to have any thematic program pairing and wouldn’t fit so well in terms of acceptable prime-time content. One can’t exactly point to a lot of great horror programming on network TV, as opposed to the stuff airing on cable networks such as AMC and FX.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see the pilot to form a fully educated opinion about the show’s possible success and longevity. And with The Lazarus Effect’s Jeremy Slater penning by the script, there’s a chance it could live up to its devilishly high expectations. We’re banking though that this one might end up being a head-spinning disappointment instead of the spine-tingling small screen adaptation this classic horror story needs.