FX’s ‘Files’ bows boffo

NEW YORK — The popularity of Twentieth TV’s “The X-Files” on broadcast TV spilled over into cable Tuesday when one of the series’ rerun episodes pulled a 3.3 rating in the cable homes that have access to Fox’s FX network.

FX researchers said that rating is the highest ever garnered for the opening night of an off-network series in the history of cable. However, senior VP of research for USA Tim Brooks said that is only technically correct. FX is using the numbers for the two-hour premiere of “Murder, She Wrote” on USA at 9 p.m. Oct. 3, 1988, which got a 2.7 rating in cable homes. But the next night, “Murder” began as a one-hour rerun series in its regular 8 p.m. timeslot and chalked up a 3.6 rating.

But however the industry interprets the rating, “We’re still telling the industry the FX has the best primetime schedule in cable,” said Mark Sonnenberg, executive VP of entertainment for the FX networks. “The X-Files” leads in to reruns of “NYPD Blue” at 9 p.m., which is followed by an hour of “In Living Color” reruns at 10.

Sonnenberg said FX will use these numbers to make a major push to expand the network’s circulation well beyond its current 32 million subs.

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