‘The X-Files’: What Episode Was the Most-Watched of the Entire Series?

by Jeremy Spirogis
The X-Files

The X-Files, the sci-fi TV present starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, was one in every of FOX Network’s hottest sequence of the 90s. But which episode, out of all the seasons of The X-Files, had the very best viewership?

‘The X-Files’ episode from season Four that had probably the most viewers of the entire sequence

The X-Files
Agent Dana Scully (performed by Gillian Anderson) on The X-Files episode “Leonard Betts” which initially aired on Sunday, Jan. 26, 1997 | FOX Image Collection through Getty Images

“Leonard Betts,” The X-Files Season 4 Episode 12, achieved the highest-ever viewers for the TV present. The X-Files was little question hitting its stride by way of reputation on the time. However, per the AV Club, it additionally helped immensely that “Leonard Betts” aired immediately “after the Super Bowl … exposing the show to its widest possible audience.”

“Leonard Betts” is a traditional “monster-of-the-week” episode, introducing a mystical character whose thriller Agents Scully and Mulder clear up, however who doesn’t return in one other season. The title character Betts is an immortal man, advanced previous the remainder of the human race, who survives off of others’ most cancers.

With such a daring, unusual subject material, “it’s easy to wonder just what so many of those viewers thought of the episode as they watched it,” the AV Club reported. “But most of them must have liked something they saw.”

Why? Because The X-Files viewership continued to extend. The AV Club once more:

The present’s scores, whereas by no means this excessive once more, would attain one other degree within the months to return, creating one of many few instances the place a community used the Super Bowl to show a giant hit right into a mega-hit.

Why was the episode ‘Leonard Betts’ so profitable for the sequence?

According to The X-Files Files podcast, hosted by actor/author/comic Kumail Nanjiani, the present was initially going to air a unique episode after The Super Bowl. They wished to air “Never Again,” the X-Files episode concerning the man with the tattoo who can discuss. (Yes, each one-line description of an X-Files episode sounds bonkers).

RELATED: ‘The X-Files’: Which Episode Did Gillian Anderson Win an Emmy For?

They ended up switching the order of the season Four episodes and selecting the cancer-man episode to air after the Super Bowl. And it seems like FOX made the right alternative in choosing “Leonard Betts.”

“‘Leonard Betts’ is an eminently accessible episode of The X-Files, however it’s additionally utterly recognizable as an episode of The X-Files,” the AV Club reported. “This is the show saying, in its best shot at a huge audience, ‘This is what we do, folks. You either get on board, or you don’t.’”

It’s additionally a uncommon “monster-of-the-week” episode that pulls within the greater mythology of the present. As The AV Club wrote:

‘Leonard Betts’ is usually well-remembered by followers for that closing second, when the present pulls collectively an entire bunch of strands it’s been creating for some time and lets us know that Mulder and Scully are by no means going to be out of the woods, that the woods are always closing in round them. … This has at all times been a present the place the monsters of the week and the mythology not often, if ever, intertwine.

Out of all the seasons on FOX, what are the opposite top-watched episodes of ‘The X-Files’?

The X-Files castThe X-Files cast
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in The X-Files | Fox/Liaison

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According to IMDb, the subsequent two most-watched episodes have been the primary two of The X-Files season 5, “Redux” and “Redux II.” The fourth episode on the checklist was additionally from season 5, the episode titled “Detour.”

The fifth highest-rated episode on the time The X-Files aired was season 4’s “El Mundo Gira,” which was concerning the legend of El Chupacabra. “El Mundo Gira” was the 11th of the season — the one which aired the week earlier than “Leonard Betts.”

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