The two Marvel TV series are markedly different. The Gifted features a group of mutants on the run in a borderline dystopian future where they are hunted down for their abilities, whereas Inhumans revolves around the Royal Inhuman Family finding themselves as fish out of water on Earth (and in danger). While Inhumans has been panned by critics, The Gifted has been critically acclaimed. Fans seemed to have similar interest in these two series, as evidenced by their respective pilot episode ratings.
According to TVLine, The Gifted clocked in at an audience of 4.9 million, or a 1.5 in the ratings. That's better than FOX's previous Monday telecasts from last year's fall television season. Compared to Inhumans, with its 3.9 million viewers in the first hour and 3.6 million in the second hour, it seems that audiences were more interested in watching mutants on the run than Inhuman royalty being exiled. That said, it's important to keep certain things in mind, when comparing the ratings turnout for these respective Marvel comic book TV adaptations.
Inhumans also screened in IMAX theaters, ahead of its premiere on ABC. The first two episodes of the series grossed about $2.85M in IMAX, playing on about 393 screens and ranking about 14th at the box office overall at the time. Inhumans may not have been helped by its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some ways either, whereas The Gifted had no such pre-set expectations to face and was able to attract viewers with the promise of a standalone story set in the larger X-Men universe.
It remains to be seen if The Gifted can maintain the quality of its pilot episode. The show's second episode will see its main characters go on the run, ready to make sacrifices, and ready to get down to business, with new villains looming on the horizon. Much larger threats were hinted at in The Gifted's premiere episode too and could wind up giving the series more forward drive than Inhumans, by comparison.
Then again, things may yet turn around for Inhumans, now that the pilot episode is done with and the Inhuman Royal Family is on the run themselves. Similar to how The Gifted now faces the challenge of maintaining the pacing of its premiere episode hereon forward, Inhumans needs to kick things up a notch and turn the MCU-based TV show into a must-watch event in its own right.
Marvel's Inhumans airs Fridays at 9 PM on ABC. The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 PM on FOX.
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