It was child’s play getting viewers to watch the USA Network and Syfy premiere of new horror series “Chucky.” Combining the two cable channels, the small-screen “Child’s Play” adaptation was seen by 4.4 million total viewers within its first week, according to Nielsen. Of that sum, 2.1 million were in the 18-49 demo.
The “Chucky” series premiere has also done well on YouTube, where the episode is available for free in its entirety on both the USA and Syfy channels. Those two have combined for more than 2.9 million views to date.
With “Resident Alien” and now “Chucky,” NBCUniversal cable channels Syfy and USA Network have the two biggest launches among new cable series this year.
TheWrap’s critic Candice Frederick called the latest in the “Child’s Play” universe “pretty solid,” and praised showrunner Don Mancini’s “level of detail and empathy for this world” — particularly for both the villainous doll (once again voiced by Brad Dourif, who originated the role) and protagonist Jake Webber (Zackary Arthur).
“Mancini, who like Jake is openly gay, and his writing team manage to do a lot of things in the newly episodic format that perhaps a tight film structure, or even a franchise, couldn’t allow,” Frederick wrote. “We get a more fleshed out, deeply human protagonist, the return of a killer doll with the conscious of a deranged, manipulative man, and a more expansive look at a landscape that gave birth to both good and evil. It might also be the most diverse world Mancini has created for the ‘Child’s Play’ franchise so far, with Jake being queer as well as the addition of his one ally, a Black kid named Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson).”
“For these reasons alone, this new ‘Chucky’ is a richer, more personal experience — and yet as frightening as ever,” her review continued.