Some Fox viewers hoping to see the resolution of the Accused series premiere were shocked when the ending was accidentally cut off Sunday night. The new legal drama premiered after the San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL divisional playoff game and managed to draw record ratings for the network. The snafu only happened on Nexstar-owned Fox affiliates.
"We had a technical issue [last night] affecting a small number of our Fox stations. It has been addressed and we have taken steps to make sure the issue doesn't occur again," Nexstar told Deadline on Monday. Nexstar is the largest Fox affiliate group, with stations in 39 markets. The technical glitch happened on Nexstar-owned Fox stations in 13 markets, including Cleveland, Sacramento, St. Louis, Indianapolis, San Diego, Little Rock, and Honolulu.
The stations all cut to local commercials at 10:55:45 p.m. and returned at 10:58:06 p.m. This was way too early, and viewers missed more than two minutes of action when major revelations about the central story came to light. The stations then went back to the show for the last 14 seconds. Viewers who experienced this glitch will have to see the whole episode on Hulu and Fox Now.
Accused is a new anthology legal drama developed by Howard Gordon (24) and based on the 2010 U.K. series created by Jimmy McGovern. The series is a twist on the legal drama set-up, where we are introduced to a defendant in a courtroom before learning what the crime is. The audience is then shown the events leading up to the trial from the accused's point of view.
Each week features a new crime and cast. The pilot episode was titled "Scott's Story." Michael Chiklis played a brain surgeon who discovers his son is planning a school shooting, so he considers killing his own son. He soon realizes he cannot go through with it. At the very end of the episode, viewers learned the crime that Chiklis' character was charged with. The premiere episode drew 8.4 million viewers.
In an interview with Deadline, after the premiere aired, Gordon said the challenge of putting the show together is deciding how much information to give the audience within the first commercial break to keep them watching. "It's really trial and error," he explained. "We dialed it up, we dialed it back, and then ultimately it really is a bit of a sleight of hand. It's involving the audience and telling them the part of the story that we want to sometimes willfully omit or delay so that they think they know what they're seeing, because we try to subvert it in a way that feels surprising, but also inevitable and organic to what came before."
New episodes of Accused air on Fox Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. They are available to stream on Hulu the next day.