Let's Talk Smoo About: 4th Place Fox Throwing the Remaining Dead Wood Into the Fire

Like the logo? 4th place Fox literally took a seat in the fireplace, LOL! I think everyone would rather a graphic featuring a fireplace vs. sandpaper and a toilet seat. ABC tidied up its house and merely parted with low rated shows, though a few piles of smoo fit for an American Crime evaded the programming broom and dustpan. CBS revoked several low-rated shows' Tiffany's memberships, and the CW's shows falsely cheered as they didn't draw the short(est) straw. And of course, NBC' s programming serial and sitcom killer bled the schedule dry of several shows, while still awaiting to blade up a few 1.0 dwellers next season. And Fox burned off it's remaining low-rated logs in the flames.
This season brought Fox to full circle as they are once again the butt of the low-rated jokes, similar to their first 10 years on the air. Al Bundy used to self mock the network on Married With Children, even once stating ["If you really want that show cancelled, just air it on Fox."] While NBC and others endured a mean Winter, Fox battled a frigid Fall with few shows to write home about. It's hot Sundays cooled fast with Animation Domination breaking apart like a ship on the rocks, and the remaining nights remained destitute. Ratings were so low that Fox's gas co mpany turned off their heat. Desperate, Fox searched the house for firewood to keep it's 4th place/rate fireplace warm, and it dispensed of it's freshman series.
Mulaney built its house out of straw and leaves, even offending the livestock which previously smooed on these debris and had to stare at the ugly dwelling squatting on Sunday nights. The pigs and the toilet humor of Family Guy roared like the fire with glee (or like Glee), as this message showed the network lowering the bar beyond Family Guy's toilet humor never pays. Just ask that pile of pigsmoo Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on TLC. Next, Fox realized the lord doesn't show grace on poor performances on Thursdays (which made NBC seem like Must-See TV) and set fire to Gracepoint. As a limited few fans screamed l ike Fox lit their pants on fire, Aciel Zoubi enjoyed Fox igniting this pile of sticks and stones and grabbed the marshmallows. For those of you unaware of who Aciel is, she endured an epic battle with a Gracepoint troll on a neighboring site, and deserved a little humor in this reference.
The fire still couldn't heat Fox's house in December, and then the power was shut off. Fox looked at Red Band Society, which was plotted as thick as a pile of balsa. Seeing Wednesdays losing regularly, Fox scheduled a cremation, then threw the "two additional scripts" on top of this ill-performing show as it burned (off). January seemed like another bleak month, but Fox's investment in the 4th rate fireplace paid off as the fire goddess, Cookie Lyon, emerged out of the flames on Wende sdays. Several tried to extinguish her flames, but her sorcery turned their water to high proof spirits, and her heat ignited, growing weekly and increasing the show's overall viewership by more than 50-percent.
Fox hoped to coast on Cookie's fumes, but she knew when to cut out, resting on her 6.9 demo finale. They gloated like Jack Frost nipping at ABC's heels for 3rd place, but their remaining schedule couldn't keep the fire going sans Cookie and football. Even a rebounding American Idol couldn't carry this file of ashes Fox became. Before continuing, may I state American Idol wisely doused Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's egos in kerosene as they blocked the fireplace, and Idol feels like a warm and inviting campfire instead of a stifling smoke which was their falsely inflated sense of self.
Burning on....
As March approached, Fox hoped they survived the cold season, but they slipped back into 4th place with a ratings average of 2.0 in ratings Siberia. Glee littered their Friday cabin like a pile of dilapidated and termite infested furniture, so naturally they were incinerated into an oblivion and couldn't even leave behind ashes to prove they existed. Weird Loners has yet to be burned, but is ashing like a cigarette of an inconsiderate smoker. We all knew Backstrom was wood rotten to the core, and we eagerly awaited today 's announcement that this disease would be burned to a crisp as irate critics brought the chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers for s'mores. The fireplace once again cooled, and it came down to the stronger structures in Fox's house.
People once pined for the Following, only to discover it was built of pine by season 3. Dropping below a 1.0 is still insulting for Fox, and it doesn't bring home the bacon. With only 41 shows and plummeting ratings, the syndication carpenters deemed the Following beyond repair and eradicated it like this show did to its characters over the last two years. Not all who fell into the fire and roasted deserved the burn. Sadly, Fox chopped down a mighty oak on Wednesday and cancelled The Mindy Project.
I am still baffled at their choice to take out a critical darling, both in show and actress. Mindy Kaling is a hot commodity, evident from her Office tenure and recent commercial promotions. As one who is guilty of fast-forwarding through commercials, I will admit I do occasionally rewind and watch a commercial if the graphic catches my eye. Mindy is in this category, and she has appeal. I have to remind myself that Mindy did suffer from anemic ratings throughout its run, but why now? If Fox was really that concerned, why not cut its timbers/losses at two seasons? Fox has one of the rare jewels in the TV landscape to sport three critically acclaimed sitcoms, a rare club only shared with ABC. Now we only have New Girl, limping into its 5th season, and Brooklyn 99. Props to Hulu for investigating con tinuing Mindy's legacy. If not, there's always room in the bloodbath camp at NBC the 13th, the studio producing the Mindy Project
The cold season is over, so perhaps Fox having a seat in the 4th place wasn't such a bad idea. Fox has great potential to rebuild its burnt lineup, but needs to start by firing up one or two winning evenings. My suggestions:
1. Rebuild Sundays, stat! Football helps bolster the ratings, but Fox isn't fooling anyone as we cannot buy Brooklyn 99 jumping between 1.2 and 2.5. Fill the holes, and keep the Sunday legacy strong. Sundays launched Fox, so why not pay homage and steal the crown as the number one network on this night?
2. Keep an eye on the writers of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. Gotham was the only sensation to write home about this fall, but stands at high risk for ratings erosion if viewers tire of trite writing. Sleepy Hollow's sophomore year declined, and it could become the next Following in the fireplace.
3. Don't rely on Empire to carry the schedule. Empire is a phenom, and has everyone's eyes and press. If the show happens to fade next year, a la Revenge season 2, Fox coul d face a drop in ratings.
4. Stick to what works with American Idol. The show is back on track, and the last thing this aging show needs is the hubris of divas.
5. Find a way to raise Thursdays. Only ABC seems to be untouchable on this evening, and Fox has ripe opportunities to overtake CBS. NBC shows no signs of rebounding, and CBS is fading fast on Thursdays. No more Gracepoints or Backstroms, please!
Let's hope Empire helps Fox to financially turn on its utilities again so it will not have to throw good shows into the fire.

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