FOX Renew/Cancel Watch: 6 Comedies and 4 Dramas

Certatin to be Canceled
Likely to be Canceled
Likely to be Renewed
Certain to be Renewed
Minority Report
The Grinder
The Last Man On Earth
Brooklyn 9-9
The Simpsons

Second Chance
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life

Family Guy
Bob’s Burgers

Sleepy Hollow


New Girl
Scream Queens


What's "6 Comedies and 4 Dramas" Even Mean?

Notice that in either the Renewed, Certain to be Renewed, or Likely to be Renewed categories, there are a cumulative of 6 comedies and 4 dramas. Why? Well, let's look at how many shows FOX has renewed over the past handful of years:

Returning Series from 2010-2011: 11 (7 comedies, 4 dramas)
Returning Series from 2011-2012: 11 (7 comedies, 4 dramas)
Returning Series from 2012-2013: 10 (7 comedies, 3 dramas)
Returning Series from 2013-2014: 10 (6 comedies, 4 dramas)
Returning Series from 2014-2015: 10 (6 comedies, 4 dramas)

So with American Idol also leaving the schedule, one thing is for sure: FOX will renew at LEAST 6 comedies and 4 dramas for the 2016-2017 TV season. 

The 6 Comedies

I believe I mentioned in an earlier edition that FOX seemingly is going for those younger viewers, who are also more likely to watch ads via VOD or OTT (aka streaming). Therefore, I made a chart comprised of all 10 of FOX's comedies with their sub-demos from recent airings--I'm talking late November and on, mostly because those are the only ones that I'm aware of currently available to the public. NOTE: I did not count the airing for Sunday, January 10, as numbers were highly inflated by football and we would receive greatly misleading results for Cooper Barrett and Bordertown, which have only aired three episodes so far.

All data through ratings for Monday, January 18. 

Comedy Locks

1) The Simpsons (Renewed)
2) Bob's Burgers (Renewed)
3) Family Guy (High Rated, Been On Forever, Syndication/Merchandise)
4) Brooklyn 9-9 (Syndication)
5) New Girl (Decently Rated + W18-34 Asset)

Somewhere In The Middle

6) The Last Man On Earth
7) Bordertown
8) Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life
9) Grandfathered

Based on the above chart, signs point to The Last Man On Earth taking up the #6 comedy spot. However, with Son of Zorn ordered from the same Lord Miller Productions company, and their other comedy project In Time being named a front-runner by a Deadline insider, this marginally rated comedy may not have done enough to earn a renewal. They could turn to Grandfathered, which is still doing OK in W18-34, but thematically I'm just not sure that there's room for it if Scream Queens and New Girl both return in the fall. Sure, it does relatively well in W18-34, but even so it's still at a rating that can just as well be obtained by the other comedies listed on the "Somewhere in the Middle" list, and they are doing MUCH better than Grandfathered in M18-34. Also, note that Bordertown wouldn't be ready until the spring, so that may be a factor, though I'm not quite sure exactly how that would affect other shows.

Also to take into account is time slots. Cooper Barrett definitely has the best time slot, airing after The Simpsons, which even without football is still typically a mid 1s player, more than most FOX comedies can say nowadays. Truth is, none of these four comedies are taking full advantage of their time slots, so it's also hard to say how that would affect things. Once again, right now I'm going with The Last Man On Earth taking up spot #6, but I'm not certain about it, so I kept Cooper Barrett and Bordertown in limbo for now as well, with Grandfathered being the long-shot underdog due to its weak M18-34 number and inability to really catch on despite the time slot upgrade.

Already Gone

10) The Grinder

Somehow, The Grinder got a backorder, whether it was from strong streaming numbers, critical reception, scheduling reasons, or something else. Looking at the numbers above, it's just doing embarrassingly bad, coming in last place amongst comedies across the board. Anything is possible, but I highly, highly doubt this one has more than the rest of the season left.

The 4 Dramas

Show A18-49 M18-34 W18-34
Sleepy Hollow
Scream Queens
Second Chance


I didn't bother with the average here, since we all know that Empire would have just inflated it. Note that this does not count the ratings for the second episode of Second Chance.

I think it's pretty obvious here which dramas are the four dramas. With Empire and Scream Queens already renewed and Gotham and Rosewood really the only two others that are consistently not fractional, those are easily the four dramas. However, with American Idol leaving the schedule, will FOX defy recent history and renew a 5th drama? Let's go through hypothetical scenarios where it is each of the "non-Big 4" shows:

5) Bones: Bones is a veteran show that FOX thinks deserves a final season. Contracts are worked out, and since FOX didn't get Thursday Night Football, the show is brought back for a final season.

6) Sleepy Hollow: Sleepy Hollow holds up well on Friday, enough to justify a renewal and shelf/cancel World's Funniest. Bones can't be brought back because contract negotiations weren't worked out, so Sleepy Hollow is brought back as a Friday drama.

7) Second Chance: FOX needs more shows than ever with American Idol's 15-season run coming to a close. Bones negotiations don't work out, Sleepy Hollow tanks on Friday, AND Lucifer also underperforms. Even then, Second Chance is already retaining less than half of its Idol lead-in, so how low could Lucifer really go before it is considered inferior to Second Chance? No matter how I try to spin this, I don't see any chance of this one coming back, much like The Grinder on the comedy side.

Yet to Premiere) Lucifer: Bones negotiations can't be worked out or aren't needed because Lucifer becomes a bona fide hit. There's no need for Sleepy Hollow or Second Chance, as Lucifer clearly can be a FOX staple drama. With Scream Queens already renewed, FOX would only have to defy their recent history and renew a fifth drama.


I know that was kind of on the longer side, so to recap, this is what you should take out of this post: 


Coming Back
1) The Simpsons
2) Bob's Burgers

Essentially Coming Back
3) Brooklyn 9-9
4) Family Guy
5) New Girl

Most Likely to Take Spot #6
6) The Last Man On Earth

But If Lord Miller Productions Has Too Many Other Projects, This is Possible...
7) Bordertown
8) Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life (since Bordertown wouldn't be ready until spring, it's still somewhat possible both are renewed)

If All Else Fails With the Sunday Comedies and We're Keeping 2 Hours on Tuesday...
9) Grandfathered

But This is Definitely a Goner
10) The Grinder


Coming Back
1) Empire
2) Scream Queens

Essentially Coming Back
3) Gotham
4) Rosewood

But They Could Renew a 5th Because Idol is Leaving
5) Bones

But If Bones' Contracts Don't Work Out and it Holds Well on Friday...
6) Sleepy Hollow

Yeah, Not Getting a Second Chance
7) Second Chance

-Lucifer--could take the #5 spot if it keeps its head above water (~1.2+, decent X-Files retention or even growth)

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