FOX Renew/Cancel Watch: An Update on Ad Rates and Ratings

In the fall, I referred to the ad rates listed on AdAge to get a sense of how much a given show was priced relative to the other shows on the same network, and if its ratings correlated with that. As we saw last season, doing such was a success, only I used Variety's numbers then. I've decided to switch back over to Variety's numbers now, as it has data for all shows not named My Kitchen Rules, while AdAge only has fall shows plus a couple midseason shows. Take a look at an updated table:

ShowAd RatePLUS AD
Bob's Burgers6501953
The Simpsons155838126
Son of Zorn126053102
Family Guy129428105
The Last Man On Earth10189583
Brooklyn Nine-Nine10180382
New Girl10232983
Scream Queens12143898
Lethal Weapon164853134
Hell's Kitchen7756163
The Exorcist5055141
Making History8103566
24: Legacy 138720112
The Mick10357384
Shots Fired140132113
Prison Break131766107
Kicking and Screaming 10251683
MasterChef Junior8660970
Sleepy Hollow5686046
Now, take a look at the most recent edition of the FOX relative ratings page:

Now, I may be shooting myself in the foot with this, but at least for now I'm going to not only used the A18-49, but also the M18-34 and W18-34 numbers to make my renew/cancel predictions. 18-34 is a coveted demographic that is very hard to reach, yet FOX has many shows that do best in those demographics. Therefore, advertisers would be willing to pay a premium, and therefore ad rates could be based more off of those numbers than A18-49. In most cases, adding these 18-34 numbers to the mix doesn't make much of a difference, but it actually swings the fate of all three of New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Last Man On Earth, to be overachievers. So to sum up, I'll be comparing the "PLUS AD" number with the BEST relative number from A18-49, M18-34, and W18-34. Now, the renew/cancel table:

General Comments
Of course, if a show is doing a 110 in A18-49, FOX isn't going to cancel it because its PLUS AD number is at a 116 (for example). It more has to do with shows that are lower rated, usually hovering around the low 80s or below. So, Gotham and Lucifer aren't going to get canceled because the former is barely performing at par in M18-34 and below in others, and the latter in all three. However, it may explain their long hiatuses and having to run through June.

Now, these predictions may change. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rosewood, and New Girl are BARELY hanging on to the renewal side, and all three have pretty much no room to fall. I wouldn't be surprised for at least one of that trio to not return to next season's schedule, it's just not clear yet which one that would be. Rosewood definitely has a disadvantage as ratings aren't going to rise as it continues its Friday run, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine has the pleasure of airing late into the spring, unlike New Girl.

Son of Zorn
Although Son of Zorn is arguably a weak show, its strong male demos, short episode order, and names behind it all should get it renewed. However, it hasn't been renewed yet and the animation I imagine will take a long time to complete, so either they've already been told to work on a second season without the public knowing, or this show is de facto gone. Based on the raw ratings I'm going with the former, though a change in heart could eventually happen.

Sleepy Hollow, Scream Queens, and the Syndication Factor
Sleepy Hollow could work its way up to the renewal side for syndication purposes, but I find it hard to believe it's getting dragged out to 88 episodes, at this point it's likely that it's sticking around to get a better SVOD (aka streaming) deal, and won't need more than this season. It hit a 0.5 A18-49 rating, after all. All Scream Queens has going for it is Ryan Murphy, creator of American Horror Story, Glee, and The People vs. OJ Simpson, and thus holds some weight at 20th Century Fox. However, the ratings are so low that would even FX or FXX take it? Either way, I think it's done at FOX, and a renewal somewhere else definitely isn't a given.

What is practically a given though is another season for Gotham, which will be entering its fourth season, with a potential syndication deal to follow. A fifth season for Brooklyn Nine-Nine is also very much possible due to its syndication package, but at this point that could be just as likely to happen on TBS or a streaming service as it is on FOX.

While I see potential in Pitch, particularly in its female viewing levels, the show didn't get a backorder and instead of replaced with a last-minute cooking show. Never a good sign when you get replaced by cheap reality filler. While the MLB subsidized the first season, there are no plans to rerun it on MLB Network to give it extra exposure, and if it didn't take advantage of World Series advertising in its first season, it probably won't in a second season. A different time slot on the schedule more than likely would have provided better results for the show, but being serialized that's probably too little too late right now.

What do you think of my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!

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