Fox Renew/Cancel #0: A Look Ahead & Pre-Season Predictions

 Predictions for 9/15/20

Photo Credit: Fox TV. 

Welcome to the first Fox renew/cancel post of the 2020-21 television season. With most scripted shows on the Fox network debuting in a week or two, here's a look at what their chances of returning for another season are. 

The Cartoons (Simpsons, Bob's, Harts, Fam Guy): Of the handful of scripted shows debuting in September and October, a solid half are part of the longtime "Animation Domination" block. Although it's very clear that The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob's Burgers have seen better days, there is little reason to believe they are in any danger of being on the chopping block. All three have been on the network for at least a full decade and continue to pull passable Nielsen ratings. Barring an unprecedented viewership decline or outside factors coming into play, these toons will continue to capitalize on the NFL boost in the fall months and remain in decent territory without that assistance. They all begin in the "Certain Renewal" category. 

Sophomore animated sitcom Bless the Harts starts one notch below the veterans in the "Likely Renewal" section. The Kristen Wiig series consistently under-performed in fall 2019, barely ever retaining more than 50% of its Simpsons lead-in on nights when a football overrun boosted the lineup. But while its ratings are far from solid, Fox seems determined to grow their portfolio in the animation industry. This is evident by the fact that they renewed another low-rated cartoon sitcom (Duncanville) and even handed a second season to one that has yet to air an episode (The Great North). Taking that into account, it's unlikely they would want to get rid of 'Bless the Harts' so soon. But until we see how it performs this time around, 'Harts' will remain a likely (but not certain) renewal. 

The Newbies (Next, Filthy Rich, LA's Finest): The three new dramas premiering on the Fox network all begin in the "Tossup" category. There's no way to tell if Filthy Rich, Next, and LA's Finest will surprise or disappoint until they debut on their respective air-dates. Until then, they all remain in limbo. 

Cosmos: Possible Worlds: Originally set to air in the spring of 2019, Cosmos: Possible Worlds was delayed indefinitely after sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against host Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Now that Tyson has been cleared of those charges, the series will finally debut over a year later in fall 2020. Considering it has already aired on the National Geographic network, it's difficult to figure out how to deal with this one's status. Given that 'Cosmos' came out in March 2014 and then went off the air for half a decade, there's no telling if those working on the program will decide to continue to produce 'Cosmos' or end the series here. To put it bluntly, 'Cosmos' seems more like a special event series than a traditional one that has its fate determined by mid-May. For that reason, it resides in the "Cancelled" section with the clarification that it has technically completed its run beforehand. We may see another iteration of 'Cosmos' in the future but there's no telling when or where. It's possible that Fox may not have even aired this in a world without Covid-19 but simply needed prerecorded programming to fill up the schedule because of the pandemic. 

Poll of the Week

Which of the three will have the highest-rated premiere?
LA's Finest
Filthy Rich
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