Fox renews four shows for next season
Picks up new ones 'The Following' and 'Mindy Project'
March 5, 2013
Fox’s schedule for next year is beginning to take shape.
Today it renewed four shows for next season, including two of its first-year programs.
“The Following” and “The Mindy Project,” its two highest-rated new shows, were picked up, as well as third-year comedy “Raising Hope” and second-year comedy “New Girl.”
The pickups for “Following” and “Girl” are no surprise.
“Following” is Fox’s top drama, averaging a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen. It’s adding an impressive 1.7 in seven-day DVR playback, and it has a strong social media presence.
The dark Kevin Bacon drama has boosted Fox into a contender for No. 1 on Monday nights, where the network struggled last fall, before “Following’s” January debut.
“Girl,” which commands one of broadcast’s highest prices for a 30-second spot, is averaging a 2.3 this season, down from a 3.2 last year but still one of the top 10 sitcoms on broadcast.
The ratings for “Hope” and “Mindy” aren’t as strong. But they underline a commitment that Fox has made to developing creatively strong comedy in the hopes that the numbers will come in time.
“Hope” has averaged just a 1.7 this season, leading off Fox’s Tuesday comedy block at 8 p.m.
“Mindy” is drawing a 1.7 as well. It has consistently beaten its comedy competition on NBC, “The New Normal,” the past two months, since “Normal” lost its strong lead-in of “The Voice” at midseason.
Fox did not say whether all four of the shows will be on this fall.
“Following” has been renewed for a 15-episode season, rather than the traditional 22. That matches its first-season order. It’s hard to imagine that Fox will hold it to midseason again, though, considering its fall schedule needs help.
It’s certainly possible that one of the comedies will be saved for midseason. Fox may want to use the post-“Girl” slot, where “Mindy” now airs, to launch a new sitcom this fall and bring back one of the veterans off the bench at midseason.
But perhaps most of all, the renewals of “Hope” and “Mindy” are a reminder that we could see a lot of low-rated shows get picked up this year.
Ratings for new shows have been historically low, but the networks need at least a bit of continuity in their schedules; they can’t afford to replace all of their new shows, which means some with less-than-stellar numbers will return, along with some veterans that might have been axed if there’d been a stronger crop of new programs to push them out.
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