Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fox 2013-14 Sitcoms: Renewals and Cancellations


The Simpsons
No surprises that The Simpsons are still on Sundays, they are a network staple.  It is interesting to note though that this season did feature the lowest rated Simpsons episode of all time.  Although the Lego episode did bring the show some much needed publicity.  The Family Guy crossover next year should bring it some attention as well.  The show has not been a big deal in a long time, but it is still comfortable and is making money for Fox with marketing.

Family Guy
Also making money for Fox in marketing is this animated staple which is probably doing more for the company with reruns and DVDs.  The show which has not been relevant in a long time got some short-lived attention by killing Brian, but he got better.  This show will probably stay around longer, but does not have the same impact it once did.  Although the recent cancelation of The Cleveland Show and the transition of American Dad to cable show clear signs of a weakening brand.

New Girl
This was the show that made Fox a player in live-action sitcoms again and it continues to be one of the most dependable sitcoms on TV.  This season explored Nick and Jess's new relationship before they recently broke up and are dealing with that in interesting ways.  The characters of Winston and Cece have come into their own in interesting ways.  Damon Wayans Jr. makes a welcome return as a main character and Linda Cardellini had a great run as Jess's sister.  Wayans returns as a full fledged cast member and the show looks to continue to be one of TV's most fun ensembles.

Bob's Burgers
Not a cultural phenomenon like The Simpsons or Family Guy, but a big critical hit that has a vocal online fan base.  Continuing to air this show shows a commitment from Fox to make attempts with primetime animation that no other networks even bother to attempt.  With it being a popular pick on Netflix instant this season could improve in ratings.

The Mindy Project
After a strong first season Mindy Kaling's show really came into its own.  It is full of effective guest stars, a likable cast and really intelligent writing.  While Ed Weeks, Zoe Jarman and Beth Grant had little to do this season Ike Barinholz continues to be one of TV's most underrated performers.  Xosha Roquemore and especially Adam Pally make valuable additions to the cast.  And then there is Chris Messina who does great work in one of the most interesting will they/won't they arcs I have ever seen.  Mindy is a perfect leading lady and this series showcases her wonderfully.  The show really is the best romantic comedy in recent years.  It is able to subvert elements of the genre while also functioning as a love letter to it.  I expect great things from season three.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The new Mike Schur sitcom was a big critical hit, winning two Golden Globes.  The ratings have not been the best, but a move to Sunday may help or hurt it.  This is a show Fox seems very committed to making succeed.  The show features a great cast with Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Terry Crews, Chelsea Peretti and especially Andre Braugher all being great reasons to tune in.  Unfortunately the show isn't an ensemble, it is a vehicle for Andy Samberg who can be pretty unlikable in this role.  He acts like a jerk and has to learn very obvious lessons.  Although much like The Office and Parks and Recreation I expect it to improve in season 2.  This show is also off to a much better start than those two series were in their initial runs.


American Dad
After years on Fox it is being moved to TBS where it will premiere new episodes.  This was never the success that Family Guy was, but I expect reruns do pretty well.  I am surprised that this premise has lasted as long as it has.  Critics seem to prefer this to MacFarlane's other shows, but it will never be the best TV.  Can't see it lasting much longer unless TBS markets it well.  A few more seasons tops.

Raising Hope
This premiered in a period when sitcoms where not lasting long on Fox.  It has always been a good show, but never left too much of an impact with critics or ratings.  The fact that it made it to four seasons is a testament to its consistent quality and loyal following.  Four seasons in this day and age is great and it will live on in reruns and Netflix.

I am shocked and appalled that this survived for a whole season.  This was the worst of the worst and shockingly it did as well as Brooklyn Nine-Nine in the ratings.  The writing and set-ups are lazy and downright offensive.  Just a waste of space and it will be rightly forgotten.

This may have been the best mid-season pick-up of the season.  The military setting may have turned some comedy viewers off, but there was a sincerity to this show that would have made for a great long running series.  It is about three brothers in training and it has a very respectful view of military families and the army.  Would have been nice if this got a better chance, but mid-seasons are tough.  Especially on Fox.

Surviving Jack
A pleasant little show that has some heart to it.  Christopher Meloni definitely elevates it above forgettable and Rachael Harris does good work too.  The main good is pretty good, but he comes across as the latest in the line of Charlie McDermott types (along with kids from The Goldbergs and The Michael J. Fox Show).  The show itself had too similar of a Wonder Years-like set-up as The Goldbergs and Growing Up Fisher to make much of an impact.

Us & Them
Despite being based on a well received British show and starring the likes of Jason Ritter, Alexis Bledel, Jane Kaczmarek, Kerri Kenney and Michael Ian Black it never made it to air.  Even Fox burned off The Goodwin Games in the summer last year.  Relationship sitcoms seem like a tough sell, which is not good since next season seems to be full of them.  I don't think that this even ended up online anywhere.

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