Just weeks before Fox was set to preview their new fall line-up, the network has all-but cleaned house in regards to its struggling television series – and has canceled Lie To Me, Human Target, Traffic Light, Breaking In and The Chicago Code.
Even though Lie To Me and Human Target were long shots in terms of renewal, the possibility for their return was still present as Fox is known to give reprieves in certain circumstances. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it appears that Fringe took up Fox’s sole “second-chance” slot – thanks to a large fan uprising once the possibility of cancelation arose.
Whether or not Fringe fans still stand by the series following its “unique” season 3 finale still remains to be seen.
Newcomers Traffic Light and The Chicago Code should have been expecting a cancelation notice – since both series failed to attract an audience after many weeks on the air. What is surprising in Fox’s cancelation round-up is the Christian Slater comedy Breaking In. Even though only a couple episodes of the series had aired, they performed well following American Idol, and actually garnered the highest ratings for a live-action comedy in three years.
Whether or not you believe in the so-called Christian Slater curse of television cancelations, one can’t deny that something is amiss with Breaking In’s abrupt cancelation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox assumed that Breaking In was only performing well because of American Idol. That thought would largely be correct, and combining that with the fact that the cost of production was likely high due to its given styling, Fox knew that they could simply replace it with a lower-cost series.
Although, it appears that Fox isn’t trying to simply replace it with a typical series that can garner acceptable ratings. With this large round of cancelations, it looks as if Fox is letting it be known that they’re only going to continue with series that can hold their own in television’s primetime landscape.
No doubt taking a note from sister network FX, who is known for canceling many great series based solely on ratings – no matter the fan outcry. If this is Fox’s new stance on programming, it certainly puts the pressure on show creators to deliver quality entertainment from the start, instead of relying on a second season to allow them to finally start telling the intended story. (I’m look at you, The Event)
Whether or not Fox’s new perspective on television programming will serve to elevate the network past its rivals is something that we’ll have to watch closely. But, if FX is a sign of what may happen, Fox may very well become primetime’s top network.
Traffic Light, The Chicago Code and Breaking In will all finish airing their first season order.
Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio
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