For months, fans of Fringe, Human Target and Lie to Me have been wondering whether or not their favorite series will return next fall.

With pilot season underway, television networks are examining their current television line-up and determining which shows will stay and which will be replaced by new series endeavors.

Considering Fox is one of the most cancellation-friendly networks with numerous under-performing fan-favorite series, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly stepped in to talk about the likelihood of Fringe, Lie to Me and Human Target returning for another season.

Most recently, Fringe made the move to Friday night. While the ratings have been slipping since its time-slot premiere, Reilly still seems pleased with its performance:

“I’m so psyched about it. It does go to show you the loyalty of the genre audience, when you get the right show. I’m so grateful to that audience; I’d like to shake their hands. We have a lot of passion for that show here.”

Even though this statement was made before Fringe’s second week of declining ratings, it’s hardly going to impact Reilly’s enthusiasm for the show. Unfortunately, for fans of Lie to Me and Human Target, his comments are less positive (if you read between the lines):

“We have some decisions to make about [Human Target] and Lie to Me as well. These shows are not being rejected. They’re doing a consistent and solid number. There are networks that would be happy to take those shows. We have to look at our shelf space.

Reilly’s statements about Human Target and Lie to Me appear to fall in line with what we previously said about Fox’s likelihood of picking up those series. Even though Lie to Me has been delivering higher ratings than Fringe, the core demographics of Fringe (ages 18-34) makes it a more appealing pick-up.

In terms of Reilly’s closing comments about evaluating Fox’s shelf space, the network’s entertainment president is talking about how many timeslots they’ll have available once the pilot season is over. If there’s enough room for Lie to Me and Human Target, they’ll likely be renewed… if not, they’re out.

What makes the decision even more difficult is the fact that out of all the other television networks, Fox has one of the most solid line-ups and rarely makes major changes. With most of the current series returning, that makes less room for new series and even less room for Lie to Me and Human Target.

When you add in the fact that Fox already has The X-Factor slated for next year and the Bones spin-off series, The Locator, is pretty much guaranteed a spot in the line-up (thanks to Hart Hanson’s dedicated fans), the chances of both Human Target and Lie to Me returning look grim. Not to mention the fact that Fox only has 2 hours of television programming per night (the 10pm news cuts it short).

Of course, if it does come down to a decision between Human Target and Lie to Me, one should expect Lie to Me to come out on top. Why? Two words: Tim Roth. Also, Lie to Me is cheaper to produce has received more critical acclaim and award nominations.

With the end of May being the likely deadline for series contract renewals, expect a decision around that time, if not before.

Fringe airs Fridays @8pm, on Fox

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Source: Entertainment Weekly