FOX chairman Gary Newman thinks chances are good that Gotham season 5 will "have a place" in the network's fall 2018 line-up. That positive outlook is likely to surprise some fans, as Gotham has been experiencing notable ratings drops every single season it's been on the air. To be fair though, in the current age of streaming and cordcutting, just about every show is seeing falling numbers. Even former Nielsen darling The Walking Dead is feeling the heat of decreased viewership.
Gotham's debut season was a certified hit for FOX, averaging a 2.2 rating and quickly becoming one of the highest rated scripted series on the network. Season 2 fell down to a 1.4 average, and season 3 fell to a 1.1. So far, season 4 is averaging a 0.9. For context, out of 19 scripted shows to air on FOX so far during the 2017-2018 TV season, Gotham ranks at #14, which obviously isn't great. Still, low placement on that list or not, it looks like Gotham might not be ready to turn in its badge and gun and head to the big TV graveyard quite yet.
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Newman relayed his uplifting prognostication concerning Gotham at the INTV conference in Jerusalem earlier today, as reported by Deadline. Despite Gotham's continued ratings issues, Newman thinks that FOX "asked a lot of it this year moving to Thursday nights" and feels that "it did a pretty good job of opening up that night for us." With that in mind, Newman says that Gotham "should have a place in our schedule."
It's important to note though that despite Gary Newman's mostly rosy appraisal of Gotham's FOX status, his comments don't quite end there. As Newman points out right before changing topics, Thursday nights will be unavailable in the fall of 2018, meaning that if Gotham returns for season 5, it'll have to find a new night to air on. This is due to FOX recently brokering a deal to air Thursday night NFL football games for the next few years. Changing nights is rarely good for a show, as a certain percentage of live viewers usually fail to follow it to said new night. Gotham will now have to do that two seasons in a row.
Gotham could of course theoretically move back to its original Mondays at 8pm timeslot, but the damage could have already been done. There's also the question of whether FOX would be willing to break up the pairing of fellow comic book series Lucifer and The Gifted, which currently occupy Monday nights, and are averaging better numbers than Gotham, if not by a ton. The Gifted has already been renewed for season 2, although Lucifer season 4 has yet to be confirmed. If FOX wants to keep Gotham though, one would imagine they would also want to keep their higher rated DC adaptation. Either way, with Thursday nights going to football, something will have to give, and FOX will likely be forced to drop the ax on at least a few shows before drawing up their new fall line-up.
Gotham season 4 airs Thursdays on FOX.