Fox is set to renew freshman drama Touch for a second season, but has cancelled the J.J. Abrams series Alcatraz and Bones spin-off The Finder.
Touch is getting another chance to shine for the network, despite relatively modest ratings for the show’s debut season. The show is produced by Fox’s sister studio 20th Century Fox TV and the network has a long and strong relationship with star Kiefer Sutherland from his days on 24. Fox and 20th sources say the renewal deal isn’t yet finalized, but both expect it will be completed soon.
Both the Touch renewal and the Alcatraz and Finder cancellation were largely expected. It’s unlikely, I’m told, that Alcatraz will be shopped elsewhere.
The bubbliest Fox bubble show, Fringe, already received a fifth-and-final season order.
Looking at the season-to-date ratings, Fox’s programming verdicts were not what you’d necessarily expect this season: The cancelled Terra Nova averaged a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49, Alcatraz a 3.4 rating, Touch has a 2.8 rating, The Finder a 2.3 rating and Fringe a 1.6 rating.
Clearly, there were other mitigating factors for each decision, like the show’s time period, cost, talent and studio, not to mention where it is trending in the ratings. Still, it’s not very common for a network’s highest-rated bubble shows to get axed while its lower-rated titles are renewed.