All hell is breaking loose at Fox.
The network has just canceled supernatural dramas Lucifer and The Exorcist.
And on Thursday afternoon, Fox cleansed itself of comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, and The Mick.
Networks typically shed their weakest shows before their upfront presentations to advertisers next week, so expect to see plenty of carnage at all the broadcasters. But the bloodbath at Fox has been a bit gorier than expected since the network is bringing back a fair number of its new shows while adding NFL games on Thursday nights in the fall, which will knock out a key night of programming. Plus, some of these titles have simply been dragging in the ratings for too long, squeaking into renewals in previous years. And one has to wonder if Fox’s pending sale to Disney has the network looking closer at its margins.
But it a certain point, it just makes more sense to take a chance on something new — which a network is particularly likely to do if they’re pleased with their new crop of shows in the pipeline for next season.
Earlier this week, Fox picked up The Passage, a vampire epic based on Justin Cronin’s bestselling novels. The long-in-development title should nicely fill one of the channel’s supernatural vacancies. The network also picked up a new comedy series starring Get Out actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery and a revival of Tim Allen’s former ABC sitcom Last Man Standing.
There’s still no decision yet on DC Comics’ Gotham, which is in its fourth season, or the freshman comedy Ghosted.
As for the latest news, Fox has axed the sexy Satan supernatural drama Lucifer after three seasons. The series followed the Devil (Tom Ellis), who is fed up with the underworld and becomes an L.A. nightclub owner and LAPD consultant, helping to solve crimes.
Lucifer was averaging only 4.1 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18–49 this season, including DVR playback.
The Exorcist, based on the William Peter Blatty novel of the same name, premiered in 2016. After holding up somewhat decently on Friday nights, the series was revamped for a second round and aired 10 episodes last fall. But the horror drama averaged a truly scary 1.9 million viewers and 0.6 in the 18–49 demo.
And hell hath no fury like a network unwatched.