Without a doubt, “The Simpsons” has cemented itself on the Mount Rushmore of television series. On one hand, it continues to drive ratings, even in its 30th season. On the other hand, Alan Sepinwall and Matthew Zoller Seitz named the show the greatest American television show ever. In “TV the Book,” believing its first thirteen seasons are superior to any other show in history. It still affects pop culture to this day and was recently renewed for Seasons 31 and 32. While “The Simpsons” remains the steady ship, what will Fox do with the rest of his lineup? Let’s check out the ratings and potential cancellations for Fox in 2019.
TV Ratings/Scorecard for ABC (Feb. 2019)
- “The Simpsons”
“The Simpsons” has confirmed the only renewal for Fox at the moment. With the two-season renewal, the show has an opportunity to top 750 episodes. Disney+ will be thrilled to have the show under one roof in the future. It will be the Mount Everest of binge watching.
Very Likely Renewals
- “Bob’s Burgers”
- “The Cool Kids”
- “Family Guy”
- “Last Man Standing”
While Fox has not announced any renewals beyond “The Simpsons,” they have a lot of shows that are heading in that direction. “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy” should both continue on without issue. The trio of animated shows has made up a steady Sunday night lineup for nine years. Fox won’t make any drastic changes to the group.
Shockingly, “Last Man Standing” has bounced into “Bob’s Burgers” ratings on a Friday night. The Tim Allen led sitcom was canceled by ABC after a couple of disappointing seasons. That could be due to the number of actors and actresses who left and had to be recast. After all the effort to revive the show, the show may have finally found stability. This is all but a lock.
Posting strong ratings on a Friday has helped “Last Man Standing,” and will help “The Cool Kids” as well. The series posts an impressive .98, despite the Friday time slot. It whallops the ABC shows, and for Fox, the winning combo of “Last Man Standing” and “The Cool Kids” will be too good to break up.
“9-1-1” continues to drive strong ratings, posting a 1.38 and has the second highest ratings on network. With Ryan Murphy serving as the creator, they’ll want to hold onto his latest work. Plus the cast rules, with Angela Bassett begging to find her way to an Emmy nomination. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke…
Finally, “Empire” will continue on. Another season renewal will push it over 100 episodes, a benchmark many would be surprised it made. This has never been about the show being a tough watch, far from it. Instead, the show has often operated on the less prolific side in terms of episode count. While most shows go for twenty-two episodes or more, “Empire” has never gone higher than eighteen. This could be why the ratings remain strong, posting a 1.53 on the night. The show remains extremely popular.
The questions about Jussie Smollett have not made the decision any easier. However, the numbers are simply too strong to ignore. The show can move on from Smollett and write him out of the show if they choose to distance themselves from him. It is an unprecedented situation for any piece of content in Hollywood. Ultimately, Smollett should not affect the show’s larger prospects. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on the proceedings.
- “The Passage”
- “The Resident”
“The Passage” adapts the popular vampire book series by Justin Cronin. The show got beat up by critics, only earning a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it has continued to put up respectable ratings. An average over 1 in the 18-49 demographic means it should get a second season. With a lack of sci-fi or horror on the networks, this one could find its way to becoming a popular show as it dives further into the books.
“The Resident” posts an average just under a 1, and that would be the only worry for the series. However, the show gets a huge boost from crowds outside that age group and has gotten stronger in recent weeks. The Matt Czuchry led series follows the typical medical procedural formula to some success. With more than 8 million viewers of the show per week, this one should find its way to renewal.
Finally, “Star” continues to showcase strength, despite not reaching the heights of “Empire” for Fox. The show features condensed seasons, so it seems unlikely it will reach syndication numbers. Simultaneously, it keeps Lee Daniels in their wheelhouse, and its better to have strong content creators like him on board. The show has not necessarily been the hit that many hoped it could become, but it still posts a respectable 1.17 rating. With those numbers, this one stands out from the rest of the group.
- “The Gifted”
- “Lethal Weapon”
- “The Orville”
This group features shows that have troubled productions, or simply low ratings. For “The Gifted” and “Lethal Weapon,” each show seems like a borderline dead man walking. “Lethal Weapon” had to fire Clayne Crawford, and now Damon Wayans will reportedly leave the show. Simultaneously the ratings have dropped to a 0.7 among 18-49. With the troubled production, and the show not showing popularity, Fox has to wonder if its worth it.
For “The Gifted,” look at the Marvel/Netflix cancellations. With the merger, Disney will likely want control of their mutants, especially with the success of “The Umbrella Academy” for Netflix. It also features the single lowest rating on Fox, 0.64. Not necessarily a recipe for success.
For “Rel,” the issue comes down to ratings. It is the latest show on the Fox Sunday lineup, so it often goes up against event programming. However, it also drops half the audience from “Family Guy,” which leads into the new show. With only a 0.65 rating, it does not look good.
Last but not least, “The Orville” seems to have regained some footing after a very rocky start. The problem with the series has always been tone, but it started bending more towards adventure sci-fi as the show has continued. If it gets the renewal, it will have earned it. However, it remains one of Fox’s weakest shows with a 0.82. It’s not bad, but it’s also not great. This will be the ultimate bubble show, and due to Fox’s relationship with McFarlane, I would lean towards renewal.
Shows That Are Ending
The saga of Batman in Gotham will come to an end this year. The show put up some of the lowest ratings on Fox, and considering it tells the story of one of film’s biggest characters, this seemed odd. The new takes on the dozens of comic characters were interesting but ultimately could not move the needle. While the CW shows have hardcore fans, it was always difficult to hear similar support for “Gotham.” Luckily the show will end on its own terms, rather than hearing a show about these classic characters got canceled.