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A Look Ahead to FOX's Fall Season

As you may know, I'm slated to cover FOX Renew/Cancel Watch this season again. My only missed predictions last season were Bones and Sleepy Hollow, though I understand completely why they were renewed (click here for more information). But now it's time to look ahead to the fall season, and while I'm not going to make any concrete predictions right now, I can still preview what that first table may just look like. So without further ado, here's my first analysis. I've broken it up into several categories, though when the table comes it'll be back to "Certain to be Renewed", "Likely to be Renewed", etc.

The Obvious Renewals
The Simpsons
Family Guy
Gotham
Empire

The Simpsons is going into its 28th season, still pulls in relatively good ratings, and it's a very strong player in syndication and merchandise. They have way bigger things to worry about than The Simpsons. The same goes for Family Guy; it's not as big as it once was, even in relative ratings, but FOX loves Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy is still one of their highest-rated and reliable shows. On the syndication front, Gotham will only need one more season to get there after this season, though if it struggles this season Warner Brothers may need to reduce the licensing fee (or you know, The CW is always there!). But it's not like Gotham's ratings are terrible, so it should be fine either way. And finally, there's Empire, one of the biggest success story on all of television in recent seasons. Need I say more?

The Promising Newbies
Son of Zorn
Lethal Weapon
Pitch

FOX is really into doing business with Lord Miller Productions these days, with Son of Zorn and midseason entry Making History joining The Last Man On Earth on their schedule. Considering they're premiering it after The OT and it gets probably the best time slot they could offer it and it's very on brand for FOX Sunday, it has everything going for it right now. I can't say whether or not it'll be renewed since we haven't seen ratings, but I can tell you that it looks promising. Similarly, Pitch is getting great attention online and will most likely receive a ton of advertising during the MLB playoffs. Combine that with the fact that its presumed W18-34 skew is something that is highly coveted and we've found ourselves a promising show that may be hindered by its time slot. The time slot that would be most ideal for it would be Wednesdays before Empire, which is instead going to Lethal Weapon, which has time slot hit written all over it.

The Promising Veterans
The Last Man On Earth
New Girl
Scream Queens
Lucifer

Although The Last Man On Earth is far from a ratings powerhouse, it's from Lord Miller Productions and brings in a lot of awards love, more so than Empire or really any other show they air. I can't speak for Season 2 but Season 1 also had a lot of streaming presence due to its young skew and serialized nature. While it's not grandaddied into a renewal like The Simpsons, there are shows that are probably in a little bit more trouble (more on that later). Similarly, there's New Girl, which before last season began I thought for sure would be its last, but it proved to be stable and at least better than their other Tuesday entries. This could very well be its last season, but it wouldn't be because the ratings are terrible, it would because it's getting old. But I think they can get more out of it as they want. Then there's Scream Queens, which apparently sees great C3 and streaming bounces. There's more to it for this show than just the live ratings, and I think it'll be around as long as those jumps are too. And finally, promising midseason entry Lucifer did well last season behind The X-Files and respectable behind Gotham, enough to earn it a renewal and a fall spot. While it's bound to decline a lot this season due to its average being front loaded, its respectable ratings landed it in this category.

The Not Promising Newbie
The Exorcist

The Exorcist and Sleepy Hollow will time share on Fridays this season, and it's already very hard to say which will be the lesser of the worse. There's no hype for it at all, and while that doesn't necessarily mean it won't do well, the other three newbies have much more going for them already than this one does.

The Not Promising Veteran
Rosewood

In recent years, FOX hasn't been known to cancel a show after its second season; though a few of times they've gone three limited seasons. Rosewood may be an exception, and its situation reminds me a lot like Touch's situation a few years back. Touch had poor retention from its lead-in in its first season and the half-hours were ugly. It went from a 3.3 to a 1.3 in the same time slot over the course of 11 episodes. When they downgraded its time slot to Fridays the following season, it held up surprisingly well, down only 67% year-to-year. OK, so maybe that's not to great. And considering it finished with a string of 0.6s in the 2012-13 season, it pretty obviously go canceled. Like Touch, Rosewood is going from a show that did OK in its plum time slot that had half-hours to show it only did well because of the time slot, and now is seeing a downgrade to having to go against The Big Bang Theory, football, and Grey's Anatomy. It doesn't see any of those bounces that FOX brags about a lot of their shows getting in DVR or streaming, and doesn't hit those young demographics when it airs by itself, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Rosewood gone. Maybe it'll hold well, but that 0.8 finale says it won't.

The Respectable
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a workplace comedy distributed by NBC Universal that snuck its way onto FOX. It's like if ABC randomly decided that instead of picking up American Housewife CBS was going to buy it from them. Brooklyn Nine-Nine had great exposure on Sunday, but lost all that momentum and then some when it had to anchor Tuesday nights unsuccessfully. It was surrounded by duds, but this fourth season was pretty much ensured one way or another for syndication purposes anyway. It doesn't do terrible, but FOX has a few new comedies this season, and if enough of them hit then Brooklyn Nine-Nine could be in trouble, especially since they don't own it. This season, it only gets harder, as it'll be facing The Voice, NCIS, and The Middle. Maybe Hulu would be interested in a fifth season if need be, but for now, while I can't group it with New Girl in the promising category, it's also no Rosewood.

Fates Decided
Bob's Burgers--Renewed
Bones--Ending

What are your thoughts? Make sure to leave them below, and once ratings start coming in look out for the first FOX Renew/Cancel Watch of the season!