Rosewood and Lucifer are the first of Fox’s freshman dramas being given a pass for another year. Horror comedy Scream Queens, also a rookie, was picked up for season 2 last week. Fox debuted nine shows last fall and two are still on the bubble; The Grinder starring Rob Lowe and Grandfathered with John Stamos. Freshman series Second Chance, Minority Report, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life and Bordertown are expected to be canceled.
Lucifer is based on DC Comic characters and stars Tom Ellis as the former king of darkness, now charismatic proprietor of an LA piano bar. Bored with life in the underworld he chose to come topside, where a string of events landed him a role consulting with the LAPD. Lauren Graham, Kevin Alejandro and D.B. Woodside co-star. Power players Jerry Bruckheimer and Len Wiseman are among the executive directors and the show is produced by Warner Bros. in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.
The series started strong, debuting to 10.7 million viewers, including delayed audiences. It leveled off by mid-season but still pulls in a strong base of close to 7 million people per episode. Variety quoted Fox entertainment president David Madden on the renewal: “We knew we had something special with Lucifer, from the engaging performances of Tom, Lauren and the rest of the charismatic cast, to Len Wiseman’s visually stunning look of the show and the amazing storytelling savvy of the Bruckheimer team.”
Rosewood steps into the popular intersection of science and crime, starring Morris Chestnut as a Miami pathologist working with law enforcement. Though its been panned by critics, receiving a 7% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the show benefited from a time-slot just prior to Empire. Audiences are kinder to the procedural, granting it a 61% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a decently sized audience of about 6 million per week.
Jaina Lee Ortiz, Gabrielle Dennis, and Lorraine Toussaint co-star along with guest stars like Taye Diggs, who heated things up around mid-season:
Madden’s comment on the renewal: “With Rosewood creator Todd Harthan has put a fresh, playful spin on the procedural format, infusing it with wit and warmth, while Morris, Jaina and the show’s gifted supporting cast have turned in fantastic performances. We look forward to two stand-out sophomore seasons from both series.”
Fox said good-bye to American Idol tonight which will leave it with a big gap in its programming block. Though the show’s highest rated years – when it regularly attracted more than 25 million viewers – are long gone, it still closes out with a respectable audience average over more than 11 million.
Bones will be in its 12th and final season next year, which should give it a bump, but other veteran shows like New Girl, Sleepy Hollow and The Family Guy are still awaiting renewal. Comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, and The Simpsons are confirmed to return.