I don’t know who’s in charge over at Fox, but they got some splainin’ to do.
It was reported on Friday that the network had decided to cancel Lucifer after three seasons, forcing it to end, according to co-showrunner Joe Henderson, on a massive cliffhanger that will “frustrate the hell out of” fans. That show is really fun and does okay in ratings. According to TV by the Numbers, season-to-date Lucifer has averaged a 0.9 rating in its Mondays-at-8 time slot, down about 20% from its sophomore run but also running an hour earlier during family hour which could be used to explain the slight difference in a show about and taking its name from The Devil.
Theories on why this decision was made range, but a popular one appears to be that Fox executives found the cost of production too high for the show to shoot on-location in Los Angeles. My argument as to why this theory is wrong lies in the fact that Lucifer was produced in Vancouver for its first two seasons, so my hope would be that if true, production would be moved back to Vancouver for a season four rather than a cancellation. If this theory is true, then it means Fox okayed production to move to LA just so they could come up with a reason to kill the show.
Despite my saltiness, I was willing to let this go. Until an announcement was made today.
In an 11th hour decision, Fox has egregiously decided to renew the meh Batman fanfiction that is Gotham for a fifth and final season. Reportedly, the decision was made in order to allow producers to suitably “wrap up” the show, providing closure for the viewers. Which, don’t get me wrong, is cool. Fans have invested four years of their lives into this show and deserve a proper ending. The fact that executives are giving producers this opportunity – a rarity in the television world – is wonderful.
So then why do I describe this decision as egregious, you may be asking yourself. Answer: this same consideration was not given to Lucifer’s fans, despite the fact that the show does better than Gotham in both viewership and ratings. Gotham has been averaging a 0.8 rating and 2.62 million total viewers this season, making it Fox’s worst performer in both measures excluding the also recently cancelled The Exorcist.
I’m no marketing genius, but I would think if one show is being watched by less people and less of the targeted demographic than another, the worse of the two should be the one that gets cut. Especially given the above scenarios regarding closure.