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Bugabear's avatar

Why does Fox always cancel the good shows?

Asked by Bugabear (1707points) February 10th, 2010

Why does Fox keep Canceling all the great shows like Firefly and Futurama? They say it’s because they didnt get enough viewers but we all know thats bull.

A list of some of the fallen

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21 Answers

KoolKats's avatar

I loved Firefly. And what do you mean by bull? According to Wikipedia they were getting less views than the other shows they had at the time.

ChaosCross's avatar


and then they made a movie and they were like “lol k done”

TooBlue's avatar

Never EVER mention “Fox” and “good” in the same sentence…ever!

ChaosCross's avatar

Starfox is a pretty good game, don’t cha’ think?

jerv's avatar

I think it’s because many Fox viewers want Leave it to Beaver and other such stuff that promotes the greatness of America as seen through a Cold War era lens. I doubt there are many Glen Beck fans that appreciate the subversive humor of Futurama or The Simpsons, or care about Firefly. Besides, we all know that humans are the only intelligent life in the Universe, so sci-fi is blasphemy ;)

asmonet's avatar

Honestly, I think Firefly would have done well on the WB (CW), Joss Whedon had tons of success with them. But I don’t remember why Fox got Firefly. Seems fucking backward.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

There was an article in our paper that explained that once a show catches on, people often stop watching it after the first season, and wait for the second season to come out on DVD so they can watch it without commercials. When this happens, the ratings drop, and the station loses advertisers for the show, and can’t afford to run it anymore.

Grisaille's avatar

Sigh, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. If you only knew how much I love you. I thought we’d have more time. I thought there was more time.


Glau! I’m coming!


borderline_blonde's avatar

RIP Arrested Development… RIP :’(

Berserker's avatar

Prolly cuz like, they’re determined to SUCK.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Easy answer…

…“good” shows don’t necessarily translate into profits.

Once a show fails to earn money for the network, it’s gone.

Plain and simple.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

FYI, Futurama has been picked up by Comedy Central, and new episodes should air sometime this summer.

I second the RIP for Arrested Development and Firefly.

Edit: I just looked at the link, and I can’t believe I forgot about Keen Eddie. I loved that show! Tisk tisk, Fox.

Violet's avatar

Professor Farnsworth: Yes? I see. [hangs up phone] Good news,
everyone! *Those asinine morons who canceled us were themselves
fired for incompetence.*
[the crew cheers]
Professor Farnsworth: And not just fired, but beaten up, too… and
pretty badly.
[the crew cheers doubtfully]
Professor Farnsworth: In fact, most of them died from their injuries.
[the crew remains silent while Bender laughs evilly]
Professor Farnsworth: And then they were ground up into a fine pink
Fry: Why?
Professor Farnsworth: Oh, its got a million and one uses. [Takes
some Torgos Powder and sprinkles it in his pants] Aw, that soothes
the fire.
Leela: [referring to both the numerous air conditioners and the
admirers of Futurama] So what does this mean for us and our many
Professor Farnsworth: It means were back on the air!
[the crew is still silent]
Professor Farnsworth: Yes, flying on the air in our mighty spaceship!
[the crew cheers wildly]
Bender: Were back, baby!

dalepetrie's avatar

Same reason any network cancels a good show. It’s all about the bottom line, and if the network isn’t making money on a show, or if they feel they can make MORE money by putting something else in that time slot, that’s what they’re bound to do….the networks are corporations and the sole purpose for the existence of a corporation is to make as much money for the shareholders as possible. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just Fox, look no further than the latest fracas with the Tonight Show where NBC decided to replace Conan O’Brien with former host Jay Leno. O’Brien may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but his humor was more in touch with the sensibilities of the younger audience, the future of late night entertainment…he was the choice if you wanted to continue to build a franchise and position yourself to be the dominant force in a few years, but if you were worried about today’s bottom line, you know that Leno got better ratings and made more money as the host of the Tonight Show (after having 17 years to build his audience) than Conan did in the 7 months they gave him. They knew Jay was losing them money in his earlier show, they felt they had no choice, they acted they way a corporation is bound to act, preserve the bottom line.

Consider that Fox canceled Family Guy not once, but twice, making it not only the first show to be uncanceled, but the only show to be resurrected two times. And why? Because it wasn’t making Fox enough money in its time slot, but when they put it on DVD, it made them SO much money that they had no choice but to produce new episodes. And ironically, what is on when Futurama would have been on? Well, another show by the creator of Family Guy. The guy they essentially fired twice now programs 3 of 4 of their ½ hour sitcoms every Sunday, some have said his contract could be worth a billion dollars.

Consider what television would look like if network execs programmed what they wanted to program instead of what made money. Fox TV would resemble Fox News…the shows would reflect the values and beliefs (right wing, all about the Benjamins) of the executives and shareholders, and not what sold DVDs and ads on their programming. Because rabid right wingers who want news that reinforces their beliefs (as evidenced by the success of talk radio), Fox was able to carve out a niche in their news where programming could be both popular and in line with their quality standards, but I somehow doubt that these same people who rail against immorality would find shows like Family Guy or Futurama (or even their cash cow, The Simpsons) to be funny. Think of how subversively left wing the Simpsons and Family Guy are, if the people in charge of programming cared about enforcing their idea of quality, these shows wouldn’t see the light of day.

So, Fox is just like the rest of the networks, who are just like all the rest of the corporations when you get right down to it. Last year NBC canceled My Name is Earl, and incredibly subversive, satirical look at trailer trash when one of their own develops a conscience…one of the most consistently funny shows on NBC’s Thursday night line up, which was for years the bigggest deal in all of TV. NBC Thursday night gave us Cheers, Night Court, the Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Friends…and now it gives us The Office and 30 Rock. But those shows are fairly low rated compared to other shows on TV today…society has a taste for “reality” TV rather than scripted comedy, and it’s cheaper to produce, so the sitcom has disappeared in favor of cheaply produced train wrecks that draw on spectacle rather than on insight and creativity. So, shows like My Name is Earl, which had ratings not much worse than 30 Rock and the Office, the closest thing NBC has to hits these days, but they had the opportunity to put on a show with Chevy Chase, who like Jay Leno has been a consistent cash cow for them.

The thing about good quality shows that get canceled is that they generally are very smartly written. Look at another short lived Fox comedy, Get a Life…the show was positively revolutionary…it was offbeat and surreal, and today it’s near legendary, but it lasted 2 seasons. It was too cutting edge for TV. Go back further to another network, ABC which ran a show called Police Squad! for 6 episodes in 1982. The show is a cult classic, and inspired 3 Naked Gun movies which made tons of money and practically remade Leslie Neilsen’s career. But the show never had a chance, you had to think about the humor, unlike the #1 show of 1982, Joanie Loves Chachi.

So to answer the question, why does Fox always cancel the good shows, it’s because quality does not equal popularity, but popularity does equal money, and artists are concerned about quality, corporations are concerned about popularity, and Fox is a coporation. There is really nothing more to it than that whenever ANY network cancels a great show.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@dalepetrie: Yeah…that’s what I said!

Haleth's avatar

Those bastards! I’ll never forgive them for Arrested Development being cancelled.

@SABOTEUR That’s what she said!

asmonet's avatar

@Grisaille: Can I get in on that action with Glau? I’m kind of madly in love with her.

john65pennington's avatar

Fox reminds me of Jack n The Box Restaurants. when JNBOX tries a new food item on their menu, if its not accepted in California, its yanked from the restaurants and never heard from again. same applies to Fox. how can California set the trend for the rest of the nation? here is an example: for about two weeks, JNBOX experimented with a new burger. it contained turkey, instead of hamburger. the sandwich really had a good taste and was much healthier for you. after two weeks…......gone. JNBOX stated its survey of people in California showed that Turkey Burgers were taboo. just my point, again, how can Fox make a determination as to which new shows receive the ax? are the people of California the only ones that ever have a vote? something to consider for both situations.

jerv's avatar

@john65pennington The way politicians concentrate on CA, and the way that people follow the lives of Hollywood celebrities closer than the lives of their own family makes me think that maybe CA does rule the nation!

rottenit's avatar

Fox has found out that there crap reality TV shows get in way more money and cost less to produce than normal ones, which leads them to be a bit quicker on the draw to cancle something unless its insanely popular.

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