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Screwed By The Network / Fox

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Ever since the network went on the air in 1986, and worsening in the dawn of the 21st century, Fox has gained a reputation of canceling and/or screwing over an extensive number of television programs for whatever reason, regardless of whether or not the show is well-received by critics and audiences. Depending on who you ask, the cause of this is either A) the network having a strong preference of in-house productions (at least, until they sold their production houses to Disney), or B) so they can headline shows considered by network executives to be worthy of broadcast and a lengthy longevity. As a result, the number of Fox programs getting screwed over by network politics is huge, and as a result, horrendous.


Examples regarding Fox Kids shows can be found here. Examples from former sibling units FX Networks and Freeform are found here.

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    Fox Animation 
  • In an example of an affiliate screwing over another network's children's block, UPN owned-and-operated station WUPA was not kind to Fox children's block 4KidsTV during that block's run on the stationnote . The station aired the block on Sunday mornings instead of Saturdays with barely any promotion, and often, WUPA would air infomercials in between 4KidsTV programs. Then, in 2004, WUPA elected to drop the block entirely due to low ratings, not airing any non-edutainment children's programming for two years until it affiliated with The CW and took the Kids' WB! block with it. Since WAGA-TV nor any other station in the Atlanta market picked up the block (including WATL, who later affiliated with Fox-owned MyNetworkTV), 4KidsTV was unavailable in the Atlanta market for the next four years of its run, with its only presence being through cable video-on-demand systems beginning in 2006. The whole debacle was one of many issues regarding affiliate coverage that played a major factor in the cancellation of 4KidsTV in 2008.
    • At least two other markets where Fox Kids wasn't on their Fox station didn't carry the 4KidsTV block at all. In Birmingham, Alabama, the Fox Kids block was dropped from former WB affiliate WTTO (who was the station's original Fox affiliate, now a CW affiliate) in 2000, and Greensboro, North Carolina ended up losing the Fox Kids block in 2002 when WTWB-TV (who carried the block in lieu of WGHP; it's now CW affiliate WCWG) dropped the block after the weekday block was canceled. As a result, 4KidsTV wasn't picked up in either market as no stations in the markets were interested in it (granted, both markets are barely within the Top 50, so they wouldn't have given 4KidsTV a viewership boost; it was the loss of Atlanta coverage that mattered). Much like Atlanta's case, the block was only available in those markets through video-on-demand services.
  • Allen Gregory was doomed from the start thanks to Fox only commissioning seven episodes and reduced the budget for the pilot episode. Not only did the network have no faith in the show, they basically had it as filler in between the bigger shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons. Combined with extremely negative reviews, it got canned after seven episodes and both the network and its production company Bento Box Entertainment shifted focus to the more successful Bob's Burgers.
  • American Dad! got this treatment from Fox for the longest time. It still gets this to some extent, to the point where the network chose not to pick up the show for the 2014-15 season (new episodes are now airing on TBS). New episodes of the show don't get much promotion and they tend to get the worst time slot. While The Cleveland Show got a ton of promotion, despite not having as much acclaim from critics and fans or very good ratings, new episodes of American Dad! didn't get announced as often. Also, unlike episodes of The Cleveland Show, they wouldn't usually get their plot synopsis' and guest stars announced in the advertisements. There was even a period in early 2011 where American Dad! was demoted to 7:30, usually the fate of shows on their way out, while Fox debuted Bob's Burgers in the post-Simpsons timeslot and sent Cleveland behind Family Guy. American Dad! still managed to hold on, but it clearly wasn't as loved by Fox as much as the other shows in the main block. note 
    • This treatment actually flipped after Cleveland's post-Family Guy run, when it was sent to the 7:30 slot in fall 2011 so the network could try out new shows in the post-Simpsons slot, while American Dad! was moved back behind Family Guy. It also got full plot synopses and guest star promotion reinstated - at the cost of the same for The Cleveland Show. With ratings eroding rapidly for The Cleveland Show and every other Animation Domination show (including Bob's Burgers) already renewed for 2013-14, and a new show looming over the horizon note , The Cleveland Show was cancelled in 2013.
  • Bless the Harts premiered to coincide with the return of Fox's Animation Domination block in the fall of 2019. It had gotten renewed for a second season, but during Feburary 2021, it was moved from its original timeslot of 8:30 to 7:30 to accommodate the new animated series, The Great North. Also not helping matters is that it would get constantly preempted by NASCAR races, especially when said races were held up due to a rain delay.note  These factors, combined with low ratings, led to the Harts' cancellation in the spring, with its remaining episodes getting burned off until mid-June 2021.
  • After it had just won an Emmy over Archer and South Park, Season 4 of Bob's Burgers moved to 7:00 PM. Though this was due to the airing of Cosmos and Bob's still got a fifth season. Later it moved to the 7:30 slot (the same one Futurama occupied) and the release of new episodes had slowed to a trickle. The season technically premiered October 3rd, but fans had to wait a month for the next episode, and then wait an additional three weeks for the third one.
    • Just before the end of 2014, it moved back to its 9:30 slot following the failure of Mulaney. Three months later, it shifted to 7:30 again following the debut of The Last Man on Earth. Bob's Burgers is an interesting and somewhat unique example of this trope, as it's usually preempted during the football season, but the problem only lasts until the end of the calendar year. The premiere of Bordertown in Winter 2016 assured that Bob remains at the 7:30 PM slot for the distant future. When Fox announced the 2018-19 schedule, they finally put it back to 8:30, before being put in the 9:00 slot for the 2019-20 season.
  • Bordertown itself got screwed. It aired at 8:30, as a mid-season replacement, but then The Last Man on Earth returned to its timeslot, resulting in its move to 6:00. To top things off, on what would have been its first night in its new timeslot, Fox didn't air the show at all, preempting its timeslot with NASCAR Racing. It was axed after a single season.
  • Cassius And Clay was a planned female-led post-apocalyptic series by Adam Reed for FXX that was intended to be a sister show to the seventh season of Archer. After being picked up for a ten-episode order, FXX decided to abruptly cancel the show and Season 7 of Archer ended up airing on FX instead. note 
  • The Critic wasn't treated great by ABC, but Fox was way worse. Despite pulling in respectable ratings and a very positive reception when compared to it's run on ABC, the show got cancelled by Fox (not officially, in order to ensure that it couldn't be revived by other networks) all because the then-president of Fox hated it (preferring another show that itself got cancelled after a single season).
  • Family Guy was constantly being moved in its early seasons, and was eventually cancelled — twice. No other show had ever been brought back on the same network after being cancelled twice. A cult fan following developed through Adult Swim's reruns and the combination of ratings and phenomenal DVD sales convinced the Fox executives to revive the show. Now it's Adored by the Network as much as The Simpsons and former series American Idol before it was brought back by ABC.
  • Futurama has got to be one of the few examples that has also come back with a vengeance note . After four seasons of being pre-empted by sports programming and inconsistent airing dates, which were often changed due to increasingly poor viewer ratings (itself because of the continually-inconvenient timeslots) and little publicity from the network, Fox just decided to cease production of the show after the episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" in 2003. Rumor has it that Fox didn't even tell the cast or crew which episode would be their last. The show was then constantly rerun for the next four years on Adult Swim, which gave it enough reason for the crew members to create four made-for-DVD movies. After what seemed like an eternity in TV limbo, Futurama returned to TV, with Comedy Central as its new home. After two seasons, Comedy Central pulled the plug on the show, but even after the last episode's ending (in which Fry and Leela get married), Matt Groening says he's going to once again find a new home for the show before he began to focus on the Netflix series Disenchantment.
  • King of the Hill was one of the longest-running series second only to The Simpsons, but was hardly promoted during the later years of its run. Advertisements for the "Animation Domination" block it was on would come on, and the other shows on the block (The Simpsons, Family Guy, and others) would have the plots for the upcoming episodes announced, but King of the Hill would barely get a side mention. Fox even did try to cancel it, but fan protest had them hold onto it for a few more years.
    • From season 3 onward King of the Hill was routinely screwed over. Initially the show occupied an 8:30 timeslot between The Simpsons and The X-Files at the height of the popularity of both shows. Not surprisingly, it garnered huge ratings. For season three, however, it went to Tuesday nights against ABC's Home Improvement - viewership plummeted. Fox then moved it to Sunday at 7:30, where it was constantly pre-empted by sports. Only in its penultimate season did the show return to 8:30. That's not mentioning the cancellation merry-go-round of the last three and four seasons.
  • Napoleon Dynamite got cancelled abruptly after only six episodes, mostly as a result of being aired in time-slots were it was usually preempted by sporting events like football games.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up (The U.S. version). The show initially received a ton of promotion and had a nice cozy timeslot sandwiched between Fox's hard-hitter cartoons, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Despite this, the show constantly received poor ratings, got largely negative reviews, was relocated to Fox's graveyard hour (the very timeslot that killed Futurama) and even had an episode removed from airing on Sunday due to dubious content ("Math Lab"). The show itself was eventually pulled from Sundays and was canceled by the network. However, Fox later burned-off the rest of the series on Saturdays at 12:00 AM (replacing reruns of MADtv after that show ended due to low ratings and budget cuts) and continued to rerun there until Spring when Comedy Central picked up the rights to the show, but Comedy Central aired all but two episodes (the pilot and "High School Confidential"). Between November 2014 and February 2015, Adult Swim's Sunday night line-up aired the show right in the same timeslot that used to belong to King of the Hill.

     Fox Live-Action 
  • Any live-action comedies (such as Mulaney, The War at Home, Sons of Tucson, Rel, Making History, etc.) that aired on Sunday nights, which is supposed to be called "Animation Domination" otherwise. Only The Last Man on Earth and The War at Home managed to last longer than a season, but even then, both shows were victims of cancellation in Spring 2018 and Spring 2007, respectively. By the time Rel flopped, Fox seemed to realize this, so they brought back the Animation Domination block back, and greenlit three new animated shows slated for the night, with Bless the Harts being the first one to air.
  • Almost Human began in the fall of 2013 already slightly screwed by having its premiere date pushed back two weeks. After a strong Sunday night premiere, the series slowly began to slip but it maintained a huge fanbase. After a season of episodes being aired out of order, causing continuity problems with viewers, Fox cancelled the series for good after just one season in April 2014.
  • Arrested Development struggled in the ratings despite being a critics' favorite, a problem Fox compounded when they did little advertising and cut production orders on short notice. Luckily, it did get a season 4 and 5 on Netflix and a possible film adaptation or sixth season in its future.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine was originally aired on Thursdays to good ratings. When season 2 premiered, it was moved to Sundays, in between The Simpsons and Family Guy, but Brooklyn had better ratings, and remained there until December 2015. The network would take it out of its Sunday slot and put it on Tuesdays as a lead-in for The Grinder, but it has had a few Sunday airings and moved back permanently in the middle of season 5. Brooklyn was cancelled by Fox in May 2018.
    • Fox's decision drew an outpouring of grief on social media, even with big-name celebs such as Mark Hamill and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show's cancellation was the #1 trending topic on Twitter the night Fox announced it. Two days later, NBC came in and announced that they were picking up Brooklyn for a 13-episode (later expanded to 18) sixth season, which is ironic considered NBC's parent company NBCUniversal produced the show.
    • The day after they announced its cancellation, Fox picked up Last Man Standing from ABC, leading to speculations that Brooklyn and others were cancelled because the network is now trying to court a conservative audience (the ones that support Fox's sister network Fox News) to capitalize off of ABC's Roseanne revival. The president of Fox admitted that this was the case. Ironically, 20th Century Fox was split from Fox and was already merged with Disney, the owners of the show's original network ABC.
  • Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, the show that replaced Brooklyn during the former series' move in December 2015, had an even worse treatment, as it was preempted twice, demoted of its timeslot, switched timeslots with Bob's Burgers, and eventually, was removed in May sweeps for Simpsons reruns, with the two final episodes being burned off in June.
  • Joss Whedon joked that Dollhouse's (aired in the infamous Friday Night Death Slot) unexpected renewal was the network screwing him around, saying that they told him "Whoops, we forgot to cancel your show, you're going have to make more episodes."
  • Drive (2007)'s first three episodes were aired over two nights; the fourth aired a week later, and then it was canceled, giving all of four episodes and nine days. This after the initial 13-episode order was split in half, so even if it hadn't been canceled it would've run for a month followed by a three-month hiatus. This proves once again that Tim Minear (who also produced both Wonderfalls and Firefly) and Fox go together like peanut butter and nitroglycerin. Minear is reportedly now two shows into a six-show deal with Fox.
  • Enlisted was screwed from the word go. Held until the very end of TV season, stuck in the Friday Night Death Slot, with episodes aired out of order, and no advertising to speak of. It was axed after one season.
  • The Finder looked to have it pretty good, Bones creator Hart Hanson is hot stuff on Fox, given Bones is still on the air, it started in the post-Idol Thursday slot, what could go wrong? Fox (surprise surprise) rearranged the episode order, randomly put it on a month's hiatus, then with little advertisement shifted it to Fridays so Touch could get the post-Idol slot. The Finder supposedly was canceled for low ratings, but it did better than Touch overall before the timeslot shift (comparing with Touch's aired episodes). Since Touch was the new golden child with Kiefer Sunderland in it on Fox, it got a second season while The Finder ended with everyone needing to be found. And now the death of Michael Clarke Duncan prevents any chance of a revival.
    • From the looks of things, Touch may not be that much of a golden child after all. Fox had originally planned to ship it to Fridays at 8:00 PM starting in late October for Season 2 but then announced a "TBA Midseason" return date, likely due to The Mob Doctor being DOA. Said "TBA Midseason" was later clarified to "Fridays at 9" starting February 1, meaning the show would spend eight months off the air and still be stuck in a Friday Night Death Slot. Turns out they delayed the return of Touch for a full week so they could air a rerun of The Following instead. No matter, as the second season was a critical and ratings dud when it finally did air.
  • Firefly was supposed to begin with a double-length pilot that set up the complex universe the series was set in, along with the various characters' relationships. The network decided that the pilot wasn't action-oriented enough and should be shelved, asking the show's creators to make a new first episode, giving them just one weekend to write it. After that premiere, Fox completely ignored the arc and aired the episodes in seemingly random order, in some cases resulting in episodes showing Previously on… scenes that wouldn't air until the following week. There was almost no commercial promotion whatsoever following the premiere (and the commercials that did air downplayed the series' strengths to "broaden the appeal"), episodes were preempted for sporting events on numerous occasions, and the pilot movie didn't air until after the series had been canceled. Not to mention, it also aired in the Friday Night Death Slot.
  • Forever Eden, a rare example of a Reality Show getting screwed, Fox changed its timeslot repeatedly with little advance warning and cancelled the show mid-season before a winner was even announced.
  • Glee was hit with this in its last season. Rather than let it die ceremoniously, it got shifted to the Friday Night Death Slot, airing after World's Funniest Fails, which showcased random home video stunts. Neither show received any major promotion (though in the case of WFF, it was by design, as it's intended solely as time-slot filler), and ratings took a catastrophic slide upon their premiere. Fox, however, didn't care a lot about Glee to give it better treatment over time. After Glee aired its final episode a couple of months later, the entire Friday night timeslot was taken over by theatrical films for the rest of the 2014-2015 season, which is almost completely unheard of in 2015. World's Funniest Fails only returns whenever Fox needs another timeslot to fill.
    • This may have been deliberate, though, since by the time Glee got to Season 6 the ratings (as well as critical opinion) had fallen so ludicrously low that many people were confused as to why the show was even still on the air to begin with.
  • The Good Guys was a comedy on Fox featuring the uptight but ambitious Detective Jack Baily and the relic of the 1980s, Detective Dan Stark. It featured colorful characters, plenty of action, a great sense of humor, a low budget, and rather good reviews. However, it was given the Friday Night Death Slot at the end of Summer 2010 and was cancelled later in the year.
  • The Fox sitcom The Grubbs was cancelled two days before its premiere (supposedly due to bad reviews) without having even aired a single episode.
    • Fox did the same thing to The Ortegas a year later. NBC had already screwed over the show (after beating out Fox in a major bidding war for it) by pushing it back to midseason, so the creators decided to approach Fox with the show and they were promised a Fall premiere date...but in the end, FOX gave them nothing as the show was cancelled weeks before its premiere. Unlike The Grubbs, Fox didn't have the excuse of bad reviews to fall back on.
  • Jonny Zero, while no means a great show, suffered at the hands of Fox as well. It was aired completely out of order and was stuck in the Friday Night Death Slot.
  • Lie to Me was continuously screwed by Fox despite a devoted fan following and critical acclaim (mainly for Tim Roth's performance). The show was always near cancellation due to Fox not being happy with the ratings (despite the show winning its timeslot or finishing near the top most of the time) and a few seasons only got 13 episode orders that didn't premiere until Spring. The show was finally canceled in 2011 along with several other shows that had decent followings (such as Human Target).
  • The earliest example of Fox screwing over a program is, ironically, their first program ever. The Late Show was Fox's attempt to compete with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on NBC, and was first broadcast on the network's premiere night, on October 9, 1986, with Joan Riversnote  as host. Unfortunately, despite starting off modestly in the ratings, ratings took a catastrophic downfall, fueled in part many of the Fox affiliates rejecting the show's content and refusing to carry itnote . In addition, behind-the-scenes drama between Fox executives and Rivers led to the latter's termination. Fox scrambled to find a replacement for Rivers, hiring Buck Henry, Arsenio Hall, and Ross Shafer as temporary fill-ins, but none of the hosts could improve the show's ratings, and Fox canceled the show before they could find a permanent host replacement. It's been said that the experience FOX had with The Late Show "cursed" them into trying to get successful late-night programs on the network, as their later attempts at establishing late-night talk shows (The Chevy Chase Show, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, and The Wanda Sykes Show) all failed to last at least more than three seasonsnote . After The Wanda Sykes Show failed to make it past a season, Fox gave up entirely on late-night shows until 2016, when the network debuted Party Over Here in an ill-fated attempt to directly compete with Saturday Night Live (some affiliates preempted the first minutes so as to not compete with the first minutes of SNL). Not too surprisingly, the show never made it past a season.
  • Lawless is quite possibly the most egregious example of all, with Fox cancelling the show after only one episode. According to star Brian Bosworth, Rupert Murdoch spent 15 million on the show and six episodes were already shot at its time of cancellation. Then the show got put in as a mid-season replacement on a Friday Night, then the week before it was aired it got changed to Saturday night at a different time, but by that point, it was too late to change the media listings, so people tuned it at the wrong time, causing the premiere to get incredibly low ratings as a result. The show was also hurt by studio politics, as Fox had a new president coming in who didn't want to use a show the previous guy had greenlit.
  • Lone Star was pulled by Fox after only two episodes were aired, making it one of the most preemptive cancellations ever done by the network. Fox pit the series against Dancing with the Stars, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly, all three of which crushed any chance of Lone Star finding an acceptable audience. The four other episodes that were produced remain unaired to this day.
  • A very slight, yet still loomingly-large version: Married... with Children suffered from this.
    • First, there were the censors wanting to re-titled an episode called "A Period Piece" (which focused on Peg, Kelly, and Marcy getting their periods simultaneously while Al, Bud, and Steve go fishing) into "The Camping Show", even though the show titles for "Married...With Children" were not shown onscreen (and not known at all until "Married...With Children" fan websites and cable guide summaries sprung up in the 1990s).
    • Then, there was the whole Terry Rakolta incident, which caused an episode that wasn't even that raunchy, but still had heavy sexual references ("I'll See You in Court") to be barred from viewing until FX aired the episode a decade later and the episode was released on DVD.
    • Perhaps the most egregious of all was how the series ended. You know that last episode where Kelly almost gets married to the man who held her family hostage? Well, despite looking like the perfect plot for the final episode of a dysfunctional family sitcom, it wasn't scheduled to be that way. After Fox spent all of Season 11 moving Married... with Children to different timeslots (and made worse by the fact that The Simpsons and In Living Color!, among other Fox shows, were gaining in popularity), the show suffered in the ratings so much that Fox decided to shut the show down after its 11th season. According to the E! True Hollywood Story about Married... with Children, the actors had a lot of different ideas for what the last episode should have been. Ed O'Neill thought that the Bundys should win the lottery right before a tornado ripped through the neighborhood and killed them. Christina Applegate built on this, saying that the Bundy house should have then landed on Marcy, a la The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Ted McGinley suggested the Bundys and Marcy dying or getting hurt in some horrible fashion and Jefferson ending up relaxing on the beach with bikini-clad babes all around him. The kicker to that is the fact that some of the actors didn't know the show was cancelled until they heard the news on a radio broadcast! In fact, Ed O'Neill only found out when he was on vacation and a couple staying in the same hotel expressed their sadness at hearing about the show's demise. He promptly bought them a bottle of champagne and has said that it was good that he learned of the show's end that way rather than from a studio exec.
  • MinorityReport, the sequel series to the 2002 film of the same title, was placed opposite NBC's The Voice, ABC's Dancing with the Stars and CBS's Scorpion on Monday nights, hurting its ratings. Once the low ratings started coming in, Fox cut its first season episode order from thirteen episodes to ten, and persistent viewership loss prompted its cancellation.
  • New Amsterdam (2008) was screwed over before it even made it to air. The network decided last-minute to scrap the show, even after they produced eight episodes and started to promote it. The only reason it made it to air was that the Writers' Guild strike of 2007-08 made producers desperate to find anything they could air that wasn't scripted (or was written, but currently not in production).
  • Red Band Society, despite having a devoted fanbase, got torpedoed thanks to executive confidence at Fox. After Fox picked up the project for a series, the pilot tested so well with test audiences that the network pit it against a death row of sitcoms and dramas on the 9:00pm Wednesday night timeslot (as a replacement for the outgoing The X Factor), such as ABC's Modern Family and black•ish, CBS's Criminal Minds, The CW's The 100 and NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unitnote . With the under-performing ratings, Fox decided the series wasn't worth it, sending the last three episodes produced to die in the Saturday night graveyard slot weeks after announcing cancellation.
  • Son of Zorn got this after its first season; after a finale with two gigantic cliffhangers. Despite decent ratings, the series ended due to episodes being difficult to produce and an unlucky search for a new showrunner.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles opened with strong numbers, only to be interrupted by the writers' strike, which sidelined its planned lead-in to 24. Instead of trying to gain viewers in Season 2, Fox shoehorned it into a lead-in spot for Prison Break (which had seen a dramatic crash in viewership and popularity). The show was then put on a three-month hiatus and upon its return, rather than being scheduled as the lead-in to the returning 24, Fox moved it to the Friday Night Death Slot and needless to say it was over from there.
  • Titus was simply shot down, no questions asked, at mid-season because of the show's twisted humor (culminating in a two-part episode about Titus and his friends being accused of hijacking a plane and a Missing Episode where wild teen Amy gets in trouble for beating up a boy who sexually harasses her, then accuses his father of molesting her when she was a childnote ). Its replacement? The Pitts, one of the biggest failures Fox has ever aired (at the time), running five episodes before the timeslot was canned and forgotten (save for a quick, cheap mention on Family Guy's first episode back from its 2002 cancellation).
    • Another contribution to the Titus cancellation came when creator Christopher Titus got called in to meet one of the head honchos at Fox. Turned out that the exec wanted to break up Erin and Titus as they had done with Dharma & Greg. Titus naturally objected as the show was based on real life, and Erin and Titus had never broken up in real life. Seems Titus' objection was a little too rough for the execs, as the next week all the promos completely stopped and the show ended up canceled not long after that. Ironically, Titus did divorce Erin Carden in 2006 (according to the comedy special Love is Evol), and was working on a sitcom that would have been adapted from his comedy specials, Love is Evol, Neverlution, and The Voice in My Head, following his life after his divorce, his custody battle, and finding love with a new woman, but those plans have since been put on hold.
  • Touch is an arguable one. Despite the first season being highly advertised, the second was shown with little advertising and suffered from a 3-week hiatus (along with poorer ratings than the first season) before showing the final episodes. What didn't help is it being finished with a Cliffhanger.
  • The War at Home didn't fare too well as a replacement for Arrested Development. While they did renew the show for another season, they abruptly moved it from Sunday nights to Thursday nights and did little to promote it, causing the ratings to fall and as a result, the show was not renewed.
  • Wonderfalls was canceled after four weeks, one of the quickest deaths Fox has ever managed to give a show. But that was only the last of a number of choices on the part of the network that led to the show's demise: first, the show was developed at the same time as CBS' Joan of Arcadia, to which at first glance it may seem strikingly similar in theme. Supposedly fearing it would draw too many comparisons, they held off the premiere for an entire year, which backfired and led some to think it was a deliberate copy (as opposed to a coincidence), especially as Joan had proven successful and was still on the air. Worse, it started airing 8:00 PM on a Friday, which had the dual misfortune of not only being the same time as Joan aired on CBS but of also being the infamous Friday Night Death Slot, whose name tends to be especially apt for non-family-friendly fare... which of course, describes Wonderfalls. In a sort of Coup de Grâce, Fox finally moved the show after its third week to Thursday, where it would ostensibly get better ratings...which they did this without telling anyone, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Fox also ran promos for the fifth episode, only to pull the series before it aired. Making matters worse for fans, there was uncertainty for months as to whether the series would be allowed a DVD release, but thankfully this was resolved.
  • In a very rare case of Screwed By The Affiliate, a Fox affiliate in North Carolina, WRAZ-TV, has a reputation for being run by Moral Guardians who refuse to air Fox programming that it judges to be "anti-family" and is particularly hostile to the raunchy reality shows, preempting or canceling airings of Temptation Island, Who Wants To Marry A Multimillionaire?, Married By America, Osbournes Reloaded, and Who's Your Daddy?, a definite case of over-nannying or guardian of sanity by that station, depending on your view (not airing Married by America helped them avoid a fine FOX got from airing a particularly sleazy scene, for instance). In their place, the station usually airs reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, a show which retains legendary popularity in North Carolina.
  • The separation of 20th Century Fox Television from the Fox network upon the former's sale to ABC owner Disney resulted in several fan-favorite-but-low-rated shows on FOX getting axed, notably The Cool Kids, The Passage, Proven Innocent and Lee Daniels' Star. In the case of The Cool Kids, though, it had less to do with ratings (they were higher than the latter two shows) and more to do with WWE SmackDown taking over Fox's Friday night timeslot and the network feeling there wasn't any acceptable slot for the comedy.
    • Said shakeup also coincided with Lethal Weapon and Empire getting the axe, but were for reasons beyond that. Both shows underwent major behind-the-scenes strife before their cancellation, with Lethal Weapon seeing both its lead stars walking out (though for different reasons; Clayne Crawford was fired over bad behavior on set, while Damon Wayans chose to leave during the third season due to personal reasons) and thus without any clear replacement for either star. Empire, meanwhile, was in its fifth season by the time crucial co-star Jussie Smollett found himself in legal trouble with the Chicago Police Department over allegations that he had faked a hate crime, resulting in his character being Put on a Bus. Between his legal problems, collapsing ratings and his colleagues on set publicly supporting him, Fox was caught between a rock and a hard place and chose to wind down the series for its sixth season as the debacle was affecting its long-term viability. Empire also had the bad luck of having a finale never filmed due to COVID-19 shutdowns occurring just as filming was about to begin, meaning a psuedo-finale had to be constructed two episodes short of its intended in.
  • Prodigal Son. As the first scripted program from Fox after its post-Disney merger restructuring, it managed to bring in modest ratings, enough that Fox, despite cutting the first season down two episodes thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, renewed it for a second season. However, two factors ended up working against it. First, the second season ended up premiering mid-season due to the prolonged production shutdown, causing its episode order to be slimmed down further to 13. Second, Fox decided to bump the series the next night on Tuesdays in favor of an America's Most Wanted revival. It just so happened that the same Tuesday night timeslot was also occupied by rival dramas This Is Us and FBI, neither of which gave Prodigal Son breathing room in the ratings. Fox soon saw the writing on the wall, and canceled it the week of its penultimate episode.