It’s spring cleaning for the networks, and FOX just dumped a massive crop of new shows from their schedule this week. They include the Greg Kinnear drama Rake (which struggled for a few months), the military comedy Enlisted (which also had a few months to find an audience), Dads (that one going back to the start of last year’s Fall season), and Surviving Jack (which debuted just a few weeks ago, and star Christopher Meloni is probably plenty confused after spending 11 seasons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).
First up, FOX officially cancelled Rake on Wednesday as expected. The network seemed to be trying to recapture the House, M.D. allure of an unlikeable jerk with an amazing talent for his work. The audience never materialized, and Rake‘s ratings declined even quicker until it was moved to the dreaded Friday Death Slot at FOX.
Enlisted had an idea that seemed right for the time. It’s been a while since television has had a good military comedy–and since we seem to be in an endless stream of perpetual wars, the public could use a show that at least gave them a comedic release. However, FOX didn’t seem to have much confidence in the show because they immediately put it on the Friday time slot where it struggled to build a regular audience.
Surviving Jack–starring, as noted, Law and Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni–came from Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence, and had a slightly better chance of survival. The show even had the once-mighty American Idol as a lead-in, but couldn’t survive competition like CBS’ The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams and their reboot of Bad Teacher.
Dads wasn’t a big surprise. It not only had a poor viewer turnout, but never had much support from TV critics, either. FOX would’ve likely yanked it right from the schedule shortly after its debut–except that it was from Family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane, so that bought it some time. And now we’re anxiously waiting for something new to replace all these canceled projects, and hoping that somebody’s pitched a decent idea that involves lingerie models. Maybe in medical school.