2:30pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Renews a Pair of Comedies — What's Missing?
Fox is starting to make decisions about which comedies will return next season. And the first two confirmed for the schedule are Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth.
“We’re so proud of these comedies," Fox Broadcasting Company entertainment president David Madden said Thursday in a statement. "Each has its own unique voice, but they both boast terrific ensembles with stand-out characters and, of course, phenomenal writing, which are the hallmarks of all great comedies. We'd like to thank the executive producers, casts and crews of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth for their tremendous work this season, and look forward to what’s in store next year.”
Fox has not been terribly aggressive with its early renewals. On the scripted front, these two will join smash Empire (a no-brainer), anthology Scream Queens, Gotham and a final order for Bones on the 2016-17 lineup. Some animated fare, such as The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers, are already set as well but generally renewed on a different cycle.
These comedy renewals exclude veteran New Girl, now in its sixth season and currently the network's No. 1 half-hour. The show was off the schedule until January, with production initially delayed due to star Zooey Deschanel's pregnancy. Freshmen The Grinder, Grandfathered and Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life also remain in contention. All four series hail from Fox sister studio 20th Century Fox TV, though Grandfathered is a co-production with ABC Studios. (Last Man is at 20th TV as well, though Brooklyn comes from Universal Television.)
Most of the broadcast networks have been comparatively bullish on renewals this year. NBC and ABC have renewed the bulk of their respective lineups, while The CW just ordered up more of its entire current roster.
Fox, now ranked third place among adults 18-49 for the TV season, has a lot of space to fill next season — be it with returning series or orders from its current crop of pilots. The end of American Idol in April means that roughly 30 more hours of primetime programming will be open on the 2016-17 calendar.