12:00pm PT by Lacey Rose
Fox Renews 'New Girl,' 'Raising Hope,' 'The Following' and 'The Mindy Project'
Fox is keeping much of its lot.
More than two months ahead of its upfront presentation to advertisers, the network has renewed comedies New Girl and Raising Hope along with freshman entries The Mindy Project and Kevin Bacon's The Following for the 2013-14 season.
“We love working with these talented producers and casts who, week after week, create some of the funniest work on television," Fox Broadcasting’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said of the trio of returning comedies. "These shows are creatively vibrant, they have established a loyal and passionate audience, and they will continue to define and grow the Fox comedy brand next season and beyond."
The move comes after a series of candid remarks in January, in which Reilly acknowledged the frustration he had with the poor performance of his critically adored half-hour offerings. As he explained, the genre requires a certain amount of patience that the current network environment simply doesn't allow. Reilly was forced to cancel low-rated darling Ben and Kate earlier this year.
Still, his femme-focused comedy lineup manages to draw a younger and particularly female demo, with the network touting New Girl as the No. 1 comedy among its target women 18-34 demo and Mindy emerging as the No. 1 new comedy of the season with that set. It is worth noting that Fox’s crop of comedy pilots in contention are strategically male-centered.
For its part, Bacon's dark serial-killer drama will return for a second season of 15 consecutive episodes. The series proved one of few breakouts in an otherwise dismal midseason, with other freshman broadcast entries premiering to epically low numbers. After only six airings, The Following is already the No. 2 broadcast drama and the No. 3 drama over all this season once the full week's ratings are factored in.
“From the very beginning, we felt Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega had created a high-quality, edge-of-your-seat drama that could break from the pack, and it is exciting to see the audience responding,” Reilly said in announcing the news Monday. "Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy have given us two of the most compelling characters on television, and the entire cast is incredible. I’m delighted to have this thrill ride continue on Fox for another season."
Missing from the list of renewed series were Kiefer Sutherland's Touch and long-running musical dramedy Glee. While the former is unlikely to return given its ratings struggles, the latter is almost certain to be back. In fact, Murphy and his team already are meeting with network and studio execs to map out the show's fifth season.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose