Batman has met his maker.
Fox has renewed Batman prequel drama Gotham for a fifth and likely abbreviated final season. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the pickup is for 13 episodes, though the network and producers Warner Bros. Television have yet to make a formal announcement on the season tally. The final season will focus on Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the caped crusader.
The renewal arrives as Gotham needs exactly 13 episodes to reach the 100-episode milestone needed to sell the show in syndication, with Warners fighting hard for one final pickup amid Fox’s changing creative direction. A syndication deal for Gotham would be a sizable financial windfall for Warners, which as an indie studio without a Big Four network backer faces an uphill battle to land series on the air in an era where ownership is becoming increasingly important.
That the Peter Roth-run indie studio achieved the Gotham renewal and a third-season pickup for Lethal Weapon after the studio fired star Clayne Crawford should be seen a big win. Warners will now have the only two outside studio-produced shows on Fox’s 2018-19 broadcast schedule.
Still remaining on the bubble at Fox are 20th TV-produced single-camera comedies Ghosted and L.A. to Vegas, both of which remain in the conversation for potential second-season renewals. Thus far, all of Fox’s new half-hour orders are multicamera comedies as the network pivots to a broader direction ahead of the corporate company’s sale to Disney (which includes studio 20th TV).
Gotham, meanwhile, was never a ratings breakout for Fox but has been a reliable procedural with a DC Comics twist. Ben McKenzie stars on the series, which revolves around a young Bruce Wayne. The pickup comes after Fox canceled fellow DC Comics-inspired Warners drama Lucifer after three seasons.
Gotham joins a roster of scripted dramas at the “new Fox” that includes Lethal Weapon, Empire, Star, The Orville, The Gifted, 911 and The Resident, plus new additions The Passage and Proven Innocent. This will be the final season (at least for the time being) that Fox has both a DC and Marvel drama on its schedule.
Keep track of all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders with THR‘s scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW and all the latest pilot pickups and passes with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.