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They probably saw it coming. Fox’s Minority Report has been given the first dose of bad news for the 2015-16 broadcast season, with the network trimming its initial 13-episode order to just 10.
The move comes as little surprise given the drama’s inauspicious debut and equally lackluster time-shifting. It boasted the lowest bow of the freshman class when it premiered to a measly 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 and only 3.1 million viewers on Sept. 21. Initial DVR stats saw big percentage growth, but little raw improvement. And, by the third episode, Minority Report barely scraped together a 0.7 rating in the key demo and 2 million viewers.
Based on the 2002 Tom Cruise movie of the same name, itself an adaptation of Philip K. Dick‘s short story, Minority Report boasted the original’s helmer Steven Spielberg as an executive producer. The show hailed from Amblin Television, Paramount Television and 20th Century Fox Television, and was Fox’s first freshman series to join the lineup this season. (Rough day for Amblin, by the way. The production company also saw CBS cancel its Halle Berry summer drama Extant — though it did get a pickup for drama American Gothic.)
Minority Report, which did not have many critics on its side, was one of many new series this fall to see aggressive retooling between the pilot pickup and series premiere. The show stars Stark Sands, Meagan Good, Wilmer Valderrama and Nick Zano — the latter being a post-pilot addition to play the twin of Sands’ character. The final scene of the pilot was also added late and not included in the pilot that was delivered late to critics.
Minority Report was one of the hottest scripts heading into pilot season and was Fox’s first official drama pilot order of the season — though the last to be picked up to series. The drama hailed from writer Max Borenstein — a filmmaker (Godzilla) who made his TV debut with the series. The West Wing grad Kevin Falls was showrunner.
The series’ failure marks a minor setback for TV’s current love affair with existing titles. Minority Report was just one in a handful of reboots, remakes and adaptations that joined the schedule this season — see CBS’ Limitless and Supergirl, NBC’s Heroes Reborn, ABC’s Uncle Buck, NBC’s since-canceled Coach and the bulk of the CW’s schedule — but don’t expect the trend to slow.
“I think having familiar IP is an advantage, and yet you’re held to the same standards as with everything else you do,” Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “Even if none of those shows ends up working, you won’t see us shy away from rebooting what we think is great IP.”
As of Friday, Fox plans to continue airing Minority Report in its current 9 p.m. time slot on Mondays after Gotham.
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