Outmatched has met its match.
As expected, Fox has opted to cancel the rookie comedy starring Maggie Lawson and Jason Biggs. The series was the independent broadcast network’s lone live-action comedy that it picked up this time a year ago. This leaves Prodigal Son as the only rookie series that has already aired whose fate has yet to be determined at Fox. The serial-killer drama is expected to return for a second season and hangs on the schedule for star Michael Sheen.
Created by Lon Zimmet (L.A. to Vegas) and produced by the Disney-owned 20th Century Fox TV, the multicamera Outmatched revolved around a blue-collar family in South Jersey and their attempts to raise four kids — three of whom are certified geniuses. Launched in January, the comedy never caught on and wrapped its 10-episode season in March with a same-day average viewership of a mere 2.4 million total viewers.
Reviews also didn’t help Outmatched. The series has a 22 percent rating among critics on aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com (and a 66 percent among viewers).
Outmatched joins fellow freshman scripted series Almost Family and Deputy in the canceled category at Fox. All were part of the network’s first slate as a newly independent broadcast network. Set to return are the animated comedies Bless the Harts and Duncanville (the latter of which will be back in the 2021-22 season) and the spinoff 911: Lone Star. Fellow rookies Filthy Rich and Next are being held from their previously earmarked spring launches to be part of Fox’s fall 2020-21 season schedule.
The news comes as Fox, like other broadcast networks, find itself in uncharted territory as the industry-wide production shutdown enters its third month. Gone is Fox’s traditional September fall season launch, with the network turning to “gently used” acquired programming like Spectrum’s L.A.’s Finest to launch its fall season. Returning series are expected to debut in early 2021. That, in turn, could impact the number of expensive scripted series that broadcast networks renew and order for whatever the 2020-21 season looks like.