UPDATED: Fringe got off easy. Fox is brutally clear-cutting under-performing shows from its lineup, cancelling
three four five series tonight in order to make room for new shows next fall: Human Target was shot down for a third season, Christian Slater is now 0 for 3 as a TV series lead because Breaking In was dumped, The Chicago Code and Lie to Me were just taken out and Traffic Light was switched off. The moves represent an aggressive stance by Fox, which is declining to sink any further investment in modestly performing titles and opting to gamble on fresh shows instead.
Human Target was finally axed after undergoing a trip back to the drawing board. Though the show was considerably revamped for this season, the actioner struggled to gain ground in the ratings. Target averaged 7.6 million viewers and a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49 this season, including DVR use, but was down from its first season average of 2.9. Lie to Me is also gone — it averaged exactly the same as Target, and dropped the same amount from last season.
Fox also pink-slipped Breaking In, the freshman comedy about a security team that starred Slater. The show averaged a healthy 2.9 in the ratings due to a strong premiere, but more recent episodes fell off considerably despite following American Idol.
Fellow post-Idol freshman straggler Traffic Light is also gone — no surprise there.
And bummer for Jennifer Beals: Her freshman cop drama The Chicago Code was also cancelled. Creator Shawn Ryan retweeted the news and wrote: “Dammit.”
The cancellations came at the same time as Fox handed out series orders to Bones spin-off The Finder and to J.J. Abrams’ new prison mystery drama Alcatraz, while declining to pick up several high-profile other pilots. The network also greenlit two new comedies starring Zooey Deschanel and Jaime Pressly. Follow me on Twitter @james_hibberd.