Fox is pulling Ben and Kate from its schedule. Yes, both of them!
The move comes after ABC blinked first, yesterday yanking its lowest-rated Tuesday comedy, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23., and doubling down on Happy Endings. Now Fox is shuffling its Tuesday comedy block, removing Ben and Kate and booking back-to-back episodes of Raising Hope starting next week.
Fox says the remaining Ben and Kate episodes will air at some point (there are six left). Given Ben and Kate’s ratings, the move wasn’t a surprise (if anything, some were shocked the show received an order for additional episodes last fall). This isn’t one of those decisions where you say, “The network didn’t give it a chance.”
Doubling up on Hope through February will make room for the return of Hell’s Kitchen, which will launch March 12 at 8 p.m. and lead into New Girl and The Mindy Project. The network emphasized these changes should not be taken as a bad sign for Hope, noting they plan to give the comedy a one-hour season finale following American Idol on Thursday, March 28.
Fox, NBC and ABC got themselves into a sitcom demolition derby on Tuesdays this fall. A total of eight comedies – including four freshman – have aired on the night this season. Of those, only Fox’s New Girl and NBC’s Go On have really pulled respectable numbers (and the latter was helped considerably by a big lead-in from The Voice).
Even when including seven days of DVR playback, Ben and Kate averages only 3.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating this season. Fellow Fox newcomer Mindy Project has fared better, with 3.8 million and a 2.0 rating. Hope ties Mindy with 4.5 million and a 2.0 rating. While sophomore sensation New Girl tops them all with 6 million and a 3.3 rating. Over on ABC, Apt. 23 has 3.6 million and a 1.5 rating while Happy Endings has 4.5 million and a 1.7. NBC’s Go On has 7.5 million and a 2.9 rating; New Normal averages 5.8 million and a 2.4.
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