Genre fans went 1-for-2 with Fox on Wednesday as one freshman show earned a second season, while another one is waiving good-bye.
Fox pulled the plug on “Alcatraz” after a 13-episode run that started strong, but ended well below expectations. In fact, what is now the series premiere was just a 2.9 rating/4 share at the end of March, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co., half the audience of the 6.0/9 it averaged when it premiered in January.
There had been some hope held out that Fox might continue “Alcatraz” because of the J.J. Abrams connection, and the chance that it could replace “Fringe” as a shortened-season program. But Fox wanted nothing more of the series that was tied with “New Girl” for No. 8 on the Fox schedule through April 28, and ranked No. 56 overall with a 4.0/6.
It was ranked No. 4 among genre shows behind “Once Upon a Time” on ABC, and both “Touch” and “Terra Nova” on Fox, but it was ranked No. 22 among all new shows with four other Fox shows ranked either higher or tied.
Kiefer Sutherland fans will be happy, however, that his show “Touch” will be given a chance for a second season. Once again, this was a Fox series that started out strong, but seemed to quickly lose audience. It’s averaging a 5.4/8 in overnights, but that is in spite of the show not finishing above a 5.0 household rating since the beginning of April. In fact, it’s most recent outing was a 4.2/7 on May 3, up slightly from the 4.0/6 recorded April 26, but down a bit from the 4.6/7 on April 19.
It’s a strong premiere that has kept its numbers high — a 7.0/11 on Jan. 25. Since then, the show has averaged a 5.0/8 on Thursdays, losing 44 percent of its lead-in from “American Idol.”
This makes the genre scorecard for Fox 2-2, with “Fringe” joining “Touch” in renewals, while “Terra Nova” is now paired up with “Alcatraz” among the cancellations.
Fox is averaging a 4.6/7 so far this year, down from the 5.2/8 it averaged last year, and giving it third place among the networks behind CBS (7.4/12) and ABC (5.6/9).
“Alcatraz” was a fugitive-of-the-week series with Jorge Garcia and Sarah Jones looking for Alcatraz escapees who somehow found their way into the future.
“Touch” stars Sutherland and David Mazouz as a father raising his autistic son, only to discover that his autism has connections to reality that even he doesn’t fully understand.