Last year, FOX ordered 13 episodes of “Sleepy Hollow” and decided to order a second season rather than giving the freshman hit drama a back-nine, which resulted in a nine-month absence between seasons, which may or may have resulted in the show's current Season 2 ratings drop.
This year, FOX has learned its lesson about not necessarily sticking to its guns when it comes to a successful first-year show.
Kevin Reilly told reporters repeatedly last spring that “Gotham” would only do 16 episodes in its first season.
When I spoke to “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie in August, he expressed relief at not needing to do more than 16 episodes.
And on Monday (October 13), FOX announced that “Gotham” has received a back-six pickup, bringing its first season to 22 episodes.
Fair enough! I guess this means we're getting a Rooney episode after all.
“'Gotham' debuted as one of the most buzzed-about shows of the fall, and with good reason. Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon have created an incredibly rich world, with characters that draw you in and a cast that brings to life these heroes and villains in a way we”ve never seen before,” blurb Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “We are so excited to see where Bruno, Danny and the entire 'Gotham' team take this story over the course of this season, and so thankful to all the fans who have embraced it this fall.”
Including Live+7 DVR data, “Gotham” drew 14.1 million viewers and did a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49 in its premiere. Subsequent episodes have risen to a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 or higher with Live+3 DVR data. For the season, FOX boasts that “Gotham” is TV's top broadcast drama among men 18-49.
And those reasons, plus the disappointing performances from space-fillers like “Utopia” and “Red Band Society,” have left “Gotham” as FOX's most significant bright spot for the season, inspiring the longer-than-expected first season.
We'll see if “Sleepy Hollow” also gets extended or if that drama, performing less admirably than “Gotham,” remains at 18 episodes.
The fourth episode of “Gotham,” titled “Arkham,” airs tonight.
If you haven't already see it, check out my interview with Ben McKenzie above and try to ignore how pleased he was not to have to go a full 22.