Wow. FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly wasn't kidding when he said he was “bullish” on low-rated Tuesday comedy “The Mindy Project.”
On Friday (March 7) afternoon, FOX made a quartet of early renewals for the 2014-2015 season, with “The Mindy Project” joining relative no-brainers “New Girl,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Following.”
This will be a third season for “The Mindy Project” and “The Following,” a fourth season for “New Girl” and a second season for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
“These shows are some of the best and acclaimed series on television, with influential, culture-driving stars, and some of the best, most creative talent behind the camera,” blurb Reilly and FOX COO Joe Earley. “All four are core assets within our 2014-15 portfolio of content, and we”re really happy to bring them back to our FOX fans for another season.”
The renewal announcement didn't include episode counts, though presumably “The Following” will continue with its limited-batch order strategy.
FOX's schedule is already getting full for next year. The network gave a two-season renewal to “Glee” last spring, ordered a second season for “Sleepy Hollow” early in the fall and renewed “Bones” for a tenth season last month. “Gotham” and “Hieroglyph” both received 13-episode orders without shooting pilots, while “Backstrom” was ordered for 13 episodes based on a pilot shot last spring for CBS. The comedy “Mulaney” has a six-episode order and the Will Forte sitcom “Last Man on Earth” has a series order for midseason. In addition, FOX still has the 10-episode event series “Wayward Pines” and “Gracepoint” awaiting premiere dates.
These renewals and early series orders don't necessarily mean that FOX won't be moving forward with additional pickups in the weeks and months to come before upfronts in May. “Almost Human,” “Dads,” “Enlisted” and “Raising Hope” are just a few of the shows still sitting on FOX's bubble. [Sorry, but I'm assuming that “Rake” isn't actually on the bubble.] FOX has already announced that “The X Factor” will not be returning for a fourth season.
Though three of today's four renewals were, as I said about, relative no-brainers, you probably have TV's new math to thank for the longevity of all four shows.
By the old standard of Live+Same Day ratings, “New Girl” and “The Following” have struggled this season, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has been a disappointment and “Mindy Project” is something of a disaster.
When you start adding in DVR figures, however, the picture gets a bit rosier.
“New Girl” is one of TV's most DVRed shows, jumping a whopping 72 percent to a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 when you include Live+7 viewing. “New Girl” gets a 63 percent bump to 5.77 million viewers, Live+7.
Again using Live+7, “The Following” jumps 58 percent to a 3.8 key demo rating and 49 percent overall to 10.12 million viewers. [In the case of “The Following,” that's going to be a bit misleading, since the Kevin Bacon drama has really struggled in recent airings and those Live+7 figures are only for the season's first four episode.]
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” rises 60 percent to a 2.4 key demo rating and 47 percent to 5.25 million viewers with Live+7 figures, but Golden Globe wins for Comedy Series and for star Andy Samberg made FOX's decision easier.
Finally, “The Mindy Project” rises 43 percent to a 2.0 key demo rating and 41 percent to 3.81 million viewers with Live+7 figures.
[In case you're curious, “Dads” did bigger numbers than “Mindy” in Live+SD, but generated far smaller DVR bumps and ends up below “Mindy” in the key demo for Live+7 and other extended viewing metrics.]
At the Television Critics Association press tour in January, Reilly said of “Mindy,” “I'm pretty bullish on it coming back. I love the show. I think the creativity of it and thank you those of you who have written about it. It”s really on the money right now. Again, okay, glass half full, glass half empty. The ratings are, for us, not where I wish they would be. I think the show deserves to have more viewers.”
So there you go!
Excited? Pleased? Surprised?