Is the Fox freshman comedy “Ben and Kate” gone for good?
The network announced that it’s taking “Ben” off its schedule for Tuesday nights and will be subbing in repeat episodes of another Fox comedy, “Raising Hope,” in the slot formerly occupied by “Ben.”
There are six episodes that were filmed of the show’s first season that haven’t aired yet, and Fox reportedly said the remaining episodes will find airtime at some point.
“Ben and Kate” starred Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson as a relaxed brother and more practical sister who move in together so Ben can help take care of Kate’s young daughter.
Like another new Fox comedy on Tuesdays, “The Mindy Project,” “Ben” has struggled in the ratings all year. ABC took its Tuesday comedy “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23,” which had similar problems with ratings, off its schedule yesterday. As with “Ben,” ABC didn’t say “Trust” was officially canceled – this year, networks have often simply taken a show off its schedule, but not said outright that the comedy or drama is done.
As Entertainment Weekly writer James Hibberd pointed out, the time slot was a good one and Fox gave the comedy all possible support.
“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),” Hibberd wrote. “This isn’t one of those decisions where you say, ‘The network didn’t give it a chance.’”
Tuesday’s comedy lineup across the networks is looking shaky, said New York Times writer Bill Carter.
“Comedy on Tuesday appears to be nearing complete rejection,” he wrote. “NBC’s two new series, ‘Go On’ and ‘The New Normal,’ both sank to new lows this week, even though Tuesday’s strongest network, CBS, was offering only repeats all night. Both new NBC comedies have had their ratings plunge since they were separated from the powerful lead-in of ‘The Voice.’ Their once-secure status as shows set to survive the season could now be threatened.”
While not all of these shows have publicly gotten the axe, new shows that debuted this fall that have either been officially canceled or been taken off their network’s schedule include “666 Park Avenue,” “Last Resort,” “Partners,” “Made in Jersey,” “The Mob Doctor,” “Animal Practice,” and “Emily Owens, M.D.” (The fall season was especially hard on medical shows.)