Empire Has Been Renewed For A Second Season After Only Airing 2 Episodes!!

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fox renews ‘Empire’ after just two episodes; ‘Gotham,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ also renewed.

PASADENA – Fox announced Saturday that it has ordered second seasons of the Batman prequel “Gotham,” the midseason music-industry drama “Empire” and a third season of the comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The premiere of “Empire” on Jan. 7 averaged 9.9 million viewers, the most for a Fox premiere since Sept. 16, 2013, when “Sleepy Hollow” averaged 10.1 million, according to live-plus-same day figures compiled by Nielsen.The move is partly surprising (in that it’s very unusual for a broadcaster to renew a series so fast, though it occasionally happens on cable) and yet not given the show’s stunning ratings this week.

Producers capable of making “big, bold” series such as Fox’s freshman drama “Empire” are key to rescuing the network from its ratings slump, its top executives said Friday.The network has had two big successes – Gotham and Empire, both renewed for new seasons, along with Brooklyn Nine-Nine – and several failures, including Gracepoint, Red Band Society, Mulaney and reality disaster Utopia. Fox also announced that Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and Keke Palmer have joined the cast of the comedy-horror anthology “Scream Queens,” while singer Ariana Grande will have a recurring role. “‘Grease’ is one of the movies that made we want to be an entertainer and I have been waiting my whole life to play Sandy,” said Hough, who rose to fame as a professional dancer on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” “My siblings and I watched it and played it out over and over when we were kids.

Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the longtime CEOs of the 20th Century Fox studio, last year were named co-chairs of the Fox Television Group that includes the studio and network. After years of leading among young adults, thanks mainly to the now-flagging American Idol, it now ranks fourth in that measure and among all viewers, down 8% in both categories. The second episode then stunned the industry by rising in the ratings — which is a very rare occurrence, especially after a strong debut (Empire is the only drama to rise in Week 2 this season). Gotham has averaged a 4.2 rating the demo and 10.6 million viewers when including DVR playback, Empire has averaged a 5.3 in the demo and 11.7 million viewers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a 2.7 in the demo. The success of all three shows is much-needed at Fox, which ranked fourth this fall and declined more than any other broadcaster compared to the previous year.

Fox has been meeting with another producer known for showmanship, Simon Cowell, said Walden and Newman, but provided no details about what’s under discussion. They’ve also been pitched a new limited 24 series for 2016, though Kiefer Sutherland, who starred as Jack Bauer, may not be part of the equation this time around. Cowell, the music executive, former “American Idol” judge and producer of series including NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” which lasted just three seasons on Fox, is a “talent magnet,” Newman said.

Drama series “Empire,” about a family struggling for control of a music business, exemplifies the kind of series that Fox needs, Walden said, announcing that it’s been renewed for a sophomore season just two weeks after its debut. “Fox has for a long time had a reputation for big, bold shows that break out but feel broad and appealing,” she said. “I would hope ultimately that the network is recognized for great showmanship. Later, comedies Weird Loners and Last Man on Earth, starring Will Forte, arrives, followed by summer thriller Wayward Pines, a Twin Peaks-style mystery starring Matt Dillon. Empire is still at a stage when most industry insiders would say it’s too early to bet the farm on the drama, yet the first two weeks were hugely promising. Among current series, Walden says she’s hopeful Bones will return, pending renegotiation of stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel’s contracts, which expire in May, and promised a “recalibration” of Sleepy Hollow, a promising 2013 newcomer that hit a sophomore slump last fall thanks to an overly serialized, sometimes confusing show. “We’re trying to return the fun to it a little bit,” says Walden, adding later that the show, if renewed, will likely shift production to Atlanta from Wilmington, N.C., after North Carolina tax breaks expired. She says New Girl is “very” likely to come back, though the fate of The Mindy Project will rest on the show’s performance in this season’s back half, and pilot vying to replace it.

They also filled in two casting blanks for the 2016 TV version of the movie musical “Grease,” with Julianne Hough playing Sandy and Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo. “(We’re) glad to have the chance to meaningfully control our own destiny,” Walden said, with control over the scheduling and marketing of the shows they make for Fox (like other studios, it also produces series for other networks.) So is the 15-year professional relationship she and Newman have, even with the added responsibilities.

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