Departing Fox Network Chief Wanted To Renew Almost Human

By David Wharton | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

AlmostHumanIf, like me, you’re a fan of Almost Human still stinging from the show’s recent cancellation, you might want to send Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly a fruit basket. Why, you might ask? Because he’s losing — or leaving, depending on whether you believe the party line — his job as of June. Sure, that probably doesn’t mean a thing to you, but consider that, before getting shown the door, he had tried to renew Almost Human for a second season, before getting vetoed by other Fox Powers That Be.

That revelation comes from a Vulture article examining Reilly’s upcoming separation from Fox, and the direction in which he had tried to take the ratings-challenged network. Reilly had been at Fox since 2007, and he was the guy who did away with the notion of “pilot season” at the network, instead opting for a model that didn’t limit development and pitching to one particular slice of the year. That’s the sort of outside-the-box thinking that could make any stodgy executive nervous, but Reilly also championed two shows that Fox nonetheless wound up cancelling: Almost Human and the military sitcom Enlisted.

According to Vulture, Almost Human’s ratings, albeit not stellar, were decent enough to make a renewal within the realm of possibility, and Reilly wanted to give the J.J. Abrams-produced series another shot. After all, they’d gotten five seasons out of Fringe, so why not give Almost Human some time to grow?

But there were two problems that convinced the network to go against Reilly’s wishes when it came to Almost Human. For one, it was an expensive show to make — not surprising for anyone who’s seen Almost Human’s sleekly rendered future. And for another, Almost Human was produced by a competing network, Warner Bros. TV. Had Almost Human been an in-house project for Fox, it likely would have had a better chance of getting that second season.

So, if there are any other networks out there looking to add an established show with a loyal built-in fanbase to their lineup, we’ve got a few suggestions. And if you’re looking for a new entertainment chairman, we know a guy. Well, we’ve heard of him, at least.

In the meantime: Fox, we have really got to stop letting ourselves fall in love with your shows. This spiral of abuse cannot stand. Because it makes us sad, and also because then after you cancel one of our favorite new shows you twist the knife by releasing this sadistic retrospective video…