As I’m sure fans of Fox’s smash hit series Empire are aware, the record breaking family drama has been cancelled.
Yeah, your heart probably skipped a beat and you’re now probably pissed at Fox for the cancellation, however It turns out that this report is false or at the very least unverified and unofficial. The hoax was seemingly started by a Tumblr post stating that contract negotiations fell through resulting in the show being broomed aside.
Even thoigh the rumor appears to be as false as moon cheese and a holly jolly family man in a red suit, I’m wouldn’t have been surprised if it were true. Maybe that’s just the cynic in me fighting to remain unchanged but I do feel like the show is in a constant state of emergency as long as Fox holds the reigns. Here’s why:
1. Fox is notoriously good and killing shows.
If it appears on Fox, is a well written show and has a solid fan base then certainly it’s future is guaranteed, right? Let’s not forget, this is the same network that cancelled Serenity, Velonica Mars, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Futurama just to name a few. With just that list of shows we see a clear pattern; Fox gets good show, Fox lets show go on for 1-3 seasons, Fox gives fans the middle finger and cancels it. In hindsight we see just how profitable these shows would have been as Serenity got a movie continuation called Firefly that was well recieved, Futurama was picked up again by Comedy Central (who gave it a few more seasons before also cancelling), and Veronica Mars got a theatrical conclusion funded by its jaded fans who wanted more of the short lived show. Fox even cancelled and syndicated it’s animated cash cow Family Guy at one point before realizing how business works and reobtaining it.
2. Fox will drag your favorite show through the mud
Speaking of Family Guy, it’s joined The Simpson’s as shows being artificially extended way past their prime because they are still profitable on name alone. After Fox had unceremoniously canceled the show, they had a change of heart after seeing its success on Adult Swim. Since its gained the show back, Family Guy has undergone a metamorphosis into a barely recognizable shell of its former self. However, no matter how shoddy the writting is, as long as people watch it, Fox will continue to beat this deceased nag. Even series creator Seth MacFarlane told Hollywood Reporter “part of me thinks that Family Guy should have already ended. I think seven seasons is about the right lifespan for a TV series.” The show is currently in its 13th season if we’re keeping count by the way.
3. Renegotiation is an eventuality
Let’s face it, Empire is one of Fox’s hottest new shows in years. The producers, cast, and writers all know this. Its only a matter of time before the renegotiation rumor comes to fruition and more money is asked for those involved in this mega hit. Back in 2004, the cast of The Simpsons attempted to renegotiate their wages per episode with the threat of leaving the show if they weren’t satisfied with the outcome. Now, a voice actor is typically less expensive then a traditional one, So if the cast of The Simpsons were aiming for $360,000 per cast member per episode, how much would an A-List actor like Terrance Howard want for a continued role in one TV’s most successful new shows? Hell, the rest of the cast are all now highly recognizable names and have proven they can act well so if it comes down to it, Fox will have several pipers to pay.
I truly hope that Empire has a strong run and I also hope that there is absolutely no truth to the rumors that have been circulated. However, my paranoia is caused mainly by Fox’s past habits with in demand shows. Would they be foolish enough to throw the baby out with the bath water? If past actions dictate future probabilities then the chance is pretty high.