Fox cuts back orders for two sitcoms

By Colin Mahan

Nov 11, 2005

Variety reported today that Fox has cut back the orders for two sitcoms, the Emmy-winning but low-rated Arrested Development and the freshman series Kitchen Confidential, based loosely on the exploits of celebrity chef Tony Bourdain. In an even worse sign for the shows, Fox pulled them both from the schedule and will replace them with reruns of Prison Break for the remainder of the November sweeps period.

Fox reduced the order for Arrested Development from 22 to 13 episodes. The show has struggled to find an audience since its premiere in 2003, despite winning two Emmy awards and receiving accolades from critics. After a disappointing season premiere, its ratings had faded in subsequent episodes. The show just returned from a month-long hiatus last night, with two back-to-back episodes guest-starring Charlize Theron, but ratings failed to improve.

The producers of Kitchen Confidential, which was slated to return Monday, November 14, were told by Fox that the show wouldn't be getting a pickup for a full season. The sitcom, starring Bradley Cooper, follows the exploits of Jack Bourdain, a ne'er-do-well New York chef who has seen his former celebrity dim. He gets one last chance to grab some glory when a restaurant owner (Frank Langella) hires him to run his kitchen. Loosely based on the acerbic, ribald memoirs of renowned New York chef and writer Anthony Bourdain, the show received negative reviews and stumbled out of the gate with low ratings.

In January, Fox was planning to move the popular medical drama House into the 8-9 p.m. Monday time slot, but it is still believed the two sitcoms will return in December to complete their runs. The network was careful not to say the shows have been canceled, but in the case of Arrested Development, "award winning" rarely trumps "low rated."

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  • iyag Sep 08, 2006

    I can't believe FOX cancelled Kitchen Confidential, I honestly was very surprised! How come shows like Ally McBeal got such a long run and something that is actually good gets a boot? In the UK, Kitchen Confidential got a very good response, so why don't you send it over to Europe, we'll take it any time if America doesn't want it.

  • slamont61 Dec 20, 2005

    FOX is one short sited network. Kitchen Confidential was perhaps to good, maybe to well written. I loved the originality. Most of us have been there, behind the sceens of a working kitchen. Guess FOX brass hasn't. Can't identify with it. Here are some guides to providing a successfull series;
    1. Promote it
    2. Schedule it for a regular time
    3. Give it time.
    FOX did none of these. Truely Classless.

  • alsaker85 Nov 15, 2005

    A show getting cancelled in the middle of its third season has to be a rare occurrence, doesn't it?

  • rtraub Nov 13, 2005

    Typical of Fox.

    Don't give smart intellectual comedy a chance.

    Stick with inane realty shows .

    Way to go!!

  • Dirk13 Nov 13, 2005

    man, those bastards cancelled Fast Lane too, that show was darn good, beter than lam-o prison break.

    thank goodness at least gems like House appear to be a lock with the ratings fairy, although putting it on monday is a dumb idea, Tuesday is a good night for it, they should keep it there, hell keep arrested development and then they wont have to think about it.

    although those morons at fox are partly to blame, moving it to monday when at least on sunday its ratings would have remained sustainable, but noooooo, those tastless tacks want 90% of their good shows to fail, oh well, at least Fox retains SOME good shows, even if they only do so because those good shows manage to garner good enough ratings and they keep equally bad shows for the same reasons.

    those guys dont know their good from their bad shows if it hit them in the face and told them so itself.

  • Woodchuck Nov 12, 2005

    ^ I agree. Get rid of the War at Home and put AD between The Simpsons and Family Guy. The ratings would skyrocket.

  • bloodylonewolf Nov 11, 2005

    do you remember the guy saying he blue himself hilarious and funny. mrs featherbottom priceless. getting cancellled big mistake.

  • rsloane Nov 11, 2005

    another reason to hate fox!!

  • Zodzilla Nov 11, 2005

    All we can do is write write write, sign sign sign, and hope for the the best.

  • tifer1974 Nov 11, 2005

    ... I am so disgusted with Fox! Once again, they are being short sighted with another great show... Arrested is as good as it gets… Maybe the best show to ever grace TV

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