Fox Just About Cancels Ben and Kate and Its Tuesday Comedy Block

Welcome to the cruel business of network television, Maggie Elizabeth Jones! We've seen the last of her adorable little face on TV for at least a little while, as Fox has pulled freshman comedy Ben and Kate from its schedule, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! No one wants to say it—Fox's press release only says that the network is revising it's Tuesday lineup—but I will: The show is canceled.

Also killed: Fox's attempt to establish a two-hour comedy block, as Ben and Kate will be replaced by new episodes of Raising Hope until March 3, when Season 11 of Hell's Kitchen takes over the 8pm hour. That means Fox is scooting Raising Hope out the door with back-to-back episodes, but its sending this season out on a high note with a one-hour finale in a special slot after the March 28 edition of American Idol. In the 9pm hour, awkward and sorta hot women can relax, as New Girl and The Mindy Project won't see any changes.

Fox had high hopes for its Tuesday comedy block anchored by last year's hit New Girl, but if you have a really fancy parking spot on the Fox studio lot you have to be scratching your head right now. In its first season, New Girl premiered to more than 10 million viewers before petering out to more than 5.5 million in its Season 1 finale. And though last night's episode topped 4 million viewers, the previous two hit back-to-back series lows, bottoming out at 3.65 million viewers. Last night's episode did win its time period in the adult demo with a 2.1 rating, however it was against a repeat of NCIS: Los Angeles.

With New Girl declining, the anticipated launches of The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate suffered and their numbers have been disappointing all season. Last night's episode of Ben and Kate rang up a CW-ian 1.2 rating and 2.64 million viewers, and The Mindy Project did only slightly better, with a 1.5 and 2.99 million. However, Mindy is a lot safer due to its creator and star Mindy Kaling, because Fox doesn't want to tarnish a relationship with a hot property. Fox could have used the opportunity to give its midseason comedy The Goodwin Games a shot, but so far the network is quiet on that front. Given the way this experiment with comedy has gone, Fox might want to stick with celebrity diving shows.

Coming into this season, Tuesday was plump with comedy, with NBC, ABC, and Fox all airing at least an hour's worth of laughs (half-an-hour for NBC because of The New Normal, BOOM gotcha Ryan Murphy!). But the numbers for all of the shows have been down, and just yesterday, ABC pretty much canceled Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. I guess people just don't have that much laughter in them for one night.

Goodbye, Ben and Kate, the cutest show that ever cuted on TV. And goodbye Ben's stammering, Kate's "Awwww me so adorable!," BJ's sass, and Tommy's whatever it is he did. But I'll miss you most of all, Maddie! Canceling this is like taking a hammer to a baby seal's face and not stopping until it comes out the other side. I mean come on! Look at this face!





Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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It was earlier reported that Fox ordered 6 more episodes. Does the aired 13 episodes include those, or did they make 19 episodes for season 1 and we can hope Fox will burn them off here and there between now and the end of summer?
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Of Fox's two freshman comedies on Tuesday, I liked B&K far more than The Mindy Project. Don't get me wrong, I *want* to like TMP, but it just can't seem to find its focus (yet?). I realize this can take some time to accomplish, but with B&K it was pretty easy to get who all the characters were right off the bat. I didn't find it to be overly cute or annoying in any way. And I never once dozed off during it as I have during several airings of TMP.

Why the fairly flat New Girl turned out to be the "phenomenon" that it was will always baffle me. Despite it rapidly improving from a weak start, it still (IMO) has never warranted the praise and adulation it's gotten. $0.02.
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I love that Fox is worried about tarnishing a relationship with Mindy Kaling, whose show is horrible and the only awards she has really won has been for ensemble on the Office.

Meanwhile, Fox is more than willing to alienate Nat Faxon, who won an Oscar for writing and is actually a decent actor.

Not to mention alienating Dakota Johnson who, besides being a good actor and quite beautiful, is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, two respected hollywood actors, and is the granddaughter of Tippi Hedren, a legend in the business. And one cannot tell me that Dakota Johnson having a show on Fox did not help in getting Griffith and Hedren to appear on Raising Hope this season.

This is a poor business decision by Fox. I know that the actors will land somewhere but Ben and Kate had a great cast and the storylines were starting to pick up. At the very least, Fox should have finished the order that they placed and allowed the series to end with some closure. Instead they stop production with 3 episodes unshot.
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Also, I am wondering. How do they save money by cancelling shows only to make new shows that will also get cancelled? What is the point? It will only piss off more people, making them not want to tune in on new shows in the first place.
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Why do they cancel everything that's good and at least have some humor - like Raising Hope! It is the best sitcom along with The Middle and Suburgatory. Why don't they cancel the awful crap New Girl or Mindy Project. You people got awful taste.
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Why do people not find Raising Hope fun anymore? Do they expect deep, meaningful plots in sitcoms or something? I expect likable characters and a few laughs. I don't see how they are repeating themselves. Each episode got far more clever writing than most sitcoms do.
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Who would want to watch both "Raising Hope" and "Ben And Kate" at all? They are both horrible! I am glad this show is going to get axed this upcoming May! But "Raising Hope" needs to get axed also!!!

So keep both "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" for the next season, please! Thank you.
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Sounds like the bubble has burst on the annoying "aren't we so cute and adorable" sitcoms fad. For every person who loves these type of comedies there's always those who hate them; I guess that's why they're lowly rated. A lot of people find Zooey to be grating. Not sure why Fox ever created a two hour comedy block based around New Girl to begin with, considering I too noticed it finished last season with a huge decline. Bad idea. Fox moved too quickly to capitalize on something they didn't realize wasn't there.
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Both Ben and Kate rubbed me the wrong way, so I never watched it past the first few episodes. BJ and Tommy were great, I hope they can find something else. The little girl was SUPER cute, but with two annoying leads, I couldn't get into it.
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I liked it up until Kate got the boyfriend and Ben tried to end the relationship, which to me felt sooooooo wrong and embarrasing...and I stopped watching.
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I don't hope Raising Hope will be canceled, to me it is the reason for Fox's comedy night, and when Ben and Kate is canceled too there will be nothing left worth watching, but this is just opinion. I am still hoping for fans of New Girl and The Mindy Project that they stick around, but you can count me out these shows are so annoying that i like to punch them in there faces.
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I liked the show, but Ben annoyed me too often. If the show would have been "Kate" and focusing more on the day to day live of her i would have liked it even more.
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If Lucy Punch doesn't get another job real quick it would be a crime. "Raising Hope" is already just doing the same episode over and over and over again, ran out of originality about the same time they brought back Bijou Phillip and if it doesn't get canceled it would be shocking.
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Totally agree with Buc40. When I was young, we had MASH, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke. In other words, grown-up comedies.

Now it seems as if every comedy is written by junior high school boys, who try to outdo each other with bathroom humor.

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rip ben & kate, u were good! not perfect but quite solid imo. better than b. in apart. 23 anyway. cute and funny and adorable and sassy. i'll def. miss it, just not v. much? now it's only the destiny of go on that really bothers me, other sitcoms cancellations i can deal with.
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On a kinda off topic will we still have a summer season of hells kitchen after this
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The problem with so many new "comedies" are they just aren't funny and the characters simply aren't likelable enough to care about, even the ones that are meant to be cute/nice come across as annoying at times.
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Wow this week has been really devastating for me, TV-wise.
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You can already hear Nat Faxon crying into his Oscar.
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Once again good TV has to step aside for 'reality' competition garbage. What the hell happened to television over the past twenty years? Each year the schedules seem to reek of more and more rubbish, more amd more lacklustre boring rubbish 'reality' garbage poisoning what used to be a wonderful medium. Every now and then there is still some good TV that somehow manages to be made (Fringe, Elementary, Mentalist, Castle, Suits to name a few), but more and more is REAL TV takwn off air and replaced with 'reality' TV. NO wonder I'm watching less and less TV these days.
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Blame the people who watch them. If it wasn't for them, they wouldn't be successful.
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Reality TV costs a tiny fraction of what scripted TV costs, companies run by executives have no soul and thus no ability to have faith, no ability to make artistic choices. Also, these companies are run by inept executives that aren't terribly good at making smart decisions, so they stumble along hoping they'll trip over a success they can put their names to. TV is run by morons, for morons.
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Yeah, you left off one of the choices in the poll. "The show never succeeded in grabbing my attention in the first place."
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How sad. I loved Fox's Tuesday night comedy line up. Ben and Kate was a fantastic show for giggles.
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Ugh, I really liked "Ben and Kate". Adorable show. I will miss it. Best of luck to all of the actors involved, especially Maggie Jones and Lucy Punch.
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These networks should have taken a beat from CBS and spread out their comedies all throughout the week rather than having the 3-way brawl of shows targeting the same audience at the same time! My bottom tier DVR can't handle it!
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Maayyybe it's just a problem with the genre. I don't get hopelessly addicted to sitcoms or spend all day looking forward to them and then watch them live, unblinking, with my mouth hanging open and drooling slightly, cursing at every commercial break. That's what I do with Breaking Bad, TWD, and Game of Thrones, and Lost in the olden days. I love me some comedy, but it's more like an "eh, it's on, might as well watch" relationship than an "OMGOMGOMG NEW EPISODE TONIGHT CANCEL ALL MY PLANS" type thing.
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Definitely. But at the same time, comedies are a lot cheaper to make than BrBa and Game of Thrones, so the networks shouldn't be as trigger happy with the cancellations.
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Maybe if ABC and FOX hadn't scheduled all of their female-skewed comedies on the same night at the same time they wouldn't have cannibalized their audience. Happy Endings, Apt 23, and New Girl had all done relatively well last season...now either they've tanked (New Girl, Happy Endings, The Mindy Project) or been cancelled (Apt 23). Are there really NO other nights or times these shows can be on? Granted, Ben & Kate was always a little too sweet for its own good, but it was still better than a lot of the crap that passes for comedy these days (looking at you, CBS).
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Fox should just give up on the comedies after already canceling "The Ben Stiller Show, Undeclared, The Pits, The Winner, A Minute with Stan hooper, Andy Richter Controls The Universe, Back to You, Do Not Disturbe, Till Death, The War at Home, Greg the Bunny, I Hate My Teenaged Daughter, Arrested Development, Wonderfalls, Napoleon Dynamite, Allen Gregory, Oliver Beene, The Tick, Titus, that 80's show, Cracking Up, Get Real, Freakylinks, Wanda at Large, Babes, Bakersfield P.D, Between Brothers, Breaking In, Brothers, Costello, Grounded for Life, Normal, Ohio, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Quintuplets, Running Wilde, Traffic Light, The Critic, Futurama, The PJs, Sit Down, Shut Up, Osbournes Reloaded, Normal Ohio, Cedric the Entertainer, and American Embassy"
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COMEON! Ben and Kate is a good show meanwhile Whitney is still allowed to stink up the place!?
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Not too surprised this got canceled sense Don’t Trust the B got cancelled as well Networks don't know how to handle comedies and apparently only ones on CBS seem to get good ratings even though there not funny. Oh well at least they won't replace this with cheaply made reality shows that even less people will watch once they realize how horrible this is.... Oh wait
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I never got into Ben and Kate, so I am glad it is cancelled. However, I LOVE Raising Hope... if Fox cancels that I am going to be very sad.
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Silly Rabbit FOX TV shows are always cancelled. I don't know if you know this but FOX and ABC are in a drag race every year to see who can win Wack-a-TVshow. Who ever wins gets to lick the bottom of the cake pan.
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Was Raising Hope cancelled and I missed the memo? =\ That's like the only show I watched on FOX now that Fringe is over...
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The kid who played Maddie (Maggie Jones) is in my mind really talented. I wish her the best for the future, or in other words, that she does not follow in the footsteps of Lindsay Lohan. Hopefully someone breaks the news of this cancellation to her gently.
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Networks are idiots. I like the show, and Raising Hope.. but I wouldn't be devastated if they get cancelled. I would be pissed if New Girl gets cancelled. The Mindy Project is good, has potential to be better, but I'm mainly watching for the cast.
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I really couldnt get into Ben and Kate... i think for me it was mainly Ben I just couldnt stand him.
I just hope they dont get rid of Raising Hope or New Girl
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Can Winston read "Z is for Zombies" for a half hour every Tuesday night to fill the gap?
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ben and kate is hilarious, i will be sad to see it go :(
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Also, I think New Girl's ratings will improve without an annoying, unfunny, life sucking show preceding it. Zombie detectives ... Pure Genius.
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Hooray! I have been waiting for this day. I cringed every time I accidently recorded part of Ben and Kate between Raising Hope and New Girl. The Mindy Project is all right but I wouldn't cry if something happened to it. New Girl and Raising Hope are currently my favorite shows on tv and the only shows I actively look forward to every week.
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Ha I do the same thing. That little sliver of over-recording is all I've really seen of Ben and Kate and that was enough to convince me I'd hate it.
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Onoes, networks put all the same kinds of shows at the same times on the same days and boohoo when all their ratings are diluted. #FullRealityShowWeekThisMuchCloserNow
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Why is mindy kaling considered a hot property?? What has she done besides play a one-dimensional side character on the office and now create a not-very-funny sitcom????
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I knew it would be cancelled because of Ben's stammering genius logic but that's ok I still laughed my ass off every episode. Kate was hilarious to me because of insecurities, BJ was hilarious because of her selfishness, Tommy was kind of funny with his whatever he did for the love of Ben, and Maddie was adorable. Frak you Fox you Gorram Dream Killers.
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I just couldn't get into the show. I really like Lucy Punch, so I really tried to enjoy the show, but Ben... man, he really got on my nerves.
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Don't you mean "Celebrity" diving, no actual celebrities would appear on those shows.
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New Girl better not get cancelled. It's comedy genius.
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cant networks schedule comedies at other times, how about experimenting with a 7pm comedy block
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I don't know, but I saw the pilot of Ben and Kate and hated it because of Ben. This website kept defending how great it was, but I never saw that. To me it makes perfect sense it was cancelled.
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I really didn't like Ben for the first four episodes or so... but I still kept watching the show, and at this point, I'm kind of okay with him. Either he's gotten to be a better character, or my standards have dropped significantly, hehe.
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You seem pretty cool, so please understand that I mean no disrespect here, but it's probably one of those "little bit of column A, little bit of column B" situations. I almost want to watch one of the later episodes just to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I'm afraid of being disappointed.
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Same here. I watched two and a half episodes before I conceded that Ben and I just weren't going to ever get along.
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american viewers are the worst! apartment 23 is cancelled, ben and kate is cancelled, happy endings might as well be, AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED WITH COMMUNITY! you guys have gems, GEMS! and you don't even know it... let's just hope new girl's popularity will keep it safe for a few seasons
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It's not the viewers, it's the networks.
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what do you mean? they get the time-slot wrong?
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I was talking about all of David's points, especially the Nielsen rating thing. I never watch anything when it first airs. I'm allergic to commercials and scheduling my evening plans around tv.
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oh my neither, I mean I'm italian so that's why but I don't watch Italian TV either so...
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Yes, I'd say that choosing time-slots is one of the problems networks often have. Community, Don't Trust the B, and Happy Endings have all been flip-flopped all throughout the week by their networks during their few years on air.

I guess some others would be marketing -- canceled shows often complain about poor or non-existent marketing by the networks -- and um, the only other one I can currently think of is that some of the networks (or possibly all, I'm not really sure) still base their decisions on Nielson ratings, which are very flawed.

Oh, and uh, ABC, despite renewing The B in 23 and Happy Endings for second and third seasons respectively, either had stupid reasoning or threw both shows in the trash beforehand by airing their episodes all out of order (and not just their current seasons).

So yes, while viewers are certainly at fault, the networks haven't helped any of these shows in any way either.
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As someone who watches all of those shows... YES! It irks me to no end that all of these shows (well, except New Girl) struggle with ratings.
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Well this is disappointing. I love Ben and Kate and had hoped the show would find a way to pull through. I really hope that they don't cancel Raising Hope as well, because then I wouldn't really have any other reason to watch Fox.
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Someone call TBS, there's another that needs saving.
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First Emily Owens MD. If she can't be saved, then Ben and Kate burn with her.
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Dammit, I know you shouldn't shoot the messenger, but stop doing your job and delivering bad news about shows I like, Tim!
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I thought Ben and Kate was great and I hope that the network reconsiders it's decision. Of course, it won't do that because this is Fox we are talking about, they only care about the bottom line and not about fans. Fox would rather put on a crappy reality show than actual television.

And now they seem to be blowing off Raising Hope. Go ahead fox, cancel another good show. Then I'll be just one series closer to cutting Fox out completely.
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