*Fox has decided to end production on its freshman drama series “Red Band Society” and not continue past its original 13-episode order, reports Deadline.
The network has stopped short of canceling the hospital teen drama starring Octavia Spencer. Fox will air episode 10 (its winter finale) on Wednesday, Dec. 3, but it’s now unclear when the three remaining episodes will air.
The typical run for a television show is 22 episodes. Networks usually order 13 for a new series, to see if the ratings warrant a pickup of the remaining 9 (a.k.a. the back 9). When a network decides to forgo the back nine in lieu of outright cancelling the show, it leaves a slight glimmer of hope for renewal.
Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva explains:
“Red Band Society” has become the latest softly rated new series this fall to be allowed to complete its 13-episode pickup with no back order. NBC did it with comedies “Bad Judge” and “A To Z” and drama “Constantine,” all of which also were left on the air to finish their 13-episode freshman runs in their original slots. In the cases of “Bad Judge” and “A to Z,” the network closed the door on a second season to make for a dignified cancellation, while leaving the renewal option very much open for “Constantine.”
“Red Band Society” falls in between, though it appears closer to the NBC comedies, with its chance of coming back considered very slim. In addition to the low ratings, the drama has had some production issues. At Fox, “Red Band Society” joins freshman comedy “Mulaney,” which saw its order trimmed with little chance of Season 2. The only new Fox series this fall to get a back order was breakout drama “Gotham,” which has a full-season, 22-episode pickup.