The fact that FOX gives a free ride to some young shows should not be shocking, because FOX does it every year, despite having a relatively strong primetime.
Fringe has been given a free ride for the last two seasons. Bob’s Burgers was renewed with the lowest ratings of FOX’s five cartoons. Breaking In was un-canceled after Sony made a deal.
So, what shows get the free ride next season? Three shows yet to premiere, Alcatraz, Touch, and Napoleon Dynamite, are good candidates for saving if they perform below average. FOX has three Fall shows on the bubble, if you want to somehow include Fringe, which has made enough episodes to reach regular syndication (but who would buy it). Its free ride is over. Allen Gregory got embarrassing numbers and reviews. That leaves Terra Nova. Will Terra Nova be given a free ride? It depends on a lot of variables, including:
With House and Bones on their way out, does FOX need Terra Nova?
If you promote a show to the moon and cancel it after a short season, does it damage your network’s credibility?
Will it continue to be expensive to produce new episodes?
Does FOX think Terra Nova can be fixed?
I’ll stick with my prediction, because I believe the 2.1 on Halloween did seal Terra Nova‘s fate.