FOX has a problem. The recent World Series was lowest-rated in history. Fox’s new shows (Justice, Standoff, Til Death and Happy Hour) have returned from the baseball hiatus to lower viewer numbers than their averages before the World Series. As expected, the fourth season premiere of The O.C. drew a paltry number of viewers, pitted up against CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s no surprise that Fox has to make some changes. Those changes impact Happy Hour most of all.
The sitcom Happy Hour debuted on September 7th and centers around the life of Henry Beckman, played by John Sloan. Henry has the perfect life and relationship until he gets dumped, loses his job, and has to move in with Larry Cone (Lex Medlin) — a friend who has a unique take on life and the opposite sex.
The show was not well received by critics and didn’t draw many viewers either. In fact, Happy Hour was a frontrunner in most cancellation polls. The sitcom was pulled from the Thursday night schedule after three episodes but FOX promised the show would return. Happy Hour returned on November 2nd and its fourth episode drew a meager 2.2 rating, down over 25% from its pre-baseball airing. It provided a very weak lead in for FOX’s drama, The O.C.
As a result, FOX is moving shows around, particularly in an attempt to save The O.C. The once popular O.C.will air on both Wednesday and Thursday nights for the coming week to try to regain its audience.
To make room for this, FOX has pulled Happy Hour from the schedule once again and the word is that it won’t be coming back. Any mention of the series has been stripped from the Fox website. Some sources have said that the series’ 13 episode order will be completed (including an episode featuring Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter), so perhaps Happy Hour will be aired internationally or released on DVD at some point.