Launching a new series these days can be really tough. It either hits really big, or you’re out. FOX’s ‘Til Death got more chances than most but the axe has finally swung. The network confirmed today that it was indeed cancelling the show.
‘Til Death debuted on FOX back in 2006 with veteran sitcom stars Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Joely Fisher (Ellen). They play Eddie and Joy, an “old married couple,” who have annoyingly optimistic newlywed neighbors, the Woodcocks (Eddie Kaye Thomas and Kat Foster).
Each subsequent season then seemed to change its focus. The second season brought in a new character, Kenny (J.B. Smoove), Eddie’s friend from the Big Brother program. The next season had Kenny moving in with Eddie and Joy. Season four brought their daughter (Lindsey Broad, then Kate Micucci) and her boyfriend/husband (Timm Sharp) as they moved into a trailer in Eddie and Joy’s backyard.
Truthfully, the series has never been a ratings hit, but FOX kept it because of the economy of putting it on the air. Sony Pictures TV gave the network a big break on the license fee so that the studio could keep producing episodes to build the syndication package.
The show’s ratings have fallen so low recently that many have wondered how FOX could afford to keep it on the air, even with the deal from Sony. Garrett, with his typical deadpan delivery, told Zap2It, “The other night, we got a 0.9 … Once your mom stops watching, you’re a 0.4″ He told the network if they gave him another month, he could take it down to a zero. Not surprisingly, there was dead silence on the other end.
Garrett says the others that were involved in the show have already moved on to other projects, “After year two, when you’re getting beat by Telemundo, it’s time to go home. I mean, even the show my housekeeper watches was beating the show that was paying her salary. I’d come in the room, and she’d quickly turn off Telemundo.”
FOX has since officially confirmed that, after 80 installments, the sitcom has been cancelled. Episodes will continue to air as scheduled with the last installment running on May 9th. Because FOX has frequently used ‘Til Death as filler, 37 episodes will have aired this season by the time it’s over. Most of the installments are from this season while others are holdovers.
For Garrett, he’s not sure what’s next for him. He wouldn’t mind another series, but admits it could take him awhile to commit to one again. He says ‘Til Death was a learning experience, as the show ended up being very different than how it was originally been presented to him. He said, “What this last experience did was to make me more picky than ever.”
What do you think? Are you sorry to see that the show’s finally been cancelled? Do you think changing the focus and cast helped or hurt ‘Til Death? Which version is your favorite?
Image courtesy FOX.