While there are still many beloved primetime offerings currently making themselves semi-comfortable atop the TV cancellation bubble, Fox delivered a blow to the cast, crew and fans of the Marvel TV drama The Gifted, which has been cancelled two months after its shocking Season 2 finale aired. But there's still a mutated sliver of a chance that The Gifted may one day find new life elsewhere for Season 3.
Let's talk that cancellation first. The Gifted made its highly anticipated debut on Fox back in 2017, and though the series earned good marks from critics, the drama rather intentionally distanced itself from inserting familiar X-Men-related references. So that, by the time The Gifted did start bringing out comic elements like the Frost Sisters and the Morlocks, the show was already fighting a hard battle to steal viewers from the otherwise strong Tuesday-night programming.
As far as the ratings and viewership numbers went, Season 1 was a strong, if not outstanding, showing for The Gifted. Though its numbers fluctuated throughout, the live airings rarely dipped below three million viewers, and the key 18-49 demo hovered around a 1.0 rating. After delayed viewing totals were tallied, Season 1 averaged around 5.85 million pairs of peepers, with a 2.0 demo rating average. It's no surprise that a second season was ordered.
Unfortunately for all involved, those steady totals took a dip in Season 2, whose premiere only reached 2.5 million people on the night it aired. The average viewership sank below two million as the season neared its end, with only 1.6 million tuning in for the finale (and the two episodes preceding it). Those last episodes didn't even reach a full 1.0 demo rating after the Live+7 stats were added in, which are results that might help keep a CW comic book show on the air, but Fox needs more help than that against shows like World of Dance and FBI.
Had Fox maintained ownership of The Gifted, there's a small chance the network might have renewed it for a shortened third season to air on Friday nights, or something along those lines. However, the Marvel TV production is part of the House of Mouse following Disney's takeover of most-things-Fox, so there wasn't much reason for Fox to remain involved.
According to Deadline, there haven't been any big and active conversations publicized that are centered on giving The Gifted more episodes now that it's part of the Disney family. That doesn't mean those conversations aren't happening behind at least one closed door, though, and the possibility does remain for Disney to inject some new life into the mutant-filled drama.
How likely is that option? I mean, I wouldn't go out screen-printing any The Gifted Season 3 T-shirts to give to family and friends, but stranger things have happened. Disney already has a handful of Marvel-tethered TV shows scattered around, so there likely wouldn't be hesitance about embarking on such a project. Hulu has Runaways and all those upcoming animated projects, Freeform has Cloak & Dagger, FX has Legion, and ABC has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Surely room could be made to add The Gifted to any of those places, right?
It all depends on how much value The Gifted has for any other networks and services. Though the "us vs. them" drama didn't set up any direct connections to other avenues of Marvel's TV ventures, perhaps creating a crossover opportunity would be just the ticket to get more people watching The Gifted for a potential Season 3. The finale did feature a pretty big death, and other factors that would need addressing, but it could happen. (It probably won't, but it could.)
For now, The Gifted is no more at Fox, and the network also pulled the plug on the freshman comedy series REL, whose co-creator Kevin Barnett died back in January. Thankfully, there are still lots of good TV options coming to the summer primetime schedule, so be sure to stay up-to-date.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.