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When Red Band Society hit the schedule this fall, it premiered to low ratings, and despite a compelling cast of teens and plenty of spark from Octavia Spencer, it looks like the hospital drama will never gain a foothold on Fox. On Wednesday, it was announced that Fox has declined to order the back 9 episodes of Red Band Society. While the show hasn’t officially been canceled by the network, yet, things aren’t looking particularly good for the freshman drama.
Unlike a few of this fall’s offerings, Red Band Society isn’t getting pulled from the schedule immediately. In fact, Fox kept the show on the schedule tonight and will also air next week’s episode. The reason the show is likely to be canceled is that Fox is being noncommittal about the three episodes expected to air after midseason. The rest of the shot episodes will air “at a later date,” which is usually a bad sign. Since Fox has already announced its midseason schedule and Red Band Society isn’t on it, there’s a good chance those final episodes won’t see the light of day for a while.
Red Band Society’s trajectory is similar to NBC’s A to Z and Bad Judge, two shows that were shut down earlier this year but were allowed to continue to air the episodes that had already been shot. While Red Band Society hasn’t been canceled, recent episodes have earned less than a 1.0 ratings (the most recent episode did a .9) and it’s hard to see how Fox could justify keeping the show—especially since the network has other programs scheduled for midseason.
Even with the low ratings, THR is saying that Fox was interested in more episodes of the series, but obviously given the numbers, those would have had to come at a reduced cost. ABC studios was unable or opted not to make the cuts and the production shut down.
Luckily, Fox has plenty of programming that can fill Red Band Society’s absence after midseason. The Following, American Idol and Glee are returning. Then, new programs Empire, Wayward Pines and Backstrom (starring The Office’s Rainn Willson!) are set to hit the schedule, with Empire taking over Red Band Society’s slot. Hopefully, at least a couple of Fox’s new shows will fare better than the soapy hospital drama.
If you’d like to say goodbye to Red Band Society next week, you can catch Fox’s series on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.