The first two aren’t much of a surprise. “The Following” has been virtually the only mid-season success story at any of the networks, though it’s fallen off a bit from its strong debut numbers. It will again be back for 15 episodes next season, because Kevin Bacon doesn’t want to do more.
And though “New Girl” isn’t the phenomenon it was at the start of its first season, it’s still been the lone show in FOX’s Tuesday comedy bloc to be a genuine success in its own right. (It’s also one of the very best comedies on TV right now, but quality takes a back seat to ratings at FOX — and everywhere else.)
“Raising Hope,” meanwhile, has been around long enough — and has proven its ability to get a consistent, if unimpressive number, no matter where it’s put and what its lead-in is (or when it doesn’t have one) — that FOX seems determined to stick with it. (And quality can help in a borderline case like this; it’s a very funny, likable show, with the recent “My Name Is Earl” reunion being a notable season 3 highlight.)
“The Mindy Project” has not been performing well after “New Girl,” and it’s been through a lot of creative ups and downs, including a revolving door approach to the supporting cast. But recent episodes — particularly the BJ Novak two-parter and last week’s Seth Rogen appearance — have suggested a series that’s starting to find itself, particularly as it’s returned to the idea from the pilot that Mindy shapes her entire life based on her love of romantic comedies. (It’s also helped that she’s been much more self-aware and human in these episodes than in some earlier ones, perhaps because they’re operating according to logic she can understand.)
FOX clearly believes in Mindy Kaling, and at press tour in January, Kevin Reilly suggested they made a big mistake trying to promote the entire four-comedy Tuesday lineup rather than just heavily promoting “New Girl” again and using it to boost the shows around it. So there seems to be a belief that they mishandled the entire night, and they’re taking a mulligan on it, other than poor “Ben and Kate,” whose ratings were too low for even likability to save it.
FOX had previously renewed “Bones” and “X Factor” for next year, and much of the Sunday animated bloc has also been renewed, but don’t ask me which parts, because I can never follow the advance orders. FOX says these early renewals don’t say anything about the fate of “Glee,” because “As you know, ‘Glee’ is entering its fifth season, and negotiations for that show will understandably take a bit longer.”
At other networks, CBS has already renewed “NCIS” and the CW has renewed “Arrow,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural.”