UPDATE: Fox has also canceled two of its comedy series: Breaking In, which failed to pick up viewers even after adding the great Megan Mullally to the cast, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter. This marks the second time Breaking In has been removed from Fox's schedule, and the third time that Teenage Daughter has. It is unlikely that either series will be revived again.
EARLIER: Fox has opted to renew one of its mid-season replacements and cut two others. The network is picking up Touch, Kiefer Sutherland's "everything is connected" drama from Heroes creator Tim Kring, and has canceled Alcatraz and The Finder. While the motivation for the decision is a no-brainer (Touch regularly outperforms both its peers in the ratings department), there is a substantial question raised: why does "the new Heroes" work, while "the new LOST" and "the new Bones" do not?
Although very different in content, the three series have one fundamental thing in common: they all live in the shadow of a larger-than-life predecessor (calling Bones larger-than-life might be a bit generous, but just go with it). Touch embraces the spirit and style of heroes, courtesy of creator Kring, in its story about an ordinary man who, along with his extraordinary son, go on a vividly spiritual quest to right the wrongs of the world, and find meaning. Although Touch manifests in a different, arguably less accessible way than Kring's old series, it is undeniably Heroes-esque.
Heroes did have quite a following in its glory days, but things began to peter out for the show after Season 1. Thus, it's curious why a Heroes successor can fare better than something like Alcatraz, which (in creator J.J. Abrams, star Jorge Garcia, and theme) follows in the footsteps of television dynamo LOST.
A possible theory: people loved Heroes, but have already been disappointed by it (courtesy of its own second and third seasons). Touch reminds people of the "good" Heroes without risking besmirching Kring's record. LOST, on the other hand, is still sacred to people. To engage someone in a television program with the LOST brand is to set up for inevitable disappointment, as nothing can live up to the majesty that was the story of Flight 815.
And as far as The Finder goes, predecessor Bones might maintain consistently decent ratings, but the series isn't exactly one that people are truly passionate about. Thus, a spin-off (the only true spin-off of the bunch) isn't exactly something that will incite a great deal of buzz. Plus, if people are looking for crime procedurals, they're probably already watching CBS.
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb]