Sad, but probably inevitable news from Fox: The network has pulled freshman comedy Ben And Kate from its schedule, a move that all but means the show has been canceled. Beginning March 3, Fox’s current two-hour comedy block will also be coming to an end, with the Tuesday 8 p.m. ET hour being filled with the reassuringly familiar, giant head of Gordon Ramsay bellowing at another pantry of idiots on Hell’s Kitchen. Until then, Raising Hope will take over Ben And Kate’s vacated slot by airing back-to-back new episodes, that show wrapping with an hour-long finale behind American Idol on March 28 (and potentially ending there, depending on what the departure of creator Greg Garcia means for its future).
Though Ben And Kate had quickly coalesced into a solid ensemble comedy that always managed to tread on the gently sweet side of saccharine, it never quite clicked with viewers, drawing the lowest ratings of the entire night. Last night’s episode scored a 1.2 rating in the 18 to 49 demo—an improvement over previous weeks, but nevertheless still the relative dud in Fox’s lineup. Unlike its fellow, recently scrapped Tuesday night sitcom Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23, however, you can’t really blame the network for its early demise: Not only was Ben And Kate allowed to linger this long without being punted around the schedule, it even received additional episode orders last fall.
Fox says those episodes will still be shown “at some point,” while Deadline reports that filming is currently underway on Episode 15 of that 18-episode run, suggesting Ben And Kate may actually have the opportunity to change gears and give the show a proper sendoff now. Or they could just say screw it and go nuts, turning Ben and Kate into special agents for the Navy, since that’s all that Americans seem to want to watch on Tuesdays.