This season, Fox was the classic case of viewing the glass as either half-empty or half-full.
THE GOOD: Once again, Fox won the coveted 18-49 demographic, something the network has done for six of the past seven years. Shows like "House," "Bones," the Sunday night animated block and so forth held their numbers pretty steady, while "Glee" ended up being the most buzzed about show of the season. On the reality side, "American Idol" was TV's top-rated show yet again.
So, everything is good, right? Well...
THE BAD: Sort of. "American Idol" was the top-rated show, but it's ratings were down considerably -- about 5 million. With Simon Cowell now departed, the drop could be even steeper. Fox failed in its attempts to launch a sitcom ("Sons Of Tuscon," "Brothers"), with only the animated "The Cleveland Show" earning a renewal.
"24" bowed out with some of the lowest ratings of the series, and Fox hasn't really announced how it's going to replace that stalwart series in its lineup. "Fringe" and "Lie To Me" also dropped some numbers, but will hang around for another year. While "Glee" saw its numbers go on the uptick most of the year, creatively, the show was uneven after it came back from a long hiatus.
OUTLOOK: Of all the networks, Fox has the most out-of-the-box style of thinking, so there's no reason why it can't bounce back next year. After all, it's still in a position of strength. Certainly, Cowell's "X-Factor" will draw a tremendous amount of attention early on. But Fox was a network known for its sitcoms -- that's what kept it afloat during the early years -- and it hasn't come up with anything that great in that area for some time.
Drama-wise, the network might need some new blood as well. Still, it's hard to fault Fox overall. Grade: B-minus.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: "Futurama" was one of Fox's more innovative comedies before they cancelled it over mediocre ratings. Since then, the show found new fans thanks to reruns on Comedy Central, which has now started to produce new episodes. The first of those begin tonight at 10 p.m.
ABC airs the NBA Finals Game 7 tonight beginning at 8:30 p.m. NBC has a new "100 Questions" at 8:30 p.m.
On cable, USA airs new episodes of "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains" from 9-11 p.m.
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