FOX Moves ‘Touch’ To Thursdays

Posted Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 05:00 pm GMT -4 by

Touch on FOXOriginally, ‘Touch’ was going to take the slot currently occupied by ‘Alcatraz’ on March 19. Yesterday, FOX announced several changes to its schedule.

‘Touch’ will now air on Thursday nights after the ‘American Idol’ results show. ‘The Finder’ occupies this slot right now, but the show will end its run on March 8. An encore of the preview episode of ‘Touch’ will air March 15, and the series will officially premiere March 22 at 9/8c.

‘Alcatraz’ will stay in its current Monday time of 9/8c. A special two-hour episode will air on Monday, March 5 at 8/7c, and the season finale of ‘Alcatraz’ is on Monday, March 26 at 8/7c. Starting April 2, ‘House’ will move to a new time on Monday, 9/8c. ‘Bones’ will move to the 8/7c time on Monday nights, and April 2 is the date for the show’s spring premiere.

Why change the schedule now? There are several reasons. A few weeks ago it was announced that ‘House’ will end after this season concludes. By moving the show back an hour, the network knows the loyal fans will follow. ‘Bones’ also has a solid group of followers, and the show is currently on hiatus, so fans are not going to be too upset to learn that ‘Bones’ will have a new night and time for the spring season. With ‘House’ and ‘Bones’ on Mondays, FOX will be confident the numbers for that night will be solid. Also, Monday nights has not been kind to genre shows this season. FOX started with three new major genre dramas on its plate this year: ‘Terra Nova,’ ‘Alcatraz,’ and ‘Touch.’ All three got attention because of the names attached to them (Spielberg, Abrams, Sutherland). As of right now, two out of the three have underperformed.

Before you start with the comments, know this: I am not critiquing the quality of ‘Terra Nova’ or ‘Alcatraz.’ This is about the numbers, and the TV business is all about the numbers.

It is a fact that both ‘Terra Nova’ and ‘Alcatraz’ have not done well. Considering the expense of the show, ‘Terra Nova’ hurt the network. The numbers do not justify the cost of the show. Back in December, the network mentioned that a decision about the show would come in January. It is now almost March. With each passing day, the chances of ‘Terra Nova’ getting a second season decrease. The numbers for ‘Alcatraz’ are slightly better than ‘Terra Nova,’ but not by much. The buzz about the new show has faded, and it is highly unlikely that a new wave of people will start watching soon. The costs to produce ‘Alcatraz’ is lower than ‘Terra Nova,’ but neither series shows signs of increasing its audience size if a second season is granted. Without a potential for growth, the network will worry about making a profit, and making a profit is paramount for every TV broadcast network. This is why the chance for either show to get renewed is 50/50; both shows are “on the bubble.”

FOX does not want to see all three of its new genre shows die this year. By moving ‘Touch’ to after ‘American Idol,’ the network hopes a large chunk of the massive ‘Idol’ audience will stay tuned to the new Kiefer Sutherland drama. Although the ratings for ‘Idol’ have fallen this year, the show is still has high ratings; Thursday night is the results show, and it brings in around 16-18 million viewers a week. If ‘Touch’ can retain a good portion of the audience, then the network will be pleased. Sutherland brought FOX high ratings with ’24,’ and the network is counting on this time period and his name to make ‘Touch’ a success.

‘Touch’ will premiere Thursday, March 22 at 9/8c on FOX.

Source: TVbytheNumbers

  • Crimson

    It’s a good move. Aside from New Girl, Fox hasn’t had any new shows which delivered ratings wise, and they could really use a new hit drama. This not only looks like the best of it’s freshman drama offerings this year quality wise, but it has the most commercial potential. Best to capitalize on that as much as possible.

    • I agree. Sutherland is a big draw, and FOX loves having him back.

  • Caine Dorr

    I think that articles of this nature can be hurtful as much as they are informative.  In the past before the explosion of the internet and it’s instantaneous information delivery it would have been a mystery  as to why fox changed it’s schedule but people would have gotten over it.  Those who found the moved show would watch, those who didn’t wouldn’t and that would be sad but the way things were.  Now, by informing us that Terra Nova and Alcatraz have very very poor ratings you open the gates for a group of viewers (possibly many) who actually enjoy one or both of those shows who may choose to think: Why should I stick with this show if it has a strong chance of being canceled or simply drying up and blowing away after the first season?

    • JasonMBowles

      I think the point is to rally fans, so they can vocalize their support and take a more active role in getting others invested in the shows. Sci fi shows typically cost a lot more to produce than other hour long dramas, so they really have to bring in the ratings.
      Plus, like Michelle pointed out, putting Touch after Idol can only help its chances.

      • Caine Dorr

         There are a lot of ways to rally fans without stating that the show is actually in trouble.  Just my opinion.

    • This is the nature of television and has been for over a decade. Ten years ago, before the internet exploded, FOX cancelled ‘Firefly.’ Before that it was ‘Freaks and Geeks’ (cancelled by NBC after 18 episodes). ‘Twin Peaks’ only got 30 episodes. It’s risky watching TV; if you become invested, it can be cancelled without warning.

      • Caine Dorr

         Firefly was not canceled before the internet explosion.  I can’t remember the last show to cause an internet quake like Firefly.  Either my logic stands.