People always complain about Fox pulling the plug on their most beloved science fiction TV shows, from Firefly to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The thing they always forget is that Fox also took a chance on some risky genre projects, which is why it had those favorite shows to cancel in the first place.
And those days may be over now. Fox announced its new shows for fall 2012 and spring 2013... and there isn't a single new science fiction (or fantasy) project on there. The closest they're coming is The Following, a show created by Kevin "Vampire Diaries" Williamson about an FBI agent chasing a serial killer who's masterminded a string of murders around the country — and there may turn out to be some speculative plot devices involved. But probably not.
Other than that, it's all cops, comedies and reality TV. And Friday nights will once again be a science-fiction block, with Touch at 8 PM and Fringe at 9 PM. Except that Fringe is slated to end in December for good — and it seems increasingly unlikely that Touch will last more than another season. By spring 2013, Fox could be completely free of SF and fantasy, for the first time since 2006-2007, when there was a bit of a gap between Tru Calling and Sarah Connor Chronicles.
It bears repeating that Fox's devotion to Fringe, a show that's been losing a fair amount of money, is really extraordinary, and a sign that Kevin Reilly or someone over there really does love the notion of a quirky show about weird science.
But still — could Fox finally have decided to join CBS in avoiding science fiction and fantasy altogether? Or is this likely to be just a brief interregnum before the network starts throwing another pile of crazy ideas, along the lines of Alcatraz, Terra Nova and Touch, at the wall to see if any of them sticks? Will we never again be able to complain about Fox cancelling all our favorite shows?