Fox renews "Til Death", cancels "Back to You"

Fox has renewed Til’ Death, putting the Sony Television Pictures production on the track for an off-network syndication debut in fall 2010, while canceling Back to You and picking up a new comedy called The Inn.

Twentieth Television is shopping Back to You to several networks, including CBS.

Thought: Chalk up Back to You’s demise to several factors: Expensive production, weak time period, and the fact Fox’s comedies are molded in the Married… With Children/Simpsons/Martin/Living Single/Malcolm in the Middle/That’s ’70’s Show style (a.k.a. wild and dysfunctional.) Remember the Charles S. Sutton vehicle Roc that ran from 1991-94? The critically acclaimed sitcom never fit into Fox’s criteria, despite the program’s best efforts.

Last year, I said Back to You and ‘Til Death would have been better off paired with The Simpsons and Family Guy on Sundays, but Fox did not want to break up its successful animated block, which draws in the hard-to-reach male 18-49 demo very well, and decided to stick with King of the Hill and American Dad instead. Good thing, too – both animated shows regularly outdrew You and Death in men 18-49 and adults 18-49. Fox seems more committed to animated comedies than ever before, picking up several projects including Sit Down, Shut Up from Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz, and an inkubation project committed to finding the next animated hit, as well as a new animation division.

As for ‘Til Death, the phrase “Catch ‘Til Death five days a week this fall” in 2010 sends shivers down my spine, just like it did when I heard the phrase “Catch According to Jim five days a week this fall” did several years back. I guess dumb comedies are always in fashion, despite what you hear about the sitcom dying.