Fox dumps “Monrach” after one season

From a Monarch “Pop-up” event. (Event Marketer)

Hee Haw Empire launched with high expectations but fell flat

A day after its season finale aired, Fox announced it was cancelling Monarch after eleven episodes.

Set in the world of country music, the drama featured Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon and instantly drew comparisons to former Fox drama Empire, which ran from 2015 to 2020 and had a similar structure, though set in the world of hip-hop. In some circles, Monarch was mocked as Yeehaw Empire.

Monarch was supposed to launch in January of this year after the NFC Championship Game, but production was postponed due to Covid-related issues pushed the premiere to September 11, leading out of the first doubleheader of the NFL season where it drew decent sampling. But when it moved to its regular Tuesday night time slot on September 20, Monarch failed to click with viewers. In its first and only season, Monarch averaged around four million viewers on all platforms and a 0.3 live-plus-seven day rating in the key 18-49 demo. While Monarch was the type of fare the broadcast networks were looking for to connect more with middle America (the series was set in Nashville after all), the overall mediocre nature of the show was not a strong selling point.

The comparisons to Empire also didn’t help, as the Chicago-filmed drama was running on fumes in the last few seasons of its run and is now more connected to Jussie Smollett’s real-life foibles than anything else. The producers decided to end Empire in 2020, but unable to shoot a proper series finale at the dawn of the Covid-19 crisis, forcing the show out of production. 

On Rotten Tomatoes, Monarch had a lackluster 31 percent critic score, with an even worse 27 percent user score, but rated better on Metacritic with a 43 percent metascore and a 6.0 user score. 

Monrach was the first Fox in-house scripted series to be produced by the network since 21st Century Fox’s assets were sold to The Walt Disney Company, in a deal announced in December 2017 and closed in March 2019.

Monarch becomes the second casualty of the season and the first scripted series to receive its walking papers. A month ago, CBS canceled reality competition series The Real Love Boat after four weeks and moved the reminder of its episodes to streamer Paramount Plus.


1 thought on “Fox dumps “Monrach” after one season

    • “Monarch was the type of fare the broadcast networks were looking for to connect more with middle America”

      If you want to connect with country listeners middle americans who lean conservative, maybe don’t cast Susan Sarandon in a lead role. If I have to guess, they are not a fan. Very strange considering that Reba McEntire is available.

      Maybe it doesn’t make a difference if the show is bad enough, but it only could have helped..

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