This past midseason, Fox launched two high-profile new reality competition series, The Masked Singer and Mental Samurai. While the former became a breakout hit and a pop culture phenom, earning a quick renewal and a spot on the network’s fall schedule, the future of Mental Samurai, hosted by Rob Lowe, is still TBD.
“We looking at it now,” Fox Alternative President Rob Wade told Deadline at TCA. “It is a show I am proud of, Rob Lowe was great. We are considering what to do with it now.”
The fact that Fox brass waited to make a renewal decision on the game show may have helped its chances.
“When the show launched, we looked at the ratings and they were OK; it didn’t over-perform but we were proud of what we did. As summer came and we saw how shows performed on all networks, it was obvious that actually the (Mental Samurai) ratings were pretty solid. it’s something we have to consider.”
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The Mental Samurai decision won’t be isolated. “We obviously have a lot of other shows, So You Think You Can Dance, Spin the Wheel, Mental Samurai, we have to consider all those as a group,” Wade said, hinting that not all will make the cut. “I can’t pick up everything, I need to leave some room to take some shots.”
Fox already has canceled one of its bubble reality series, the Paradise Hotel revival, which had a five-week run earlier this summer.
A veteran reality series, which launched on Fox between the first and second seasons of the original Paradise Hotel, So You Think You Can Dance, is now in its 16th season. While not a massive hit, it has been a summer staple for the network with respectable ratings and a steady stream of Emmy nominations.
“It’s a good show, and it’s got three Emmy nominations,” Wade said. “I think they do a good job, I think it continues to perform ratings-wise, overnights, its L7s are very good. When you compare it with other shows on TV at the moment, it does very well. We haven’t made a decision yet.”
While Fox is making a decision on SYTYCD, the network ordered a dancing-and-dating hybrid reality series, Flirty Dancing.
What does that mean for the future of SYTYCD?
“They are very different – one is a competitive dance show, one is like a dating show, one is based in a studio, one in a real-life setting,” Wade said. “They can co exist.”
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