• A Tale of Two Series

    by  • May 3, 2017 • Television • 8 Comments

    The Mick 2 pitch

    This week the Fox network announced that it has cancelled Pitch (Executive Producer Kevin Falls), one of the few bright spots – especially for Fox – on the broadcast TV schedule. The series, about the first female pitcher for a major league baseball team, provides a rare example of a positive female role model on TV, but beyond that, it also featured inspiring characters, uplifting messages and relatively family-friendly content. Paris Barclay, who directed the first episode said of the series, “I’ve been aching to have a show I can watch with my family, and now there is one.”

    Critics were no less enthusiastic: “One of fall’s most ambitious pilots is also one of its best” (AdWeek), “One of the best (if not the best) pilot of the fall… This one knocks it out of the park!” (E! Online), “Inspirational!” (TV Guide magazine), and on and on…

    Meanwhile, The Mick (co-executive producers John and Dave Chernin, sons of Peter Chernin, former President and COO of Fox parent company NewsCorp) — a series about kids behaving badly and irresponsible adults behaving worse — has been picked up for a second season.

    But why did The Mick get a second-season pick-up, rather than Pitch?

    Maybe The Mick got a second season because of critical acclaim?

    The LA Times’ Meredith Blake called The Mick a “shallow exercise in provocation,” then went on to say that “Once the incessant attempts to offend grow wearisome, there’s not enough here to bring you back for another round… There’s no hugging and no learning, but I’m not sure that what the show offers instead — joke after joke relying on the shock value of seeing a child say or do something inappropriate and adults acting irresponsibly.” The New York Times said, “Without the freedom in language, tone and general obnoxiousness that FXX gives [It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia], the over-the-top situations in The Mick are less likely to make you laugh than to make you feel vaguely uncomfortable.” From the Las Vegas Weekly: “It’s hard to root for the characters to form a makeshift family when all of them are such terrible people, but their terribleness is compromised by the need to make them semi-likable. It’s the worst of both worlds.”

    Nope, that’s not it.

    Maybe the ratings could explain why it got picked up over Pitch?

    Pitch actually outperformed The Mick, averaging 3.03 million viewers to The Mick’s 3.02. And if you take out The Mick’s strong New Year’s Day premiere numbers (when there was little other new content), the gap between Pitch and The Mick’s average rating grows even wider (3.03 to 2.65). The Mick lost viewers week after week, starting with a strong 8.58 million when it premiered and dropping to 3.37 million by week two, and dwindling down to 2.09 by episode 14. Pitch, by contrast, ended its ten episode run with 2.89 million viewers.

    So The Mick isn’t a ratings hit, either. And with the reviews they were getting, it’s doubtful Fox was holding out hope that The Mick would land an Emmy or Golden Globe award.

    Maybe we’ll never solve the mystery.

    It’s just a shame Pitch’s producer’s last name isn’t “Chernin.”



    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    8 Responses to A Tale of Two Series

    1. K S
      May 8, 2017 at 5:27 am

      I am appalled that Fox would cancel such a positive show as “Pitch” and continue with the inappropriate shows (The Mick & 13 reasons why). Our children need positive role models!! What they do not need are more negative, inappropriate shows to influence their values and behaviors.
      Shame on you Fox!!

    2. Justin
      May 7, 2017 at 10:40 am

      This reminds me of NBC renewing “Hannibal” (probably the most disgustingly violent broadcast TV show ever) for 2 extra seasons despite it only getting around 2 million viewers per season, which is a TINY number of viewers for a Big 3 network. The vast majority of shows getting only 2 million viewers on the Big 3 will be canned immediately. I think they renewed this disgusting show twice only because some exec at NBC liked the show or wanted to push the violence into America’s living rooms and shove it in our faces.

    3. May 6, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      I find this to be quite stupid. Fox seems to only care about shows that contain sex. I think that maybe it is time we boycott Fox. If all they care about is sex stuff, then we turn off Fox and turn on INSP. All Fox cares about the shows that contains sex. Only thing positive about Fox is on Sunday mornings when they air “Hour of Power” and that’s the only family friendly show that is left. And if Fox decides to kill that one, we will never watch Fox again.

      • moax429
        May 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        I’m proud to say I stopped watching Fox about eight years ago. Same also holds true for NBC, but I stopped watching that network about six years ago.

    4. Mary
      May 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Would you please create television that teaches RESPECT. So much of the violence in our country is retaliation for being disrespected.

    5. Donna Blankenhorn
      May 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      This does not make any sense at all when a good uplifting program as Pitch is cancelled and the unbelievably trashy program Mic is kept on. The two producers of Mic should be ashamed of themselves—they have no morals, that is for sure! Wonder if they have any children which really shouldn’t matter. Hope this horrible program is cancelled soon which is not soon enough!!!

      • May 6, 2017 at 4:23 pm


        I am with you all the way. It has gotten to be so stupid. Fox doesn’t give a hoot about truly family friendly program. Maybe it is time that we launch a boycott against Fox. Also launch one against VH1 I am glad that Dating Naked did get cancelled. I don’t know if you get INSP, but that channel has The Waltons. And Science has How It’s Made. Try to get Fox to air How It’s Made and you could get a response from Fox stating that the show would be boring because the people would be seeing mostly a bunch of machines making things. But for me, I think that would be great. Lets all boycott Fox TV network.

        • Rita Finn
          July 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

          I am with you. Let’s boycott Fox. A lot of people wonder why this country is in such turmoil.
          Let’s just look at the White House. Not good examples. Also, Television is full of such violence.
          I feel sorry for this generation. My son has 2 children and will not have a television in his house.
          I am so proud of his decision. I write to a lot of sponsors and wonder will it ever do any good.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *