‘9-1-1’ Was Axed at Fox for Financial Reasons, CEO Says: ‘The Economics Weren’t Going to Pan Out’

Fox has confirmed what analysts and industry insiders have speculated: “9-1-1” was canceled for financial reasons. During a conference call ahead of Fox’s upfront, CEO Rob Wade addressed the cancellation of the network’s highest-rated scripted series.

“We felt moving forward into what is really a new era of television, the economics weren’t going pan out for this show for us,” Wade said. The network head also added that “the business model wasn’t right for us,” which is why 20th Television took the series back.

The decision to axe “9-1-1” was made a year ago and before Wade was named as Fox’s CEO last October. Earlier this month it was announced that ABC would take over the beloved series. Wade emphasized that he “can’t speak to” how ABC came to acquire the series after 20th Television regained control of it.

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At the moment, Fox has no plans to “shed” any other series from 20th Television. That being said, Wade highlighted that when it comes to every show, at this point “it’s a renegotiation.”

As for any potential crossovers between ABC’s “9-1-1” and the still Fox-owned “9-1-1: Lone Star,” it’s “extremely unlikely.” This is partially because Fox is currently more focused on its own schedule and partially because of both shows’ complicated production schedules.

“Crossovers have always been really hard on the ‘9-1-1’ franchise because they’re such ambitious schedules. We weren’t able to do it every year when both shows were on our network anyways,” president of scripted programming for Fox Entertainment Michael Thorn said. Thorn also said that he “can’t really speak” to what ABC is going to do with “9-1-1.”

The series’ cancellation originally came down to ownership. As the series has gone on over the years, licensing has become more and more expensive for Fox. A network canceling its highest-rated scripted series may be shocking, and it also marks a shift in the TV landscape.

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