Here is why getting only a partial back order is not necessarily a death sentence for a freshman series. Fox has given an early renewal to its action comedy-drama Lethal Weapon.
Lethal Weapon, from Matt Miller, Warner Bros TV and Lin Pictures, got off to an OK ratings start in the fall after better than expected review. But a red flag was raised when Fox only picked up five additional episodes, four short of a full-season order.
However, the reboot of the hit movie franchise kept chugging along with a steady run that has now earned it an early Season 2 renewal. It has averaged a 1.4 Live+Same Day adults 18-49 rating in the Wednesday 8 PM time slot — never slipping below the 1.3 mark — and a 2.5 in Live+7. According to Fox, the series starring Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford averages 11 million multi-platform viewers and is a Top 5 new series this season.
This is the second early renewal to a Warner Bros drama by Fox, joining sophomore Lucifer. That leaves the oldest and most expensive of the indie studio’s Fox holdings, Gotham, whose fate has not been decided.
“Lethal Weapon continues to fire on all cylinders,” said Fox Entertainment president David Madden. “Every week, it delivers a big, fun roller-coaster ride, but also remains touchingly human and genuinely emotional, and that’s due to the chemistry that’s developed not only between Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford, but the entire cast.”
Lethal Weapon, a reimagening of the movies, follows cop duo Riggs (Crawford) and Murtaugh (Wayans), who work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. Grief-stricken after the loss of his young wife and unborn child, Navy SEAL-turned-detective Riggs moves to California to “start over” at the LAPD. He’s paired up with Murtaugh, who’s just coming back to the job after a near-fatal heart attack. Riggs’ penchant for diving headfirst into the line of fire immediately clashes with Murtaugh’s prudent, by-the-book technique. One has everything to live for, the other has nothing to lose.
Lethal Weapon is a production of Warner Bros TV in association with Lin Pictures and Good Session Productions. The pilot was written by Miller and directed by McG; they executive produce the series with Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz.