Comic book TV shows are nearly a dime a dozen now, but even if they were all that existed, there still wouldn't be anything quite like Gotham, a magnificently non-subtle mixture of Batman mythos and Looney Tunes' Yoyo Dodo. The Fox drama has only gotten more comfortably zany with each successive season, and we're hoping it lasts all the way through the Dark Knight's arrival and retirement. However, it's not even clear if Gotham, which isn't exactly a ratings smash, will be renewed for Season 5. Here's what Fox's chairman and CEO Gary Newman says.
We asked a lot of it this year moving to Thursday nights and I thought it did a pretty good job of opening up that night for us. I feel like Gotham should have a place in our schedule. [It will be] purely be a matter of scheduling. Thursday is not available in the fall, so where do we use it? Hopefully there's more years of Gotham.
After spending its first three seasons on Mondays, Gotham flipped over to Thursday nights so that Fox could bring The Resident to the schedule. It's usually a bad sign when a show loses its signature timeslot like that, especially when that show's placement isn't the biggest part of the decision. Gotham is the kind of project whose madness and mayhem will attract people no matter where it is, which works to its advantage, but we're just hoping that enough people are following along to justify more seasons in Fox execs' minds.
So why will Gotham need to vacate its Thursday night spot next fall? Oh, it's a little something called "Fox is paying over $660 million a year to air the NFL's Thursday Night Football for the next five years." Now that Fox has brought its sports focus to weeknight primetime, that limits the number of original shows the network can air during the September-January months, with an entire night locked up in the schedule. So to keep Gotham going, another currently airing series will likely need to get phased out. Alternately, Fox could halve Gotham's episode count to use it as a midseason replacement. Or hell, it could air a full batch of episodes from February through the summer months, because Gotham doesn't play by anyone's rules, dammit!
That's just talking about the more technical side of Gotham moving on, too. What about all the plot and story reasons why this show needs to reach Season 5 and beyond? We still haven't met the real Joker yet, and Cameron Monaghan has us over the moon with excitement for it. Plus, we've just met the new Poison Ivy, we still haven't met the new Scarecrow, and there are lots of other characters and moments we're dying to see.
I'm not saying terrible things are going to happen if Gotham doesn't get renewed for Season 5, but there are three pretty persuasive women who don't take kindly to being turned down.
While speaking at the INTV conference in Jerusalem (via Deadline), Gary Newman also talked about the future chances of Exorcist (not great), the 24 franchise (good, but not great), Last Man on Earth (middling), LA to Vegas (decent) and Empire (better than most). Will any of those shows have to go away in order to make room for Gotham? So be it!
For now, Gotham airs Thursday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows will be on the way in the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule.