By mid-May, the broadcast networks must make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2018-19 TV season, and which… won’t.
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As that deadline draws near, TVLine is singling out a few “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on creative strides (and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to cold, hard numbers.
Next up in TVLine’s Keep or Cut series is Fox’s vampire-apocalypse drama.
THE SHOW | Fox’s The Passage (Mondays at 9/8c)
THE CASE FOR KEEPING | The Passage is an adaptation of several of Justin Cronin’s novels, and Season 1 barely scratched the apocalyptic surface of the sprawling story. The pre-epidemic period in which we meet Amy (Saniyya Sidney) and Brad (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) makes up a relatively short section of Book 1; viewers got the tiniest taste of what a potential Season 2 might hold via a far-flung fast forward at the end of the Season 1 finale, when a more mature-appearing Amy shot a viral in the year 2116 as she arrived at one of humanity’s last strongholds.
Yep, Amy’s story is just beginning as Fox’s adaptation takes its first breather. But thanks to several page-to-screen changes, even those who’ve committed Cronin’s works to heart don’t know exactly how the story will unfold. Lila’s daring trip to the CDC, the Lacey/Jonas partnership and Brad’s continued existence as a human all are departures from the book that fit well within the Season 1 story — which is even more reason to keep the supernatural sci-fi tale going.
Finally, the father-daughter relationship between Gosselaar and Sidney’s characters is absolutely golden and eminently watchable, and the chance to continue it — in whatever time or place — seems like a no-brainer.
THE CASE FOR CUTTING | One thing that hasn’t been bloody amazing? The Passage’s ability to hold onto an audience. After debuting to 5.2 million total viewers and a 1.3 demo rating, the heavily serialized drama gradually slipped most every week, eventually wrapping its 10-episode run with season lows (without The Resident as a lead-in that night). And while its average audience of 3.7 million and 0.92 rating rank fifth out of Fox’s 11 dramas (ahead of fellow genre shows The Orville and The Gifted), it’s a sharp drop from time slot owner 9-1-1‘s 6.2 mil/1.5.
Vote below, then hit the comments and make your own case for keeping or cutting The Passage.