Nellie Andreeva

Fox has nixed midseason animated comedy series Murder Police. I hear the decision was made by Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly after reading scripts and watching footage of upcoming episodes. Because of the nature of animation production, there is work done on various episodes at the same time though I hear there is no completed episode yet. (The series order was made off a presentation.) I hear producer 20th Century Fox TV is planning to continue fulfilling the 13-episode order and shop the series elsewhere.

There has been only one addition to Fox’s “Animation Domination” Sunday block that has stuck since Reilly joined the network in 2007 — cult (and Fox brass) favorite Bob’s Burgers, which was recently renewed for a fifth season. Murder Police was Fox’s first animated series order in more than two years — since the 2010 pickups of Jonah Hill’s Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite, which only aired for 7 and 6 episodes, respectively. With the stealth cancellation of The Cleveland Show, upcoming move of American Dad! to TBS and demise of Murder Police, there will be only three returning shows next season in Fox’s Sunday animated block that runs for as many as three hours when there is no football. Because of the long production cycle on an animated series, it is almost impossible to have a new animated comedy series ready for next fall unless the network transplants one of the projects from its ADHD Saturday late-night block. In addition to scrapping Murder Police, first reported by TV Guide, Fox brass are re-examining another midseason comedy, the live-action Us & Them, which just took an early hiatus to work on scripts. Murder Police, created by David A. Goodman and Jason Ruiz, follows a dedicated but inept detective and his colleagues — some perverted, some corrupt, some just plain lazy — in a twisted city precinct. Its voice cast includes Ruiz, Jane Lynch, Wilmer Valderrama, Will Sasso, Chi McBride, Peter Atencio, and Justina Machado. Bento Box Animation is producing for 20th TV.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.