The FOX sit-com “Raising Hope” has been canceled after four seasons, but does this really mean the end for the Chances and Natesville? Here’s why another network should snap up the show.
Loyal Fan Base
While the news of other shows’ cancellations often elicit mixed comments, almost every response to the news on Facebook as well as on sites like TVBytheNumbers and IsMyShowCancelled? were flooded with messages of shock and outrage from fans.
The move to Friday hurt the ratings, but the show’s fans are willing to follow it to another network. Give the show good placement in the schedule, perhaps replacing an under-performing show, and a smart network would secure a good opportunity for ratings growth.
Story and Character Potential
After four seasons, the story lines are not yet played out. After the first season, the single-dad angle expanded as the world of Natesville grew. Now, in addition to daughter Hope (Baylie and Rylie Cregut), dad Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and his family — parents (played to perfection by Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt), great-grandmother (Cloris Leachman) and wife (Shannon Woodward) — the focus has expanded to include an ever-growing supporting cast of neighbors, co-workers, and the occasional nemesis.
Like “The Simpsons,” which took the family sit-com beyond the usual handful of family-centered plots, “Raising Hope” has delivered such amusing episodes as a recent satire of the Olympics, with Americans and Russians facing off in a supermarket competition. They’ve also done shows on cyber-dating, ghost hunting and a self-mocking look at family sit-coms.
With this sort of approach, the show could keep generating plotlines for years to come. Since the show is not dependent on a cute young child, the show could remain fresh even as the actors portraying Hope grow older or even graduate from high school.
Reality TV Counter-Programming
Reality shows continue to pop up, but few of them reach the cult status they once achieved. Many viewers are tiring of reality shows, but as their choices become limited on network television, they turn to PBS for shows like “Downton Abbey” and to cable for shows like “Girls.” By adding a creative show like “Raising Hope” to the schedule, a smart network can provide counter-programming to the reality shows that no longer rule the ratings.