Fox TV CEO Elaborates on Decision to Cancel ‘Lucifer’

Fox Television Group CEO and chairman Dana Walden says a narrow audience and expensive costs resulted in the network’s decision to cancel the fan-favorite Lucifer.

“We had a great time working with that cast and the executive producers of the show. It worked well for us,” Walden said Thursday during the Television Critics Association Summer press tour (via TV Guide).

“[But] as we were going into this season, we looked at the size of the audience, which was starting to get pretty narrow. We just made a determination that given ... it was owned by an outside studio, at the time we couldn’t justify the economics. It was not an inexpensive show, and we just made a decision that ultimately it wasn’t performing to a broad enough audience in a way that worked for us.”

Walden added Fox “thought a lot about” the decision to axe the Warner Bros. Television-distributed show, saying there were “a lot of conversations” about its fate before the network cancelled the show in May after three seasons.

In the wake of the cancellation, angry-as-hell fans gave rise to the #SaveLucifer hashtag aimed at rallying viewers in a concentrated effort to convince Fox to reconsider pulling the plug. Netflix resurrected the show with a season 4 pickup in June.

Netflix will bring 10-episode runs to the streaming service, cutting down Lucifer’s season episode count down from 22 to 10.

“I’m excited about the fact that we are 10 episodes now as opposed to 22, which means we can get right down to the storytelling, and every episode will count,” Ellis told EW during San Diego Comic-Con. “From my point of view as an actor, that’s great.”

The star added the new iteration of the show will be pay mind to not “mess around too much” with what first made Lucifer a fan-favorite and will now be able to play within “certain different boundaries” now that the series is absolved of the limitations of network television.

Lucifer stars Tom Ellis as the Devil, Lucifer Morningstar, who became a consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department after growing bored with his role as the Lord of Hell.

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The DC Comics-inspired drama series is based on the character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg as first seen in Vertigo comic book series The Sandman. The character later headed his own titular spinoff series before making the jump to live-action.

Netflix has yet to stake a release date for Lucifer season 4.