Questions remain for 'Napoleon,' 'Finder,' other bubble shows

There were no surprises from Fox in the three series renewals it unveiled Monday: “New Girl” was its standout frosh player of the season, while “Raising Hope” has held on in its sophomore year and “Glee” still has plenty of kick in it even after taking a ratings hit in its junior year.

But the nods for the 2012-13 season raise questions about the fate of a handful of other Fox skeins as the network’s May 14 upfront approaches.

Among the laffers outstanding, no one’s holding their breath for a soph season of the critically panned “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.” “Breaking In,” the show that came back from the dead last year, has not impressed in its midseason run.

Animated skein “Napoleon Dynamite” remains a question mark, though the show has more going for it than the other live-action frosh. “Napoleon” performed respectably in the post- “Simpsons” Sunday 8:30 p.m. slot despite a few skedding disruptions in its six-episode run from January-March, and it wasn’t as hammered by critics as Fox’s other frosh toon, the short-lived “Allen Gregory.”

Among dramas, it seems a cinch that Kiefer Sutherland starrer “Touch” will be back for more next season — given its solid perf and the investment Fox and 20th Century Fox TV’s have made in giving it a worldwide day-and-date rollout.

“Bones” spinoff “The Finder” is probably headed south after it wraps its six-week run of episodes in the graveyard Friday slot. And The signs aren’t looking good for newbie “Alcatraz,” which came to the table with lofty “Lost”-like expectations among fans but failed to click in a major way.

But the demise of “Alcatraz” could seal the deal for a fifth season of “Fringe,” which like “Alcatraz” hails from Warner Bros. TV and producer J.J. Abrams. “Fringe” has defied the gravity of its ratings thanks in part to its status as an internal favorite among key players at the network.

The trio of pickups handed out Monday went to 20th TV skeins. “New Girl” opened with a bang in the fall and has maintained its momentum with a season average of 4.2 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million total viewers. “Glee” has taken a dip but is still delivering an average of 3.8/10 in adults 18-49 and 8.9 million viewers.

“Raising Hope” has been gaining steam with critics this year, though its overall season average remains a modest 5.6 million viewers and 2.6/7 in adults 18-49 despite the halo effect of airing behind “New Girl” in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. slot.

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