You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Attn: Fox: Fixing Shows Requires Delicate ‘Touch’

Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly.

It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the Christian Slater vehicle.

TouchUndaunted, Fox has once again tinkered with a marginally rated show, “Touch,” starring Kiefer Sutherland. While I had problems with the show’s debut last season, the new run, which begins Feb. 8, takes the show in a markedly different direction — much closer to a “24”-like serialized thrill ride than the up-with-people, we’re-all-connected episodes of the maiden flight.

The show has also added Maria Bello (never a bad thing) as a series regular, playing a woman whose daughter — like Sutherland’s mute son — has a strange next-evolution gift, allowing him to connect numbers in unexpected, near-mystical ways. There’s also an investigative website staffed by a former Los Angeles Times reporter to offer the pair assistance, as they try to tackle a shadowy corporation that appears to be attempting to harness and exploit the kids.

The new version (which kicks off with a two-hour episode) hews much closer to territory series creator Tim Kring mined with “Heroes,” with some of the strengths in terms of what amounts to the kid’s super-power, and more of the weaknesses.

Fox has lowered expectations by bringing the show back scheduled on Friday nights, but once again, other than wanting to stay in business with the high-profile talent involved, it’s hard to discern why the new-look “Touch” should be expected to fare any better in terms of the numbers that really matter than the old one. (It’s been reported Bello won’t return for a third season, but based on the likelihood of that happening, such a scenario could very well be moot.)

In “24,” Sutherland’s character was known for slapping around prisoners, but the only tortured thing here is the network’s logic — and the assumption it’s possible to keep getting second bites at the apple. Because despite Fox’s apparent faith in its ability to “fix” shows, reaping any benefits from this sort of tinkering requires an awfully delicate touch.

 

More Voices

  • Hayes Theater

    'Torch Song,' Second Stage and the $64 Million Broadway Bet

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

  • Phantom of the Opera Broadway

    What Broadway Learned From 'The Phantom of the Opera'

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

  • RWS Entertainment Group Marquee Holland America

    RWS Entertainment Launches Theatrical Development Department (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    ‘Hamilton,’ Broadway and the Duel Over Paperless Tickets

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

  • HadestownNew York Theatre WorkshopBy Anaïs MitchellDeveloped

    Streaming to Broadway: How New Titles, Talent Grow Buzz Online

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

  • Randall Arney Geffen Playhouse

    What No NYC Nonprofit Theater Likes to Talk About

    Fox has gotten into a rather interesting (and some would say annoying) habit of trying to change series in midstream — renewing them, but then engineering pretty dramatic shifts, usually in an effort to make them more female-friendly. It didn’t work, for example, with “Human Target,” as I’ve previously lamented, or with “Breaking In,” the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content