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‘Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life’ Nearing Cancellation With Fox Schedule Change

Though a cancellation has not been made official, “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” is nearing its end with recent changes on Fox’s schedule, Variety has learned.

This weekend’s upcoming April 17 episode will air as scheduled at 7:30 p.m., but the following Sunday April 24 episode has been preempted with an encore of “The Simpsons,” leading into a new episode of “Simpsons.” On Sunday May 1, as always planned, the entire night is preempted with the second annual “American Country Countdown Awards.” No word yet on the May 8 episode, which was the original airdate for “Cooper Barrett’s” season finale — meaning two produced episodes could potentially never air.

While Fox has declined to comment on the fate of “Cooper Barrett,” it’s crunch time for a number of bubble shows as the Upfronts approach in May.

Along with “Cooper Barrett,” other Fox comedies that have yet to be renewed for another season are John Stamos’ “Grandfathered,” Rob Lowe’s “The Grinder” and the animated “Bordertown,” which is paired with “Cooper” and also struggled to find an audience.

However, “Cooper’s” imminent fate comes on the heels of a Season 6 renewal for “New Girl.” Other Fox comedies that are returning in the 2016-17 season are “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Last Man on Earth” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” On the drama front, “Gotham,” “Lucifer,” “Rosewood,” “Scream Queens” and mega-hit “Empire” have landed early renewals with just “Sleepy Hollow” hanging, as “Minority Report” and “Second Chance” had their original episode orders cut early in the season.

“Cooper Barrett” imminent cancellation does not come as a surprise, as the show has struggled in the ratings, resulting in Fox downgrading its Sunday-night timeslot, swapping the show with “Bob’s Burgers” in the 7:30 p.m. window.

The half-hour, single-cam laffer follows Cooper Barrett (Jack Cutmore-Scott) and his friends and family while exploring what we all go through on our way to figuring out what life is all about. Boasting a young cast, the comedy — which has been compared to “The Hangover” — was an effort for Fox to branch out to a younger audience, bridging the gap between the judge-graduated college crowd and young professionals, but it never quite clicked.

Premiering in January, the comedy opened to just over 2.6 million viewers. The second episode saw a substantial rise to over 4.5 million viewers, thanks to Sunday night football, but the next week dipped back down. Hitting a series low of 970,000 viewers for an episode, “Cooper’s” most recent airing this past Sunday brought in an audience of just over one million.

“Cooper” was a surprise pickup last year, flying under the radar until May when it was ordered for the 2015-16 season. Fox execs were said to be privy to the comedy, as it was a departure for their slate with its action element and young-adult themes.

Meaghan Rath, James Earl, Charlie Saxton, Liza Lapira and Justin Bartha also starred in the ensembler that hails from former Fox boss Gail Berman’s Jackal Group and 20th Century Fox TV.

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