Fox Latenight’s ‘Axe Cop,’ ‘High School USA’ Open to 1.5 Million

Saturday debut of 15-minute animated series equals first-year demo average of FX's 'Archer'

Fox’s new latenight block of short, animated comedies — under the banner “Animation Domination High Def” — opened to decent numbers Saturday, especially for mid-summer.

The preliminary Nielsen estimates supplied by Fox on Sunday did not break down the performance of the 15-minute premieres of “Axe Cop” and “High School USA,” but the half-hour averaged a 0.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.5 million viewers overall. Prior to Sunday, Fox’s summer averages in the 11 p.m. half-hour with repeats of “Hell’s Kitchen” were a 0.3 rating in adults 18-49 and about 1 million total viewers.

By comparison to some latenight cable animated series, Fox’s 0.5 for “Axe Cop” and “High School USA” matches the first-season average of the initial telecasts of FX’s “Archer” in the same 11 p.m. half-hour during the 2009-10 TV season. In total viewers, “Archer” averaged nearly 1 million viewers.

Adult Swim has seen its shows range from a 0.3 to a 0.8 (“Robot Chicken” being on the high end) over the past two seasons. The most recent season of “Children’s Hospital” on Adult Swim averaged a 0.6.

Fox is hoping to expand its success with animated comedies beyond Sunday nights and sees Saturday latenight as a fertile ground for seeding new concepts.

The net will be expanding the ADHD block beyond its current 30 minutes but is waiting for the 11 o’clock half-hour to establish itself before it sets premiere dates for additional shows.

The ADHD block figures to benefit later this summer from the return of football to Fox. The guy-geared cartoon comedies, for example, should be able to attract lots of new eyeballs on the Saturdays when Fox’s college football telecasts wrap in the 10 o’clock ET hour.

More TV

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content