How The Shifting TV Landscape Caused Mindy’s Cancellation

The TV Upfronts are coming up next week, and reports on the fate of your favorite broadcast TV shows are popping up. The first big surprise cancellation came yesterday when Fox announced that The Mindy Project will not be coming back for a fourth season on the network, making it the first show in seven years to be axed with over 66 episodes under its belt.

Typically, when a network show reaches such numbers, the prospect of lucrative syndication deals would prompt the networks to grant shows with low ratings another season to produce sufficient episodes so as to bulk up its leverage in syndication negotiations. And that’s the way it’s always been done.

But with the recent rise of OTT streaming services disrupting the TV landscape, that rule seems to no longer apply. In this new circumstance, Universal Studios, which produces the show, could easily ship the show off to a streaming service where it can attract a niche audience and cumulate more episode counts, rather than negotiating with Fox to find the show a burn-off time slot for cheap.

And that’s exactly what they are doing – the Mindy Kaling comedy seems to be heading to Hulu, as sources report that the streaming service, partially owned by Fox and NBC Universal, is already in talks to acquire the show for multiple new seasons. If true, Mindy would join high-profile series in development at Hulu as the streaming service bulks up on original content to compete for audience attention.

The Lab has always been fascinated by the shifting landscape of the TV business, and we have been closely following the ongoing trend towards OTT streaming viewing. Come talk to us if you are a media owner or simply want to understand the changing audience behaviors and how to reach the fragmented viewers.