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Fox Cancels Human Target, Passes On Locke & Key

Amid a flurry of pickups and cancellations, Fox dropped the ax on Human Target and passed on the pilot Locke & Key, an adaptation of the acclaimed horror comic by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network also chopped the new Christian Slater comedy Breaking In, Shawn Ryan’s freshman police drama The Chicago Code, the Tim Roth drama Lie to Me and the buddy comedy Traffic Light. Deadline points out that Fringe may have gotten lucky with its early renewal, as no other bubble shows received a reprieve.

Fox did, however, pick up four series: Alcatraz, J.J. Abrams’ crime drama revolving around a team investigating the reappearance of the prison’s 1960s inhabitants in the present; The Finder, a Bones spinoff about a military-trained “finder” who locates lost people and items in the Florida Keys; The New Girl, a comedy starring Zooey Deschanel as a quirky teacher who moves in with three guys; and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, about two women whose daughters act just like the girls that picked on them in high school.

The cancellation of Human Target — an action drama loosely based on the DC Comics property — while not exactly surprising, still became an overnight trending topic on Twitter. The series premiered in January 2010 with 10.12 million viewers, a figure that dropped to 7.2 million by the season finale. The decline continued in Season 2, until it was buoyed in its final three episodes by an American Idol lead-in.

Locke & Key, a supernatural thriller produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Fringe), had generated plenty of buzz — the pilot was described as “beautiful” and “magical” — but there were indications in the past couple of weeks that Fox had cooled on the project. All is not lost, though: The Hollywood Reporter indicates the pilot, which starred Miranda Otto, Jesse McCartney, Nick Stahl and Sarah Bolger, could be shopped to another network.


  • John Lees

    I had this sinking feeling that Fox wouldn’t pick up Locke & Key. After all, it’s Fox. But I hope it does end up getting picked up elsewhere.

  • Paul

    Time to start a Save Human Target campaign!

  • Bowser

    Fox sucks. I don’t know too much about how networks run a show, but does anyone know if it’s possible that another network could pick up this show?

  • RunnerX13

    Boo! Please let some cable channel pick up Human Target and Chicago Code. Traffic Light (a rip-off of a rip-off or a rip-off x10) and Breaking In were just terrible.

  • Tomfitz1

    Fox and SyFy are very similiar, they’re both dropping a fair amount of popular shows recently

  • JB

    damn it, I knew Human Target was gonna be let go. But they kept changing the air time. YOU CAN’T BUILD VIEWERS WHEN YOU DO THAT.

    Sucks for Chicago Code, but I never watched it. I found Traffic Light enjoyably mediocre, but I’m not surprised it’s gone. Yeah, Breaking In has been pretty bad. But it was fun to see Michael Rosenbaum in a new role. eh, what can you do….

  • Jbearx

    Maybe a Channel like AMC will pick up Human Target and give it a jolt. They’re not constrained to network TV’s regulations. Human Target done right, by the network that has The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and the Killing. Network TV is going the way of the dodo bird anyways!

  • Anonymous

    Ames and Pucci ruined this show. Stop pandering to demographics and start actually you know.. writing. If you feel like women aren’t interested enough in the show the solution is NOT to have a socialite go on missions and learn to kill people! And yes it was as bad as that description sounds.

  • demoncat_4

    sadly figured fox was not going to give human target another season . though surprised lie to me and chicago code got the ax. lock and key good for fox has proven it can not do sci fi or horror shows. hope it finds an new home.

  • Anonymous

    See thats the thing, they are as not that popular as you think, Human Target has been struggling since the first season, and because its a more costly show, making a 3rd season if viewership is going to drop more doesn’t make sense.

    Blame people for watching crap ass sitcoms and reality shows. I’m personally bummed that Chicago Code got bump, that show was good.

  • Twgray

    Amen. It all stems from the viewership…or lack of viewership. Too many sheep watch “crap ass” sitcoms and reality shows and ignore the better genre offerings. The sheep watch sitcoms because that is about how long most people’s attention span is and I just have no clue why anyone would watch the reality crap. I watch TV or read a book for escapism. If you want reality, walk outside and participate it some…don’t watch the semi-scripted, faked BS on television.

  • Namtab

    I’ll miss Human Target, but if it didn’t have the viewers, then I understand. To be honest, the second season blew compared to the first, anyway. You don’t need to add women to the show and even the new theme song sucked.

    Anyway, I think the comment about AMC picking it up would be fantastic. I doubt they would, but it would be great if they did.

  • sillymander

    Look, darnit! It’s not just common knowledge, but a statement with a proven track record:

    Fox has the attention span of a gnat. Unless your show’s in the top ten shows across all

    , it can be killed by them at any time.

    Stop shopping good shows to Fox!

  • Adam Hasser

    I agree with you on the pandering to demographics. I thought the addition of Ames was fine ,her criminal past made her interesting but Pucci killed the show for me. Her character took over way too many episodes. Nobody wanted them to add a “mother figure” to the show and her romance with Chance was blah…

  • that guy

    I think it’s more a factor of outdated viewer measuring practices. Nielsen boxes are not a fair indicator of what people are actually watching. There’s too much stuff on tv for random sampling to be effective anymore.

  • guest

    Damn I was getting into Chicago Code. But human traffic was great, sad to see that one go. The character
    is one of my faves.

  • Ryanc

    I’m so upset that Lie to Me is gone!

  • TVwatcher

    Human Target season 2 was fantastic — hope another network picks them up

  • Tara

    FOX is really dumb. They just destroyed the best character, Christopher Chance, that has ever come into our living rooms. There has never been a TV character like Chance and now sadly there never will be. This is the best, most unique character ever!! It is a shame. As well as Guerrero and Winston, amazing!! Nothing else like it on tv.
    I believe FOX decided to cancel HT before the finale even aired…why, because what networks wants their show to fail. I know they wanted it to fail because any network that airs the Superbowl the Sunday before one of their show’s season finale and not ONCE did they promote it during the game…..hmmm, I guess they were afraid it’s ratings would sky rocket and then they wouldn’t have a good case (low ratings) to can it. The one time HT aired on a Monday and they advertised it Sunday during a football game, it had it’s best ratings. They knew darn well that if they advertised it during the Superbowl it’d jump big time in the ratings…, obviously, they had no intentions of continuing it then. Seriously, any fan planning to watch any of their new shows they are planning, yes more of the same crap that is on every other channel a thousand times, should just not bother because they’ll can it before it even has a chance….seriously, who does that, what kind of way is that to run a business? Every single show they try to bring it will meet with the same rating issues, the same problems, etc….you can’t just keep trying a new show ever season to see if you rule the ratings….it won’t happen…there is just too much out there…stop being so greedy FOX!! You’ll never win this game.

  • Yanks5179

    There’s also the fact that a lot of shows are readily available to watch for free the following day or On Demand so there’s less of an incentive to watch them when they air if you have the option not to.

  • CMM13

    It would be more interesting if FOX had tried switching Human Target to its sister cable channel FX. Cable ratings that get half that of the networks are considered a success. If a cable show gets about 5 million viewers as opposed to 10 on a network, that’s great. If it gets half that, then it’s good good enough to probably continue depending on costs. If it gets under 2 million or 1.5 or less, then it’s borderline or in trouble. Not sure what Human Target’s average ratings were, but I am guessing they were good for cable.

    That said, however, putting Human Target on FX cable could theoretically result in it getting half the viewers it got on FOX network making it worse and a failure anyway.

    Pucci and Ames were bad ideas. Ames I liked, but should have been a needed recurring character. Pucci, if truly wanting this character on the show, should have been a silent financial backer, to say the least, stepping in only on occasion to question expenses or outrageous actions.

  • ATK

    Too bad, and by that I mean that Fox just cancelled some of their best shows. No disrespect to the other shows but I will miss Human Target, Breaking In and the cancelled earlier in the year Running Wilde. Really upset to see that Lock & Key wasn’t picked up, it was one of the few pilots for the fall I heard about that actually peaked my interest. Yay, now all I can look forward to slow-motion runing sequences in WonderWoman and dinosaurs in Terra Nova which I’m sorry looks a bit like a rip off of Dino-Riders.

  • Annie

    Wow I won’t be watching any of those shows. Locke & Key was the only one i was looking forward to but it looks like maybe Fox will be blocked from my tv now. Oh well maybe they’ll get smart and pick up Locke & Key another season.

  • Terwin2

    I think it friggin sucks about these shows. What the hell are they thinking.

  • Anonymous

    The romance was completely ridiculous! And frankly there was zero chemistry in a romantic sense there. Their entire relationship was based on bickering, which is amazing because every other relationship on the show was ALREADY based on bickering.

  • Shadow_55000

    oooh another network. So this doesn’t give us any hope for #HaveItAll does it? What is wrong with Fox though??! It could have been a summer show for when Idols done with or started in the fall! haveitall though people, come on thats the MOST important thing!!!

  • Anonymous

    The good news is that with The Chicago Code gone, there’s one less reason for me not to cancel my DirecTV.

  • guest

    Human Traffic? I think that show’s on another network…

  • Michael Roberts

    I agree. I was worried about Locke & Key trying to work on Fox. Hopefully they get a much stronger network.

  • Selene

    I can’t believe it! I really hope another (smarter) network will shop “Locke&Key”!!!
    I really can’t believe it! I couldn’t wait to see “Locke&Key and now… Gosh!

  • Jessica Kim

    I really love Human Target… Fox should cancel shows like American Idol and stick to Action dramas.