News Corp.’s Fox Is Giving Low-Rated Comedies More Time

News Corp.’s Fox broadcast network is sticking with the low-rated new comedies “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project” to give the shows more time to attract audiences.

“Our shows weren’t rejected,” Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment at Fox, said today at a TV critics’ conference in Pasadena, California. “They weren’t even sampled.”

The shows will become hits as audiences discover them, Reilly said. DVRs and on-demand viewing extend the time it takes for programs to establish audiences, he said. Fox’s regular schedule was interrupted 18 times in the first month of the TV season because of Major League Baseball coverage and other program changes.

“That level of interruption hit ‘Glee,’ where the show was on four weeks, off four weeks,” Reilly said. “That means some of these shows just haven’t gotten on viewers’ radar.”

“The Goodwin Games,” a comedy originally slated for a January start, is being pushed back to March or later to give the shows that began in September more time on the air, Reilly said.

Through Dec. 30, Fox’s audience was down 23 percent in total viewers for the season that began in September, according to data from Nielsen. Its audience of 18-to-49-year-olds, a demographic targeted by marketers, was also down by that amount.

News Corp. fell 0.3 percent to $26.13 at the close in New York. The Class A stock gained 43 percent last year.

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