‘Dads’ EPs ‘Confident, Not Cocky’ Show Will Return – ‘Bummed’ by Fox's Lack of Promotion

'Dads' EPs 'Confident, Not Cocky' Show Will Return – 'Bummed' by Fox's Lack of Promotion

Season ends on Tuesday with double episode, series’ future is cloudy at best

The two-part season finale of “Dads” airs Tuesday night on Fox — though the future of the shortened series is still very much up in the air.

“Dads” received its full season order back in October, but eventually the final three episodes were trimmed. Nothing has been announced on a potential subsequent run, but the Seth Green/Giovanni Ribisi vehicle has enjoyed somewhat of a modest resurgence as of late.

Fox is the only network not to cancel a new show this season. Betting people might label the Seth MacFarlane-executive produced sitcom as the frontrunner to break that trend. But the show's more hands-on exec producers Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Mike Scully told TheWrap they are “confident, not cocky” that their multi-camera comedy will be back in some form.

Also read: Fox's ‘Dads’ Semen Joke Draws Explosive Outpouring From PTC

“Dads” has averaged a 1.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic over the course of the season — though that number is typically inflated by the season premiere, which earned a 2.2 in the key demo. Beyond just being a standard debut episode, the September opener also benefitted from the virtue of Fox beginning its 2013-2014 season one week before the competition — a clever but unsustainable trick.

Following a more down-than-up season, over the past three weeks, “Dads” has earned a 1.5 rating and at least 3.7 million viewers for each episode. This, with little-to-no promotion — especially during Fox's hot events, such as the Super Bowl, “American Idol” return or the World Series — which is not lost on the executive producers.

After all, the network's other Tuesday comedies, “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” had coveted post-Super Bowl slots. To be fair, “New Girl” is the most established in the Tuesday lineup, and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has become a critical darling already, winning the Golden Globe for Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy in its first season.

Also read: Seth MacFarlane on ‘Dads’ vs. ‘Cosmos’ — With a Side of ‘F— You’

The “Dads” guys, who told TheWrap that they were “bummed” when Fox took their final three episodes away, admitted to some tension with their network. “We give them the business a little bit,” Wild said. “They had the Super Bowl, and when they did the Fox show montage … we weren't even in the montage.”

Without much perceived help from the network, Sulkin attributes the recent ratings uptick to both a better written product on their end, and positive word of mouth from viewers. The comedy has also benefited from time now that the controversy surrounding its pilot episode has died down.

“It did have an impact on the launch of the show,” Sulkin said, speaking of the outcry from an Asian-American advocacy group that blasted the show for perpetuating Asian stereotypes. “I feel like once people throw the term ‘racism’ around … it becomes very hard to disagree with that person.”

Also read: Pilot Season 2014: TheWrap's Complete Network Guide

The executive producers believe such groupthink harmed the program's early returns. “Oh this show is bad because someone told me it was bad to begin with,” Sulkin said, summing up the attitudes of potential viewers.

The guys are keenly aware that the two-part finale is what they will be judged on. Therefore, they're using it as an emotional appeal to both viewers and the network to stay on the airwaves — but that does not mean the episodes will abandon crass humor. “You still get your finger in the butt, but you also get heart,” Wild summed up.

If the comedy does not come back, the exec producers will be upset, but otherwise fine. Sulkin and Wild are contractually obligated to go back to “Family Guy,” Scully is still with “The Simpsons.”

See video: Seth MacFarlane's ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Trailer Has Death and Blood Aplenty 

But if God (or in this case  Fox's entertainment chief Kevin Reilly) does grant “Dads” a second chance, loyal fans can expect a romantic storyline brewing between Green and Song's characters. As Wild puts it, the goal is to turn the two into a “Sam and Diane or Ross and Rachel.” Though he quickly added: “With one-thirtieth [of] the audience.”

  • Kill This Show

    Kill this disgraceful show! Please, Fox! It's just embarrassing!

    • j gray

      Neither disgraceful nor embarrassing, in fact probably the funniest show on t.v.!! Really hope Fox brings it back next year! I don't think they realize what a gem they have here & just how many people watch & enjoy it!

  • pacman

    Your full of it, its a great show, don't like it, don't watch.

  • Deborah Andrews

    I was annoyed that the finale wasn't even pitched! I mean, I knew about it, but Fox is really dropping the ball on this one. How many shows that have little to no ad time can pull in MORE viewers than Brooklyn Nine Nine? (Two weeks ago, Dads had 1.5m and B99 had 1.3 despite HEAVY PROMOS. ). I think that they should move the show to FX or FXX and air with The League, It's Always Sunny, Archer, etc. Season 2! Season 2! :-)

    • Roller Rider

      Fox really wasn't pushing the show.
      Then again, how many times did they kill Family Guy before Adult Swim showed the Fox suits that they had a winner.

  • AliSkip

    Dads is GREAT! Bring it back!

  • nancy nam

    funniest show on tv

  • KrazyKris

    This show is the best! We have to learn to laugh at ourselves. It's comedy! Think back to ‘all in the family'! When we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves, we become a sad, pathetic society. Learn to laugh and you will be a happier person – and stop taking things so seriously!

  • Roller Rider

    I thought the pilot was rocky but I hung in there. The main four actors needed a little time to develop some chemistry and that they've done. The writing also needed to improve over the pilot, again, something that has certainly happened. Killing Dads will be very disappointing. I want my Dads back!

  • iperson

    I really want to like this show, but watching it I can't help but think the writers spend too much time watching Nickelodeon. Most episodes are reminiscent of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montana, etc… with a sprinkle of adult humor thrown in for good measure.

  • sadface

    please don't cancel this show.. why do they keep taking away everything i cherish..?

  • uhhi

    How the hell do they expect to have so many viewers on dads when no one can actually see how funny it is. i managed to watch a little part in the commercial and i just knew i had to watch it. its awesome.

    • john weber

      My favorite new show of the year, really hope it comes back

  • Sandra

    Dads was hilarious!! PLEASE BRING IT BACK

  • Pete

    Awesome show

  • Pete

    If Fox doesnt bring back dads then they are stupid. Cancel american idol.

  • h Ihg

    It's is so fucking stupid that it got a 1.5 say rating so vote if you love the show give it a 5 this show has potential to be the best

  • Jessica Lennox

    I love Dads I'll be so mad if they cancel it!