Why ‘9-1-1’s’ Cancellation at Fox Reflects the Broken Economics of Making Television | Analysis

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Fox’s decision to drop the Angela Bassett-led drama and ABC’s move to pick it up come down to one word, insiders say: ownership

Angela Bassett and Corinne Massiah in a still from "9-1-1."

The cancellation this week of “9-1-1,” Fox’s highest-rated scripted show, tells you everything you need to know about the broken economics of the broadcast television business: It doesn’t really work.

With a stunningly high per-episode cost after six years of $9-$10 million, Fox made the call to cancel a show made by Disney-owned 20th Television — only to see the show scooped up by ABC. That’s likely because the licensing cost had rocketed so high for Fox that the show no longer made sense to keep on the air.

The cancellation “signals a massive shift in the business,” a veteran network executive observed to TheWrap.