Fox Renews Touch, Axes Alcatraz

Fox may have saved Fringe for a final run of 13 episodes, but the network has cancelled another JJ Abrams show, Alcatraz, after just one season of middling-and-dwindling ratings.

The Kiefer Sutherland-starring Touch has fared better, though, with Fox giving the one-season-old show the green light for a second season , despite mediocre ratings.

Meanwhile, the network has given the greenlight to five new shows , but none of them are sci-fi or fantasy, which isn’t much of a shocker as Fox hadn’t ordered any sci-fi or fantasy pilots (though the Kevin Bacon/James Pureoy thriller series The Following , about a serial killer who creates his own cult of murderers via the wonders of technology sounds like it could be on the fringes of SFX territory).

But overall, the reduced presence of telefantasy in Fox’s 2012/2013 line-up is indicator of a trend we expect to see across all the major networks. Could be lean times ahead in the near future. But considering how bland, identikit or disappointing most of the new network sci-fi and fantasy shows were in 2011/2012 season ( Alcatraz , Secret Circle , Once Upon A Time , Grimm , Terra Nova ) maybe it’s time for our favourite genre to take a backseat for a while so it can recharge its batteries. Besides, there’s no need to worry – US cable channels are producing all the best small screen sci-fi and fantasy at the moment.