Ratings debate: Will Kiefer Sutherland, ‘Touch’ stay on Fox?

Should we say goodbye?

Every season, there are a few shows that come down to the wire when it comes to whether or not to renew them, or to send them packing. At the moment, “Touch” is clearly one of these shows. It’s the most-successful new drama of the year for Fox … but saying that is like saying it was the mildest of letdowns.

So should the network just go into next year with a clean slate? Read on for our verdict.

Why it should go – There really are four fundamental reasons you can make to justify the end of Kiefer Sutherland’s show after just one season:

1. The ratings – Despite having one of the more expensive stars from the world of TV, “Touch” only draws ratings in the low 2.0 range — and this is despite having one of the strongest season premieres of the past year earlier in the spring. We blame the long layoff after the “preview” as a reason for the decline.

2. The lead-in – If “Touch” didn’t air after the “American Idol” results show, where would it be then? “Bones” traditionally pulled better numbers last year in this spot, and “The Finder” was doing about as well when it aired here earlier this season.

3. Sutherland himself – Let’s be honest here: he does not come cheap. At $225,000 per episode, he is the only star of a new drama series among the ten highest-paid actors in the genre. While it’s not the money he made for “24,” it’s a large investment in a show with only modest numbers.

4. Tim Kring – Remember “Heroes” season 2? We don’t want the same thing to happen here was the first season is over.

Why it should stay – You could make the argument first of all that Kring deserves a second chance, and that “Touch” happens to air in a pretty terrible timeslot in that it is up against three other dramas — in particular “Person of Interest,” which appeals to a similar male crowd. “Bones” and “The Finder” were comedic enough to at least be distinctive against the competition.

You also have to think that network head Kevin Reilly would want to give at least one new drama another chance after “Terra Nova’s” cancellation and the likely end of both “Alcatraz” and “The Finder.” As a possible replacement for “House,” this show could do quite well on a night with competition that would not conflict with its own.

What will happen – We’re not positive about this one, but we certainly see the above situation playing out. It’s unrealistic to think that Fox would be able to come up with four or five hours of new hour-long programming for the upcoming year.

With that, we see “Touch” getting a second season and possibly a move to Mondays, where it can help launch a lineup with a new drama or “Bones.” With this, it gives the network the spot after “The X Factor” on Thursday nights to work with, and the network will also then just figure out what to do following the end of “Fringe’s” shortened season.

Photo: Fox

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