Tonight, Lethal Weapon season 3 will be concluding with an epic episode on Fox, so there is really no better time to talk about the series’ future.
Will a season 4 happen? Could a season 4 happen? The short way to answer that is that it’s all up to Fox … but we want to give a little bit more context than that.
So why should the network renew the show? For starters, it seems as though there’s already a plan. Speaking via Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Matt Miller confirms as much with a message about tonight’s cliffhanger and what that means for the future of the franchise:
The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, less so than in the previous 2 seasons, but it’s definitely a launch to where we want to go in season 4. Since we’ve already mapped out in detail what season 4 looks like, it will definitely be a bummer if we don’t get to tell that story.
It’s hardly a jaw-dropper that Miller is already plotting out the future — good showrunners do that! What happens with many bubble shows is that the creative team comes up with an idea and pitches it to the network — it’s basically them making a bet that they can convince executives to give them another go. Sometimes, it works and a network believes the show will hold its audience. Other times, it doesn’t and everyone’s left upset.
New Lethal Weapon video!
At the bottom of this article, we take a longer look at the future of the series in our most recent video, so be sure to check that out! For more news on the show, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and also view our Lethal Weapon playlist so you don’t miss any upcoming videos.
The state of the ratings
To call the season 4 prospects of Lethal Weapon complicated wouldn’t be doing it justice. This is one of the most polarizing shows on all of network TV, mostly because of the Clayne Crawford firing and the fallout that happened back in the spring of 2018. It’s a weird situation when there are viewers rooting for a show to come back for more and also one where people are rooting for it to burn in a fire; you can’t really recognize one without the other, but it’s also not the job of the Lethal Weapon creative team at this point to focus on the negative. They’ve got a job to do for the people who have stuck by this show and are three seasons deep with it. They have to hope that the viewers who are currently watching the show are enjoying it and want to see it back for a season 4.
So how many people are watching? The bad news is that with a 0.7 rating and about 3.06 million viewers, Lethal Weapon is down more than 25% in both viewers and the 18-49 demographic versus season 2. However, the good news is that five out of the show’s seven most-watched episodes have aired this year … and there have only been five episodes in 2019 so far. Clearly, we’ve seen it pick up quite nicely since the new year started and that bodes well for the future — provided that it can stay out of the headlines since there’s been enough of that to last a life time with this show. This has been a pretty consistent season and there’s a case to be made for doing a season 4, keeping the episode order around 15, and keeping the audience they have with some really great stories.
The case against bringing it back is that Fox’s schedule is currently being cut away with a snap of Thanos’ fingers. (Hey, Disney did just purchase Fox.) They got rid of Thursday nights in the fall for the NFL and then Friday nights starting this fall for the WWE. That’s two nights less of programming a week and that means less of a chance to bring the show back since there’s very little landscape left. This is truly a toss-up and one they may not decide on fully until upfronts in May. It’s got a better chance than Proven Innocent and The Gifted, but it’s on equal footing with The Passage and The Orville at present (the latter’s got a pretty-nice tax credit) and we think that the odds are better for The Resident, 9-1-1, STAR, and even Empire despite the headlines away from the show with Jussie Smollett.
Do you want to see a Lethal Weapon season 4 happen at Fox? Be sure to share some of your thoughts and hopes on the subject below! (Photo: Fox.)