This Won’t Be Last Man on Earth’s Last Year on Earth (or Fox)

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Photo: FOX

Fox has just renewed Will Forte's The Last Man on Earth for a second season. The show has been a surprise success on Sunday nights, fitting in perfectly with Fox’s young-male-skewing comedy lineup and ranking as the season’s top-rated new comedy with viewers under 35 and men under 50. A passion project of former Fox chief Kevin Reilly, who snapped up Last Man when even some people associated with the production thought it was better suited for cable or Netflix, the show was widely seen as too “niche” for a major broadcast network. And yet, while ratings have fallen a bit in recent weeks, Last Man has struck a chord with younger viewers and has done particularly well once time-shifted and VOD viewers are included in its audience tally. Critics also were very kind to the show early in its run, serving up rave notices (though since then, a few prominent scribes — The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman and HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall among them —  have expressed disappointment in where the show has gone since moving on from the conceit of the pilot). No word on how many episodes Fox has ordered, but most mid-season shows usually get picked up for 13-episode second seasons. With New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and now Last Man all renewed, The Mindy Project and the just-launched Weird Loners are the only live-action Fox comedies awaiting renewals for next season.