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The "Lucifer" series is definitely popular - you can see it not only in pretty high IMDB rating (9.3) but also in the fact that season 2 started playing barely 4 months after season 1 finished.

Then comes season 2, everything goes nicely week-by-week and suddenly... BAM: after the episode 10 aired on 28th November 2016 we have to wait till 16th January for the episode 11. Now the history repeats itself: after episode 13 aired on on 30th January we have to wait till 1st of May.

While I could understand a week or two gap around Christmas because someone could get offended watching series about the Devil during that period (and also because its time reserved for "Die Hard" and "Home Alone" re-runs), it doesn't explain month-and half, and now over two months gaps!

  • there's a rumor that Fox might be quietly finishing the show out, and just burning off the episodes where they fit in the schedule, but obviously they won't make an announcement until the season's over. – KutuluMike Feb 7 '17 at 4:55
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    "While I could understand a week or two gap around Christmas because someone could get offended watching series about the Devil during that period" -- why do some people invent these ridiculous reasons? Just about ALL network shows go on hiatus around that time due to lower viewing figures + allows people working on the show to take a holiday. – BCdotWEB Feb 7 '17 at 8:29
  • @BCdotWEB well, I was trying to understand the 7 week gap around Christmas. – Yasskier Feb 7 '17 at 8:55
  • the 7 week gap around Christmas is standard for just about every network show. Coming back in January for 3 weeks then going away again for 3 months is not typical... – KutuluMike Feb 7 '17 at 14:14
  • It's not just Lucifer that has an odd airing schedule. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (also on Fox) was off for 2.5 weeks around Christmas, aired two episodes on New Year's Day, and is now off again until April. – Michael Seifert Feb 7 '17 at 18:47
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The simplest, and most likely answer is that Fox just needs the show to fit into it's schedule and this was the best way to do it. Lucifer is not alone in this setup; I believe Gotham has a similar quirky scheduling thing going on. The problem basically boils down to having too many weeks in the TV season, and not enough episodes to fill them

Typically, a broadcast network first-run show has around 22 episodes. The fall TV season runs approximately Labor day (early September) to Memorial Day (late May), which is closer to 44 weeks. So there's not enough episodes of any series to run every week.

The networks solve this problem in a few ways, one of which is the "mid-season finale". This happens to most network shows during the winter holiday season (Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years). That period tends to be full of specialty programming (parades, holiday specials, etc), re-runs, sporting events, etc. It also tends to have a dip in the viewership numbers as people are busy doing other things, taking vacations during their work holidays, etc. A nice side effect is to give the networks a month or so of extra time in the spring.

Lucifer did go on a winter break on Nov 28, which was not at all unusual. However, there is something a bit unusual about it's return. The second half of the Lucifer season is not coming back on the air until May, with 9 episodes that will run through the end of June. That's pretty late for a fall show (by that time the summer stuff is usually getting started). But that left three episodes they needed to air, and for some reason they chose to air a three episode "story arc" bridging the two halves of the season (the Chloe/Lucifer/actual relationship story), ending on a second cliffhanger.

While we can guess that Fox did this for scheduling reasons, exactly what it was about their schedule that they were trying to solve is likely a closely-guarded secret. It's possible they aren't planning to renew the show, so they're slowly letting it die off into the summer where the low ratings won't matter. It's also equally possible that they don't have another show to put in it's timeslot in June and they need it there more than they need it in the spring. It's possible this is just an experiment to see if they can drum up interest in a show by having multiple cliffhang endings (that's the "official party line" from Fox -- that this was a creative decision -- but they always say that.)

  • Shows used to have around 22-24 episodes per season. In the last few years they seem to be dwindling down to 10-12. This isn't all bad - the filler episodes were the first to go. – Steve-O Feb 7 '17 at 14:22
  • @Steve-O Lucifer season I had 13 episodes... unless there are 9 that haven't been aired? – Yasskier Feb 7 '17 at 18:39
  • Yeah, that's my point. Down from 20-odd of yesteryear. I think the networks are still figuring out how to fill a full year with these shorter seasons. – Steve-O Feb 7 '17 at 19:17
  • Oh, I've misread you... I thought you said "SHOW" (meaning this one in particular) rather than "SHOWS". Yes, indeed it seems that the current policy is to make a 10+ episodes of new show and go longer only if the first season went well – Yasskier Feb 7 '17 at 19:23
  • It's common for the first season of a show to only be a half-season order. That's not new. If the show does exceptionally well they can always extend the order; if it does poorly they only lose out on half a season before the scheduled replacement comes. Lucifer was in the middle -- good enough for renewal but not a full season order. – KutuluMike Feb 8 '17 at 0:36

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