The TV networks are yet to crack the live, interactive reality format. The latest casualty is Fox’s You The Jury, which has been pulled from the schedule after two very low-rated airings. How quiet was the show’s run? It has been off the air for two weeks and barely anyone noticed.
You the Jury, in which viewers were to serve as trial jurors in civil cases, opened with a 1.5 million viewers and 0.38 adults 18-49 rating (Live+same day) on Friday, April 7, slipping to 1.2 million and 0.27 in its second and final outing on April 14. Beginning April 21, Fox has been airing Lethal Weapon in the Friday 9 PM time slot, which will continue.
Launching successful new reality series has been elusive across the board and particularly at Fox, once a leader in the space with American Idol, which ended its run last spring, and the Gordon Ramsey series, which continue to draw respective ratings.
As for live unscripted series, You the Jury joins such short-lived previous attempts in the space as ABC’s Rising Star and NBC’s Million Second Quiz. NBC previously explored a concept very similar to You the Jury with Law & Order: You the Jury, a series greenlighted in 2015, which was to be produced by Law & Order boss Dick Wolf and reality production company Magical Elves. The series was never produced.
Hosted by Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, former prosecutor, judge and a syndication court show star, You the Jury, from Renegade 83, featured six well-known attorneys arguing civil cases, with viewers voting in real time to determine the verdict.
Once the cases were presented, viewers were able to vote for approximately five minutes, via text and the Fox Now App. At the end of the East/Central time zone broadcast, “America’s Verdict” was revealed. When the West Coast votes, if the cumulative votes (East/Central and West Coast/Mountain Time Zone combined) led to a different verdict, the original verdict was overturned as the final outcome of the case. The verdicts were not legally binding.