Fox is putting its ancient Egypt fantasy drama "Heiroglyph" in the tomb — before it airs a single episode.
The network ordered the high-concept action adventure straight to series for a mid-season premiere in 2015. But the net pulled the plug on it Monday, citing creative problems. (Via Fox / "Hieroglyph")
It's the same reason Fox gave for shelving the Alexis Bledel /Jason Ritter comedy "Us & Them" last season. The network was reportedly disappointed in the series' six completed episodes, so we'll never get to see them. (Via Fox / "Us and Them")
And the same is true for Fox's 2013 animated comedy "Murder Police," which starred Jane Lynch. TV Guide reports, like the other shows, Fox was not happy with early cuts of the show.
Clearly, the move is not totally unheard of for Fox, and it's not for other networks either.
NBC dropped the Dane Cook sitcom "Next Caller" last season before it got to the small screen. (Via NBC / "Next Caller")
And CBS quietly cancelled its Groupon-themed show "Friend Me" in 2012. (Via TV Series Finale)
But "Hieroglyph's" cancellation is somewhat shocking, because Fox billed it as the network's attempt at a sweeping epic along the lines of "Game of Thrones."
And Entertainment Weekly notes, most of the time it's relatively inexpensive sitcoms or reality shows that get dropped, not pricey dramas, "which tend to have more momentum given the commitments involved."
The "Hieroglyph" play is seen as less embarrassing for the network than airing a disappointing show to disappointing ratings.
Or CBS' laughable 2008 reality competition "Secret Talents of the Stars." (Via CBS / "Secret Talents of the Stars")
The "Hieroglyph" cancellation comes just weeks after Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly – who ordered the series – announced he was leaving the network. (Via The New York Times)
Maybe Fox wasn't as sold on Reilly's so-called passion project. (Via TV Week)
Still, The Hollywood Reporter says, "The timing of 'Hieroglyph's' fate is particularly surprising as Reilly's replacement has yet to be named." So, everything at Fox is kind of up in the air.
But Variety reports Fox isn't giving up on the non-traditional, anti-pilot season model Reilly developed during his tenure.
"Hieroglyph" only shot one of its ordered 13 episodes. It remains to be seen if that episode will ever see the light of day.
There is hope. Premium YouTube channel WIGS recently debuted the Emma Roberts-led "Delirium," a pilot Fox didn't pick up last year.
So there might be a life after death online for "Hieroglyph."