“Lucifer,” as most fans will remember, started life not in the pages of the screenplay but as a comic. The version we see brought to life by Tom Ellis originated as a supporting character in Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman,” published by DC Comics — and is also very different from the one that appears in Netflix’s current “Sandman” adaptation. Like all DC properties brought to life on any screen, “Lucifer” required involvement from Warner Bros. (via Deadline). The show also involved Jerry Bruckheimer as executive producer, hardly an inexpensive name.
So while ratings and audience size did play a role in the decision to axe “Lucifer,” they were also squared against the sheer price tag of continuing production. During the 2018 Television Critics Association Press Tour, then-chairperson and CEO of Fox Television Group, Dana Walden, said as much.
“We had a great time working with that cast and the executive producers of the show. It worked well for us,” she elaborated. “[But] as we were going into this season, we looked at the size of the audience, which was starting to get pretty narrow. We just made a determination that given … it was owned by an outside studio, at the time we couldn’t justify the economics” (via TV Guide). Luckily, Netflix swooped in, and the rest is history.