We've been deservedly hard on FOX's laughable 'Gotham' in its inaugural three episodes, but with ratings across the board proving notably strong, the network has officially decided to make the best of a Bat-situation. Despite the show's own stars touting the virtue of a 16-episode order, the Batman prequel drama has officially been extended to a full 22 episodes for its first run.

Airing its fourth episode "Arkham" later on tonight, FOX's 'Gotham' has been granted an additional 6 episodes to its first season run, rather than an early renewal as 'Sleepy Hollow' had last year. Curiously, ousted FOX president Kevin Reilly had repeatedly espoused that 'Gotham''s 16-episode order would keep the season's quality at manageable levels, something even series lead Ben McKenzie had expressed relief for in a recent HitFix interview.

Says FOX of the news:

'Gotham' debuted as one of the most buzzed-about shows of the fall, and with good reason. Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon have created an incredibly rich world, with characters that draw you in and a cast that brings to life these heroes and villains in a way we’ve never seen before. We are so excited to see where Bruno, Danny and the entire 'Gotham' team take this story over the course of this season, and so thankful to all the fans who have embraced it this fall.

Most recently bolstering its Bat-ranks with 'Masters of Sex' star Nicholas D'Agosto as a young Harvey Dent, the new series explores “the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the villains that made Gotham famous,” initially focusing on Gordon’s investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The pilot was written and executive produced by Bruno Heller (‘The Mentalist’), along with Warner Bros. Television, and directed by ‘Judge Dredd’ helmer Danny Cannon.

FOX's 'Gotham' also stars Robin Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Donal Logue as Gordon’s partner Detective Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, Victoria Cartagena and Andrew Stewart-Jones as Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen, ‘Burn Notice‘ star Zabryna Guevara as Gordon’s GCPD boss Captain Essen, and Erin Richards as Gordon’s fiancée Barbara Kean.

Time will tell if FOX's 'Gotham' can win over critics, particularly now that the network intends to drag out its first season even further, but what do you think? Should the Bat-prequel drama have stuck to 16 episodes, or the bigger 'Gotham,' the better?

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