Fox Makes No Radical Moves In Its Schedule, And Simply Looks For New Hits
Kiefer Sutherland will come back for a 12-hour reboot of 24 in summer 2014.
With American Idol sinking like a stone, Fox needs new hits. Other than The Following, the network didn’t have any successes this season — yes, The Mindy Project got renewed, but its ratings are relatively low. The network benefited from its fewer programming hours (8 to 10 p.m.) and the fact that NBC and ABC did worse.
As Kevin Reilly, Fox’s chairman, said on Monday afternoon at the Beacon Theater, when he presented the network’s new shows to advertisers, the press, and other interested folk, “This was not our best year.”
So instead of making the aggressive rethinking moves that NBC is, the network simply seems to be trying to program shows that people might like. With its comedies, it’s largely moving away from the younger female audience that favors New Girl and Mindy, except in the case of Us & Them, an American attempt to remake the beloved Gavin & Stacey from the U.K. The search for elusive male viewers seems evident in its drama picks as well.
It’s also getting aggressive about year-round programming, a drum Reilly has been beating for years. New drama Gang Related won’t be coming on until May, assuming all goes as planned. And what is now perhaps its most exciting announcement, a 12-hour 24 miniseries with Kiefer Sutherland, will also debut in May.
A few other things of note in the Fox announcements:
— New Girl and one of the new comedies, presumably whichever one is working best, will get the big post-Super Bowl platform when Fox broadcasts the game on Feb. 2, 2014.
— During his conference call with reporters Monday morning, Reilly said there are no judges announcements for X Factor yet given the departures of L.A. Reid and Britney Spears. He said it will happen soon.
— Speaking of limited series, M. Night Shyamalan will bring Wayward Pines to Fox, based on the novel Pines by Blake Crouch. It will star Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent who travels to Idaho to find two missing federal agents. Sounds Twin Peaks-y? Perhaps someone who read the novel can let me know.
— The announcement claims that Fox will be eventually moving Bones and Raising Hope to Fridays. The network always claims it will be moving or scheduling a decent-sized hit to Fridays in the fantasy world where all the new shows are successes. I will not fall for it this time, nor should you.
— The full schedule is at the bottom of the story! And now the new shows are arranged in chronological order throughout the week.
This story has been updated with embedded trailers and my reactions to them.
3. Almost Human: Late fall (Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, and Lili Taylor
Who made it?: J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are executive producers; J.H. Wyman, a longtime Fringe executive producer, wrote the pilot and is the creator.
What is it about? A cop drama set 35 years in the future in which human police officers are paired with crime-solving robots (who look like humans).
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I’ve mentioned before — in reference to his Good Wife character — that I feel like Michael Ealy has never gotten the right parts after Showtime’s excellent Sleeper Cell. Here, he’s the robot, who apparently does feel things and have emotions. I am hopeful that it will be a good role for his weird, spacey air; and the show looked cool. I’d like the Fringe people to make things less confusing this time.
4. Sleepy Hollow (Mondays at 9 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Tom Mison (as Ichabod Crane) and Nicole Beharie.
Who made it?: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the screenwriters of Star Trek and Transformers.
What’s it about?: Ichabod is resurrected in the modern day and has to save the world by teaming up with a police officer (Beharie).
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I didn’t know what to expect from this show, because it has the potential to be…what’s the word? Stupid. Maybe embarrassing also. Laughable! Anyway, you get it. But no: I thought it looked fun and potentially awesome, and I have no idea what the big world-threatening arc is going to be, but I’m now excited about this show. Sorry for doubting, Ichabod!
5. Dads (Tuesdays at 8 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Martin Mull, and Peter Riegert
Who made it?: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild
What’s it about?: Fox had already picked up this multi-camera comedy from the Family Guy folk — Ribisi and Green play successful young guys whose fathers move in with them. The network has upped its order from 6 episodes to 13, showing some confidence in it.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I thought NBC’s Welcome to the Family and Night Shift looked bad. Dads is my nightmare: Bro humor with dead-eyed cruelty. Maybe the full pilot will be brimming with humanity. Probably not. I couldn’t hear a single person in the audience laughing.
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher
Who made it?: Mike Schur and Dan Goor of Parks & Recreation
What’s it about?: A single-camera comedy in which Samberg plays a jokey detective who gets a strict new boss.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: Can this show be as silly as it looked in the cutdown? I have zero hope for Dads — but given the Parks & Recreation pedigree here, I want to assume that this show will be funny. Sigh!
7. Rake: Midseason (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Greg Kinnear, in his network series debut.
Who made it?: Created and written by Peter Duncan in a remake of his own Australian series. Peter Tolan of Rescue Me is also an executive producer.
What’s it about?: Kinnear plays Keegan Deane, a defense attorney and charming addict.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I’ve heard good things about this show, and I think it looks interesting. I thought from the description that it would more House-y, and it’s not. Which is good. Not that House wasn’t good, but we know that guy.
8. Enlisted: Late fall (Fridays at 9:30 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Geoff Stults (Ben & Kate), Chris Lowell, Parker Young
Who made it?: Cougar Town’s co-creator Kevin Biegel. Mike Royce of Men of a Certain Age is also an executive producer.
What’s it about?: A single-camera comedy set on a military base in Florida.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: Remember the way before New Girl Fox hadn’t had a successful live-action comedy in years? I fear we’re back there.
9. Gang Related: Midseason, Not Yet Scheduled
Who’s in it?: Ramon Rodriguez, Terry O’Quinn, RZA
Who made it?: Chris Morgan, the creator, wrote Fast Five; Scott Rosenbaum of The Shield is another executive producer. Allen Hughes, the director of Menace II Society, directed the pilot.
What’s it about?: The story follows an anti-gang task force in Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s and RZA’s characters team up.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: For those of us in search of a new Shield, maybe? Maybe!
10. Surviving Jack: Midseason, Not Yet Scheduled
Who’s in it?: Christopher Meloni
Who made it?: Justin Halpern, based on his book I Suck at Girls; Patrick Schumacker wrote the pilot. Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) and Jeff Ingold are also executive producers.
What’s it about?: The title of Halpern’s book is probably self-explanatory. Meloni plays his father. Halpern, you’ll recall, was also the $#*! My Dad Says guy. (Not my favorite, sadly.)
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: See my previous comments about the comedies.
11. Us & Them: Midseason, Not Yet Scheduled
Who’s in it?: Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel
Who made it?: David J. Rosen has adapted the British comedy Gavin and Stacey, which was created by James Corden and Ruth Jones.
What’s it about?: Yay! A Gavin and Stacey remake with two great actors! (A young couple tries to make it, blah blah.) Also, please note the weirdness that Ritter has been until recently playing opposite Lauren Graham on Parenthood: Bledel’s Gilmore Girls mother.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I spoke too soon. With this one, I really do want to watch the pilot in the hope that the cutdown didn’t do it justice. I don’t want to say more than that; please judge for yourselves.
FOX 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(All times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 p.m. BONES (fall) / ALMOST HUMAN (new; late fall)
9:00-10:00 p.m. SLEEPY HOLLOW (new; fall) / THE FOLLOWING(midseason)
8:00-8:30 p.m. DADS (new)
8:30-9:00 p.m. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (new)
9:00-9:30 p.m. NEW GIRL
9:30-10:00 p.m. THE MINDY PROJECT
8:00-10:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)
8:00-9:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 p.m. GLEE (fall) / RAKE (new; midseason)
8:00-9:00 p.m. JUNIOR MASTERCHEF (wt) (new; fall)
9:00-10:00 p.m. SLEEPY HOLLOW encores (fall)
8:00-9:00 p.m. BONES (late fall)
9:00-9:30 p.m. RAISING HOPE (late fall)
9:30-10:00 p.m. ENLISTED (new; late fall)
7:00-10:30 p.m. FOX SPORTS SATURDAY
11:00 PM-12:30 p.m. ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF
7:00-7:30 p.m. NFL Game (fall)
7:30-8:00 p.m. THE OT (fall)
8:00-8:30 p.m. THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 p.m. BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 p.m. FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 p.m. AMERICAN DAD
Scheduling to be announced for the following new series slated for midseason: GANG RELATED (new), SURVIVING JACK (new), US & THEM (new) and MURDER POLICE (new).