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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

UPFRONTS 2011: What FOX Should Do

This is the week where I post my thoughts on what the networks SHOULD do with their fall lineups given what has already been renewed, what pilots are available to them, etc. As I mentioned yesterday with NBC, this is not what I think they necessarily WILL do. Those predictions will come next week. I have not read any scripts, etc so my choices for pilots are based on what sounds interesting to me, what I think will be a hit, etc. So here we go with FOX - a network that has less hours than the others and a very full schedule given guaranteed new shows and many renewals. They are in position to make their fall stronger than it has been in a long time.

8:00 Bones
Fox has seen its Monday lineup slip in recent years and House is not getting any younger. Bones seems to be the fresher of the two after a run in the post-Idol slot this spring. As a result, I would move Bones to the anchor slot on Monday nights. After it, I would put Alcatraz. While it could go the way of Lone Star, networks need to keep taking chances on shows like this or else all the creative talent will continue to go to cable. This might be the best slot for this show and it could be somewhat compatible with Bones. If it didn't work, the Bones  spinoff could take its place come midseason.

8:00 Glee
9:30 Raising Hope
Glee is already showing signs of fading so FOX should try to launch a new comedy while it still might be able to because the 9:30 slot is clearly not good for new comedies. The New Girl seems the most promising and it would fit this lineup. I would slide Raising Hope back to 9:30pm because it has its niche audience, however small that audience is.

X-Factor is coming and likely to follow the same schedule as American Idol. It makes perfect sense to give it the same slot as Idol and solve their fall problem. When/if the show gets pared down to an hour and a half, I Hate My Teenage Daughter could work at 9:30. It's a multicamera show that doesn't really fit anywhere else but it's too promising to pass up. This could be a fit.

Thursday is the night to launch its two long-anticipated series. Night two of X-Factor makes perfect sense and I would use it to try to launch a new drama that would be a self starter in a competitive timeslot. That drama seems to be the long awaited Terra Nova. It could be an big success or an epic flop, but this slot makes the most sense.

8:00 House
9:00 Hell's Kitchen
Friday is interesting. I would move House over here. The show is entering its twilight and could probably prop up Friday for a couple years. It's a risky move for sure but one that I think would pay off for FOX. They may not be having great success with Fringe on Fridays, but it's certainly better than what they were doing before. That would be even more true with House. Hell's Kitchen would be an appropriate follow-up as its cheap and can do well enough in a tricky slot.

8:00 Cops
9:00 America's Most Wanted
I'm leaving these shows where they are for now because I think FOX needs to focus its energy on other nights of the week, but if they hit big in the fall and have nowhere to put midseason returnees, they might want to consider using Saturday for something other than the long time staples. Besides CBS, FOX might be in the best shape to take a shot at Saturdays.

7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animation Repeats/American Dad!
8:00 The Simpsons
8:30 Bob's Burgers
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 The Cleveland Show
For now, I would leave the animated lineup as is and use American Dad! as a here-and-there show in the 7pm hour. They do have two new animated comedies on deck and I would maybe launch one in November/December to give it more football-powered help and save the other one for midseason sometime. At midseason, both Dad and Bob's Burgers could air in the 7pm hour.

MIDSEASON: Fringe, The Chicago Code, Million Dollar Money Drop, American Idol, Breaking In, Kitchen Nightmares, So You Think You Can Dance, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, ALLEN GREGORY, THE FINDER, WEEKENDS AT BELLEVUE, FAMILY ALBUM
This seems like a highly ambitious midseason lineup and maybe it is, but I think FOX should stockpile just in case some of their bigger attempts (Terra Nova for example, don't pan out). If everything works, The Chicago Code and Fringe should go to Saturdays for a final run for Fringe and burnoff for Chicago Code. If things don't work out though, they could be valuable insurance. Million Dollar Money Drop can be a limited bridge between X-Factor and American Idol, which should air right where it has been. So You Think You Can Dance can be saved for summer and Kitchen Nightmares could air in Hell's Kitchen's slot for the spring. Breaking In is a tricky one but I think its ratings have warranted a renewal. It could be a safety net if a comedy flames out early. As far as the new shows, I already talked about the animated shows and The Finder. I wanted to include Weekends at Bellevue because it sounds interesting but I have no idea where to put it. Family Album should probably get a run after Glee at some point with the Mike O'Malley connection. Since this is what I think they should do, I left off Kiefer Sutherland's Touch, which just doesn't sound like a winning premise to me.

CANCELLED: Lie to Me, Traffic Light, Human Target, Running Wilde, The Good Guys, Lone Star
Not too much to cancel here that isn't already gone or inevitable. The only additions I have are Lie to Me and Human Target which are expendable with so many new dramas, X-Factor, and a new bubble drama with slightly more upside in Chicago Code.S

Tomorrow - what ABC should do!


  1. Just wanted to say I really enjoy your site. It's one of my favorites.

    I agree mostly about your fall schedule except I can't see FOX moving House to Friday (if it even airs on FOX next year). I think it's more likely that Bones moves to Friday to join Fringe or Hell's Kitchen. But who knows...

  2. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy the site! I'm doubtful that FOX will actually move "House" to Fridays - I just think it maybe should over "Bones" because I think "Bones" has more life left in it

  3. Really hoping I Hate My Teenage Daughter makes it on the schedule at some point next season. I was at the pilot filming and loved it. Great cast, great chemistry.