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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

UPFRONTS 2012: What FOX Should Do

Yesterday, I discussed what I think NBC should do. Today is FOX's turn. Just to emphasize the point I made yesterday, this is not a prediction (that will come next week). This is what I think, within reason, FOX should do. FOX has two reality staples in each half of the season and has finally started to make inroad with comedies but their dramas are weak without no huge hits and only a few marginal players in the picture. But there are some promising pilots that may get them out of the drama doldrums. For those interested, check out what I said FOX should do last year.

8:00 Bones
There's a good chance the Kevin Williamson drama could go on Mondays but I would not put it there as Mondays are fiercely competitive. I would absolutely start the night off with Bones which is the only anchor drama FOX has left. At 9pm, I would put the new Karyn Usher teen spy drama as it could be decent counter-programming to CBS's comedies, (likely) The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, and Monday Night Football. It seems like a good flow on this night for FOX, nothing spectacular but solid enough.

8:00 Glee
9:00 New Girl
A lot of people think FOX may go with four single camera sitcoms on this night but I don't think New Girl is ready for that yet. We saw what happened when they tested it out this spring. Instead, I would leave Glee and New Girl exactly where they are and use the 9:30pm to launch their most promising new comedy, which looks to me like it could be Mindy Kaling's medical sitcom. 

8:00 The X-Factor
9:30 (November) LITTLE BROTHER
FOX should of course keep The X-Factor where it is. It wasn't a runaway hit but it's still a winning show. Instead of keeping inflated episodes through the whole fall run, I would try a new sitcom at 9:30 in November. It didn't work this year with I Hate My Teenage Daughter but the show was so bad anyway. I would maybe try John Stamos' new sitcom because he could help bring eyeballs on its own but it would also have a comfortable lead-in.

8:00 The X-Factor
Thursday should start with the results edition of The X-Factor and then I would put the Kevin Williamson drama starring Kevin Bacon at 9pm. This could really pay off if CBS does indeed move Person of Interest. It is their most promising drama, I would give it the best slot available with the best lead-in available. Don't mess with Mondays where so many dramas have produced ho-hum ratings.

8:00 The Cleveland Show
8:30 Bob's Burgers
9:00 Fringe
I had a tough time with Friday but ultimately I think it's time for FOX to shuffle around its animated shows and Fridays could take two of the underperformers. If it works here, then they've carved out another place for animation. If it doesn't, these two shows aren't centerpieces anyway. I would get the final 13 episode season of Fringe over with in the fall much like NBC did with Chuck this year.

8:00 Sports/Cops/Encores
FOX is smart to devote most Saturdays to sports as they're the only thing that seems to work on this night. No need for regularly scheduled programming

7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animation Repeats
8:00 The Simpsons
8:30 Family Guy
9:30 Raising Hope
I don't think this will happen but I think it's time for FOX to re-explore live action sitcoms on Sunday. It's been a long time but they need to because the animated shows are slipping and I think there's an audience for sitcoms on Sunday. I would keep the two strong shows from 8-9pm and then put live action sitcoms from 9-10pm - the quirky Raising Hope and the quirky sounding Prodigy Bully. This makes a lot of sense to me but I don't think FOX would agree. Some network should do sitcoms on Sunday and they are in the best position to try.

MIDSEASON: American Idol, American Dad!, Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, Napoleon Dynamite, Touch, THE ASSET, GUILTY, LIKE FATHER, NED FOX IS MY MANNY
I would keep stocked up in case some of these moves don't work. American Idol will of course take its usual slot in January. American Dad! and Napoleon Dynamite can fill the 7pm hour on Sundays or air on Fridays if that ends up working. Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen can be utility players or be Friday or summer shows. I think they should give Touch one more chance at midseason and see if it can retool itself a bit. Kevin Williamson's project is supposedly only for 15 episodes so Guilty or The Asset could take its place. I'd maybe only pickup one but it doesn't hurt to have several options ready on a network that needs dramas. The comedies can be Tuesday players if Glee takes another break in the spring.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Alcatraz, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, The Finder, House, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Q'Viva: The Chosen, Terra Nova
None of these should be back and I really doubt any will be.

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