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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UPFRONTS 2013: What FOX Should Do

After NBC yesterday, I will take a look at what I think FOX should do with their lineup next year! Next week, I will make my official prediction but this is what I think makes the most sense with their lineup and pilots. FOX has had some serious trouble because The X Factor and American Idol are fading and they take up so much space on the schedule. On top of that, the Tuesday comedy block didn't work. They successfully launched The Following but that only has 15 episode seasons. FOX needs to be more aggressive, they can't count on Idol to save them as it has many times. Check out what I said FOX should do last year and in 2011. Also check out a rundown of FOX's pilots in contention.

8:00 Bones
FOX needs to save The Following for midseason again since it only has 15 episodes a season. Because of that, I would keep Bones at 8pm where it has been very reliable and solid. I would try a new drama at 9pm and hope it's more like The Following than The Mob Doctor. I think one of the most exciting sounding dramas is Boomerang, about a family of assassins. If FOX can find a show that works, they could order a shorter order yearly to have it share a slot with The Following. Boomerang will have to compete with Monday Night Football but it seems like it would be good counter-programming to reality on ABC and NBC and comedies on CBS.

8:00 Glee
9:00 New Girl
The Tuesday night four sitcom block was a complete flop and FOX would be foolish to try it again, they just don't have the shows or pilots to make it work right now. Instead, I would move Glee back to the 8pm Tuesday slot it held last season. It may be fading but it would do better than the 8pm comedies did this year. I would instead focus on launching a new hit after New Girl, they certainly shouldn't put The Mindy Project back here. I would try Friends and Family which has a stellar cast led by Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel. It seems like it might be a good fit with New Girl, then again Mindy did too.

8:00 The X-Factor
I don't really like The X Factor taking up two hours on Wednesday but I don't really think it should go to Thursday/Friday. Honestly, the best thing for the show might be lessening it to an hour or airing it in the summer or something like that. It's sort of a tough position for FOX because they can't really bag this show until they have enough other shows to take its place, but they're having trouble launching new shows because this takes up so much space.

8:00 The X-Factor
I think FOX needs to take a stab with a new drama here after The X Factor and not Glee. One of their more promising, and potentially self-starting, shows is Sleepy Hollow. This might be good counter programming to Grey's Anatomy, likely comedies on NBC, and quite possibly comedies on CBS. FOX only launched two new dramas this year - one worked and one flopped instantly. They need to try more so they can build up their drama arsenal because right now, it's awfully thin.

8:00 American Dad!
8:30 Bob's Burgers
9:00 Raising Hope
9:30 The Mindy Project
OK so this is a big risk, but here's the thing - it's easily fixable if it doesn't work. They could easily slide in Hell's Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares on this night. But I think this is worth a shot. Their Sunday animation lineup is getting very stale and could use something fresh. I would move the lower performers to Friday. They can always go back to Sunday if that doesn't work. Raising Hope might succeed in a lower profile slot while The Mindy Project shouldn't have been renewed to begin with so it can get this sleepy timeslot. It probably wouldn't pay off for FOX but it's worth a shot because they aren't competitive on Fridays right now and it helps open up real estate on other nights.

8:00 College Football/Cops
No reason to change this.

7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores
8:30 DADS
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 The Simpsons
Another big gamble, but this animated lineup needs some real help. I would try to bring live action comedies back to the night starting with the Andy Samberg pilot and then the Seth McFarlane produced Dads, which already has a six episode order. It's better to launch in the fall when they'll have football overrun on certain weeks. The Simpsons has aired at 8pm forever but I would keep the cartoons together and put it after Family Guy. That way the two McFarlane shows (Dads and Family Guy) stay together. Again, this is easily fixable if it doesn't work - just bring American Dad and Bob's Burgers back from Fridays and restore the current lineup. But it's worth the gamble in my opinion.

MIDSEASON: American Idol, The Following, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, TO MY FUTURE ASSISTANT, GANG RELATED, THE LIST
American Idol will take The X-Factor's place of course. The Following should return to Mondays at 9pm in midseason. Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares can plug in anywhere. As for the new shows, To My Future Assistant has a strong cast and can be a comedy backup. As I said before, FOX needs to develop more dramas and that means ordering more than two. I would double that to four and keep Gang Related and The List for midseason. They can have shorter episode orders and take the place of a show like Glee or (if it works) Sleepy Hollow for awhile.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Ben and Kate, The Cleveland Show, Fringe, The Mob Doctor, Touch
No surprises here. Most have already been officially cancelled while the others are inevitable (though The Cleveland Show might have a slight chance to return).

Tomorrow: ABC!

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