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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

UPFRONTS 2014: What FOX Should Do

This week, I am sharing what I think each network should do with their fall lineup. This is not a prediction but a suggestion. I have not seen any of the pilots so it's just based on descriptions, pedigree, etc. Since FOX is in a different model of development, most of the shows have already been picked-up and FOX is full of limited series models. They need a lot of new shows because this year was a rough one this side of Sleepy Hollow. The X Factor was cancelled and American Idol, The Following, and New Girl are all fading fast.

Past FOX suggestions:   2013   2012   2011

MONDAYS
8:00 Bones
9:00 Sleepy Hollow
FOX has a lot of things to consider with the cancellation of The X Factor and so many shows with smaller orders. I think the best thing for Mondays is to keep some stability with the other nights changing up. That means Bones at 8pm all season long in what should probably be its final season. Like this year (except for that brief Friday run of Bones), it can be paired with Sleepy Hollow in the fall and The Following in the spring. That will allow FOX 9pm Mondays to be new all season and stability is necessary on a network where there's a lot of upheaval.

TUESDAYS
8:00 BACKSTROM
9:00 New Girl
9:30 The Mindy Project
Honestly, I don't know what to do with Tuesdays. Comedies haven't worked and Glee hasn't either. I guess I would keep New Girl and The Mindy Project in the 9pm hour if only because I wouldn't want to subject a new comedy to this night. At 8pm, I would try something completely different - maybe Rainn Wilson's Backstrom, though that could be the second coming of failed dramedy Rake. Tuesdays are going to be a problem no matter what and there's a lot of directions they can go in.

WEDNESDAYS 
8:00 HIEROGLYPH
9:00 Almost Human
FOX still has American Idol coming in the winter so I think their best bet is to air two shows with limited orders and the ambitious Hieroglyph would be a great lead-off. If any new show could be a self-starter, this might be it and they need something to do that with The X Factor gone. Almost Human hasn't been renewed for a second season yet but I think it should get another chance. Considering how things have been on Mondays since it's been gone, it really wasn't doing that bad. It may crash and burn but it deserves a second chance. 

THURSDAYS
8:00 Masterchef Junior
9:00 MULANEY
9:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
FOX also has the American Idol results show to consider at midseason so I think they should try to carve out a comedy/reality presence here (which they are sort of trying this spring). I would move Masterchef Junior over from Fridays but any Gordon Ramsey series would suffice at 8pm. At 9pm, I would pair the promising new comedy Mulaney with the critically acclaimed Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Brooklyn isn't going to get any better with New Girl on Tuesdays. Why not give it a chance somewhere else?

FRIDAYS
8:00 Glee
9:00 WEIRD LONERS
9:30 Surviving Jack
FOX foolishly renewed Glee for two years a year ago and now the wheels have come off completely on the once hugely popular show. Since they have one more year of it, it needs to be buried on Fridays. It doesn't belong anywhere else. Since they're already committing to Fridays, I would pair it with two comedies that can be easily cancelled if things go south but they could be a better option than this year's failed Raising Hope and Enlisted. Weird Loners sounds like it might be a tonal fit with Glee while I would really like to see Surviving Jack get a second chance, even if that means Fridays.

SATURDAYS
8:00 College Football/Encores
As expected.

SUNDAYS
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores
8:00 GOTHAM
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 The Simpsons
I think it's time for FOX to use the big fall football lead-in on something other than The Simpsons. Yes, it's not every week but I think they need the exposure for a new show and the one that might draw football fans in the most is the dark sounding, ambitious Gotham. I would save Bob's Burgers for midseason and let Family Guy and The Simpsons share the 9pm hour. FOX has a huge lead-in with the late NFL games and they need to utilize it on a show that's newer than 25 years old.

MIDSEASON: BORDERTOWN, CABOT COLLEGE, EMPIRE, GRACEPOINT, LAST MAN ON EARTH, WAYWARD PINES, American Idol, Bob's Burgers, The Following, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares
With the short season orders and newer approaches, FOX should have a lot on deck. I already discussed the existing returning shows. As for the new ones, Cabot College and Last Man on Earth can be comedy or a third comedy with the Idol results show. Bordertown, Empire, and Wayward Pines are all tricky to schedule but maybe Idol should only be an hour on Wednesdays for much of its run and a drama could follow it. FOX will likely save at least one or two dramas for summer 2015 and Empire sounds like it could be an effective summer drama.

CANCELLED: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Dads, Enlisted, Raising Hope, Rake, The X Factor
Nothing surprising on the cancellation list.

Tomorrow: ABC!

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