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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

UPFRONTS 2016: What FOX Should Do

Here is my suggestion for FOX as the Upfronts preview continues!

It has been a mixed bag for FOX this year. On the plus side, Empire remains TV's biggest show even though it's not at the highs it was a year ago. It also had a successful short run for The X-Files and a surprisingly sturdy performance from newbie Lucifer. However, the comedies remain as big a problem as ever with minuscule ratings across the board. And despite it getting long in the tooth, the loss of American Idol means three hours to fill in the spring. They will also lose the long running Bones after this season.

Past FOX suggestions: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

For a list of FOX pilots, click here

MONDAYS
8:00 Gotham
9:00 PRISON BREAK
Monday night should continue with Gotham at 8pm and I would suggest perhaps making the 9pm hour a rotating wheel of event series with the reboots of Prison Break and 24 sharing the slot and 24: Legacy launching when FOX inevitably brings back another short order for The X-Files in the 8pm slot. I think it might help keep the night for genre/event shows all season long and should allow for some urgency and regular tune-in.

TUESDAYS
8:00 New Girl
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:00 PITCH
Tuesdays are tough. I don't know if I'd continue with Scream Queens and it's tough to justify comedies continuing too but New Girl was OK in the 8pm slot this year. I would give it to the two aging comedies and pair it with the intriguing but somewhat off brand Pitch. If it's really good, it could be a critical hit and that might be enough.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 STAR
9:00 Empire
Wednesday night can be Lee Daniels night with an intriguing female-led music drama, Star, starring Queen Latifah in the works. If that isn't a fit with Empire, I don't know what is. They seem like a match made in heaven and I would be shocked if they aren't paired together at some point. I would start it in the fall and if successful, bring them back again after a few weeks off at midseason.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Scream Queens

9:00 THE EXORCIST
If you can't tell, I'm really trying to brand these FOX nights because I think that will help them and is needed in today's TV climate. So Thursday nights could be horror nights with the lighter Scream Queens leading into the darker The Exorcist. I think the total viewer count would be low here but it could skew young the way Scream did this past season.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Masterchef Junior
9:00 Bones
Part of me thinks Masterchef Junior should go on a weeknight, but I would save that in case a show like Pitch falters. Instead, I would start it on Fridays paired with the final season of Bones. Bones is ending so there's no need to give it a better slot and it's been kicked around so much over the years.

SUNDAYS
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT
7:30 Bob's Burgers
8:00 The Simpsons
8:30 SON OF ZORN
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 The Last Man on Earth
I would keep Sundays mostly as is with the already picked up to series Son of Zorn joining the lineup at 8:30pm. It is an animated/live action hybrid and seems like a perfect fit for the Sunday lineup. This will be a success when there's football as usual and that's probably enough to continue to commit to this animated lineup because it could be worse.

MIDSEASON: Lucifer, Grandfathered, Hell's Kitchen, Rosewood, The X-Files, CHARITY CASE, MAKING HISTORY, UNTITLED CHRIS CHASE, 24: LEGACY, RECON, SHOTS FIRED, KICKING & SCREAMING
FOX should have more on tap without American Idol coming back. I already talked about 24: Legacy and The X-Files. I would use some of the new and returning comedies possibly on Tuesdays at some point. Some of the dramas could go to Wednesdays in-between the Empire and Lee Daniels drama runs. Hell's Kitchen can replace Masterchef Junior on Fridays.

CANCELLED/ENDED: American Idol, American Grit, Bordertown, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, The Grinder, Minority Report, Second Chance, Sleepy Hollow, World's Funniest

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