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Monday, May 15, 2017

UPFRONTS 2017: FOX's Official Fall Schedule

Here is the official FOX schedule!

Past FOX schedules: 2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

MONDAYS
8:00 Lucifer (3rd Season)
9:00 THE GIFTED
Easily FOX's biggest hope in its 2017-18 schedule comes on Monday nights and its first ever Marvel series, The Gifted. FOX is already promoting the show big time and I'm sure it will get the vast majority of FOX's summer and NFL promo spots. FOX needs a show like this to premiere big but as ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. proved, a big launch doesn't necessarily lead to long term success. Its lead-in will be Lucifer, which has been a steady player and will move an hour earlier. This is one of four nights on FOX with at least one sci-fi/supernatural show and one of two nights where both shows fit that mold.

TUESDAYS
8:00 Lethal Weapon (2nd Season)
9:00 The Mick (2nd Season)
9:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (5th Season)
Tuesday is a comedic night for FOX. Even though the lead-in is a drama, it is the buddy cop show Lethal Weapon, which seems capable enough of leading off a night as it seemed more independently strong leading into Empire than Rosewood did last year. It will lead into comedies The Mick and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The Mick is FOX's new comedy hope and this can be considered a small timeslot upgrade as it will likely get a better lead-in. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has become a filler at this point so it gets the low-priority 9:30pm slot. I'd imagine the short final season of New Girl will air on this night at some point during the season.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 Empire (4th Season)
9:00 Star (2nd Season)
For two years, many advocated for FOX moving Empire to 8pm and they resisted. Last year, an Empire/Star pairing on Wednesdays seemed very likely but Star ended up being the winter replacement for Empire. Well FOX is finally making these moves as Empire moves to 8pm and is paired with fellow Lee Daniels music drama Star. FOX could have made this a huge power play move a year ago, but it feels a little too late now. Empire is still one of TV's top shows, but it's trajectory is impossible to ignore. Star did OK but didn't break out. This should still be a solid night for FOX but not what it could have been had they done it this season.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Gotham (4th Season)
9:00 THE ORVILLE
Thursdays is another genre night for FOX. After three years on Mondays, Gotham moves to Thursdays at 8pm as the lead-in to the Seth MacFarlane sci-fi dramedy The Orville. I'm not sure what I think about the dark and moody Gotham leading into the sillier The Orville. I'm also far from sold on The Orville in general. This could be a tough night for FOX just as it was this past fall, especially with NBC strengthening themselves on the night, football to compete with, and ABC still a presence with their TGIT lineup. It's counter programming on FOX's part which is not a bad idea, but it's not particularly effective counter programming.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (17th Edition)
9:00 The Exorcist (2nd Season)
After the surprise renewal for The Exorcist, FOX is keeping the status quo on Friday nights with the exact same lineup they had in Fall 2016. Hell's Kitchen is a reliable option for 8pm Fridays while I can't imagine FOX is expecting anything better for The Exorcist from its low Fall 2016 numbers. I'm sure this will be a different lineup in the spring but FOX has many problems on its schedule and Fridays remain low priority.


SATURDAYS
8:00 FOX Sports Saturday

SUNDAYS
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores
7:30 Bob's Burgers (8th Season)
8:00 The Simpsons (29th Season)
8:30 GHOSTED
9:00 Family Guy (15th Season)

9:30 The Last Man on Earth (4th Season)
Sunday nights will once again have a new comedy in the mix: FOX's favorite new comedy from development, Ghosted. It will try to be more successful than Son of Zorn was but the problem with FOX Sundays remains the same. It will do well on NFL lead-in nights, but struggle without the lead-in and especially after football ends. The rest of the night remains the same and it can be solid on NFL nights, but these shows are getting long in the tooth. I think if FOX really wants to reinvent Sundays at some point, they need to be a little more daring than this.

MIDSEASON: 9-1-1, LA TO VEGAS, THE RESIDENT, SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO, Masterchef Junior, New Girl, The X-Files

CANCELLED/ENDED: 24: Legacy, APB, Bones, Kicking & Screaming, Making History, My Kitchen Rules, Pitch, Prison Break, Rosewood, Scream Queens, Shots Fired, Sleepy Hollow, Son of Zorn, You the Jury
24: Legacy and Prison Break have not officially been cancelled, per se. They are both going to take another break. Like The X-Files, some of these revival shows may pop up whenever they are able to get another season from creators that they are happy with.

TO SUM UP:
I think this is a better schedule than FOX's terrible effort last fall, but I just don't think it goes far enough for a network that had another horrid season. They are attempting to be the sci-fi/supernatural channel that the CW used to have command of. That's not a horrible idea because they need an identity. I know it takes a lot to launch them, but I would have gone with more shows picked up and placed on the fall schedule because the more they take chances on, the better chance of a hit. None of their shows, aside from The Gifted, on the schedule or on deck seem likely to change FOX's fortunes. They need to have better development seasons.

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