Monday, 4 April 2016

Fox 2016-17 Season: News & Updates

Gregory's Thoughts

The biggest change to Fox's schedule next year will be the lack of American Idol. The talent competition has been an integral component to the network's mid-season schedule since 2002, and now that the deflated show is coming to an end this season, Fox will have to order several new shows to fill the empty hours. Fox is in a complicated position.
They have the biggest show on television while also having a slate of programmes which continue to fail. How can they fix this? Fox desperately needs another intense, soapy drama to pair with Empire. They tried to pair the dull procedural show Rosewood with the musical drama to no major ratings success. Fox needs to find one-or two dramas which evoke the same hype and controversy Empire did in its first season. Luckily, Lee Daniels has conveniently created a new pilot about a girl group which is more than likely to land on the schedule this fall. The extent of Fox's dire situation rests largely in their lack of comedy and drama success (obviously outside of The Simpsons and Empire). Fox have had to revive their dead shows of seasons passed including the likes of X-Files, 24 and the recently announced Prison Break revival series. Anyone would think there were no creative people left in Hollywood with all these recycled ideas. Furthermore, Fox should rely less on science fiction shows like Minority Report, and future cancellations Sleepy Hollow, Lucifer and Second Chance (which certainly won't be receiving a second chance at success) and instead find its niche. CBS has procedurals, ABC has soaps, The CW has comic book adaptations and NBC has Chicago.

Maybe Scream Queens was supposed to be the show to boost interest in the Fox network, but as we all know, the show was a complete and utter flop. Scream Queens received the most extensive promotional campaigns over the summer leading up to its premiere which garnered disgustingly low live+ same day ratings.

Comedy also happens to be another department in which Fox is failing. New additions Grandfathered and The Grinder failed to make a splash. For some reasons, dry and uninteresting comedies like these are always ordered by networks and are almost always cancelled. I don't expect either to be renewed. the only other live action comedy to premiere this season on Fox is Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, which for some reason, feels extremely dated, as though it is actually from 2004 and one of the shows Fox cancelled before airing a single-episode has managed to creep its way onto TV. The ratings are okay, despite its bad retention from The Simpsons, which won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Talking about animated comedies, Family Guy is an aging but stable performer, Bob's Burgers, which is arguably Fox's most consistently funny and clever comedy, is doing okay (but not great) for its less than desirable 7:30 timeslot, while new MacFarlae addition Bordertown has been disappointing thus far, in terms of both ratings and creatively. New Girl has failed to maintain the hype it generated during its first season, Last Man on Earth, Fox's most high concept show should also be their buzziest. But after the first season, public interest disappeared faster than  Earth's population in the show but will likely score another season. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will also stick around despite not being owned by Fox.

Fox doesn't seem to have learned their lesson based on their drama slate however, they comedy slate boasts high-concept and fairly original ideas. The new Lee Daniels show is practically a done-deal, and the baseball drama pilot Pitch could also be worth a watch. With the right comedies, Fox could see its luck improve but it seems as though Fox has failed to realise this. Some of the potential new comedy series include Charity Case staring Courtney Cox, the Untitled Chris Case project (fka My White Wife and Kids), and the Untitled Laura Steinel project (aka HR) all have bland premises which makes them extremely likely to be picked up. The only fairly interesting projects on the comedy development slate are the Phil Lord and Chris Miller projects Son of Zorn and time travel comedy Making History as well as the immigrant story Chad: An American Boy which could cause some controversy.

Fox appears to be done with their series orders and I must say, the vast majority of their new shows sound very predictable. Has Fox learned from their mistakes? Apparently not. After a multitude of movie-to-TV series flopping last season, including Fox's very own high profile flop Minority Report, they decide to order a Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist series. Yes, that's right, a network television prime time version of one of the best horror films of all time! The problem with movie-to-TV adaptations is audiences are so used to famous actors, like Mel Gibson or even Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour in particular roles and a certain level of quality, when these films downsize into TV shows, it can be a shock to audiences. Especially when changes to the original story are taken into account. When movie roles and the actors attached to them become iconic, it can be difficult for audiences to accept new, unknown actors in the same roles. Plus, one may argue that all TV shows need to have a certain amount of time for audiences to find and get used to the show as well as characters developing and interacting with each other. But this should not be the case for a TV series based on a film, which has already established a fan base, characters and a narrative. Also, just look at all the new Fox dramas that are based on hot properties, including other TV shows like 24 and Empire to a certain extent. Pitch and APB do not appear to be major draws either. The comedies can go either way; it is nice to see Fox acquiring more high concept comedies like Son of Zorn and Making History while The Mick sounds like it would work well as a movie, it will be interesting to see whether it is able to attract a sizeable audience week-to-week.

UPDATE: Fox has renewed Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Gothan, Lucifer, New Girl, Rosewood, The Last Man on Earth, Scream Queens, The Simpsons,

UPDATE 2: Fox has ordered 24: Legacy (12 episodes) and Lee Daniels' music drama Star (13 episodes). Both are from 20th Century Fox TV and are the first broadcast series orders for next season.

UPDATE 3: Fox has picked up The Exorcist, Lethal Weapon, APB, Pitch, Making History, The Mick... 

UPDATE 4: SHOCKER! Fox has cancelled Grandfathered, The Grinder, Cooper Barrett and Bordertown!! That's rough! 

UPDATE 5: SHOCKER! Sleepy Hollow will return for a 4th season. Minority Report and Second Chance have been officially cancelled. 

UPDATE 6: Fox read my schedule analysis and decided to make some tweaks to their schedule...

- Pitch will air Thursdays. It is no longer a mid-season show.
- Bones and Prison Break will be held for mid-season.

(New programs in UPPER CASE)

8-9 PM — Gotham
9-10 PM — Lucifer

8-8:30 PM — Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:30-9 PM — New Girl
9-10 PM — Scream Queens

9-10 PM — Empire

8-9 PM — Rosewood
9-10 PM — Pitch

8-9 PM– Hell’s Kitchen

7-10:30 PM — Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football

7-7:30 PM — NFL ON FOX
7:30-8 PM — The OT / Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM — The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM — SON OF ZORN
9-9:30 PM — Family Guy
9:30-10 PM — The Last Man On Earth


8-9 PM — 24: LEGACY / Gotham (spring)
9-10 PM — APB / Lucifer (spring)

8-8:30 PM — New Girl / Brooklyn Nine-Nine (spring)
8:30-9 PM — THE MICK

9-10 PM — STAR / Empire (spring)

8-9 PM — Rosewood
9-10 PM — Bones

8-9 PM — Masterchef Junior
9-10 PM — Sleepy Hollow

8-10 PM — Fox Sports Saturday

7-7:30 PM — Animation Encores
7:30-8 PM — Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM — The Simpsons
9-9:30 PM — Family Guy
9:30-10 PM — The Last Man on Earth

The new FOX schedule is a complete mess...

The new FOX schedule is a complete mess. They have made so many wrong decisions I am truly scared to see the outcome of season next May. Mondays are fine, pairing the comic book adaptations Gotham and Lucifer was a fairly smart decision as they will probably share the same type of viewers, for the most part.

The Tuesday comedies are as expected although Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl have swapped places. Usually, New Girl starts off the night although, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has outperformed New Girl in the ratings a fair number of times which may justify the switch. Also, New Girl is said to skew a more female audience, which can also be said for Scream Queens which somehow managed to be renewed and magically reclaimed its plum Tuesday 9pm slot. Due to the fact Scream Queens skews young and due to the bad ratings (which Fox will never admit too) the show should have been placed on Fridays after Hell’s Kitchen.

One of the biggest problems of the new Fox schedule is Wednesdays. While Empire rightfully gets to maintain its 9pm slot, Fox has decided to pair a Lethal Weapon reboot series at 8pm. For reasons which are unknown to me, networks seem to think film adaptations will do well and “bring new eyeballs” to their channels. Wrong. Lethal Weapon is a thirty year old buddy cop film which is being paired with, not only the biggest drama on television, but a show which skews young. Young people are not going to be interested in Lethal Weapon and nostalgia only really works for movies rather than TV shows. Fox does not seem to realise this due to the fact both of their new fall dramas are based on old albeit successful films. The young skewing female baseball drama Pitch looks like it would have been a better pair for Empire and would have benefited from the exposure. On the other hand, Fox seem to think just because Empire has an all-black cast, any show they place alongside it will draw black audiences.

Thursdays are mostly insignificant. Bones is returning for a shortened final season and is being paired with Rosewood which, last season was paired with Empire and benefited from the hip hop dramas large audience. Moving the show away from Empire after only one season will surely hurt Rosewood’s momentum and I doubt the show will live to see another season.

Fridays are known as the death slot day, so Fox has paired one of their most hyped new series The Exorcist (based on the iconic horror film) on Fridays, whereas the show would have been a better fit on Tuesdays.  Furthermore, it will go head to head with NBC’s horror fantasy drama Grimm while only having a reality show as a lead in.

Sundays are bittersweet. It’s lovely seeing Bob’s Burgers on the schedule although I can’t help but wish it had a better slot other than the 7:30pm one in which it has been dumped. Fox has dumped all the shows it eventually plans on dropping in the Sunday 7:30 slot. Sundays remain mostly the same apart from one new addition, the live-action/animated comedy Son of Zorn which will take the post-Simpsons slot.

Fox has also taken the opportunity to release a mid-season schedule. Surprisingly, they do not seem to have planned for the scenario in case any of their new shows fail because all of their mid-season shows have designated slots. They have no utility players left. The 24 reboot (yes, the Fox schedule is filled with reboots) will get the post-Super Bowl timeslot premiere before moving to Mondays. Lee Daniel’s new musical drama Star should have been given the post-super bowl slot. Some people may argue a music themed show would not do well behind the Super Bowl but Glee did very well a few years ago. Not only would Star bring in viewers simply because it’s related to Empire, but it is also fairly broad and may appeal to an even wider audience in comparison to 24.

APB looks DOA. As does The Mick, Sleepy Hollow’s ratings have plummeted and will probably continue to do so thanks to the creators killing off one of the leads. The only mid-season show I can potentially see doing well is Making History, a time travelling comedy which will air after The Simpsons.


24: Legacy
Centres on military hero Eric Carter (Hawkins) whose trouble follows him back to the U.S. – compelling him to ask CTU for help. The show chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil – in the real-time format that the original series became famous for. Like limited series 24: Live Another Day, 24: Legacy will run for 12 episodes a season instead of the 24 the original series produced each year, so there will be some time jumps in the 24-hour window covered by each instalment.

Set in Atlanta, Star revolves around three talented young singers (Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady) who navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. The series will feature original music, along with musical fantasy sequences, as the girls dream of their future. Also stars:  Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, and Nicholas Gonzalez. 

Lethal Weapon
Lethal Weapon rides along with classic cop duo Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans, Sr.) as they work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. Based on the hit movie franchise.

The Exorcist
More than four decades after the Academy Award-nominated film solidified itself as the greatest horror movie ever made, The Exorcist returns in series format as a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession.
The emotional story of young pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), a beautiful, tough and incredibly gifted athlete who instantly becomes the most famous person in the country when she’s called up by the San Diego Padres, making her the first woman to play Major League Baseball.

Inspired by true events, APB is about the Chicago Police Department spiralling out of control amid sky-high crime, officer-involved shootings, cover-ups and corruption. After witnessing a violent crime first-hand, genius tech billionaire Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk), decides to do something about it, putting up millions of dollars of his own money to take over the troubled 13th Precinct and reboot it as a private police force: better, faster and smarter than anything seen before. With cutting-edge technology and revolutionary new ideas, Gideon plans to rethink everything about the way cops fight crime.


Son Of Zorn
Upon arriving home on earth for the first time in 10 years, Zorn a fully animated, legendary warrior finds that reconnecting with his live-action son and ex-wife while suffering through a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder tan waging actual war in his distant, mythical homeland of Zephyria.

Making History
Chronicles three friends from two different centuries as they try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their present-day lives. Two shoes in one, its both rollicking historical adventure, and a cotemporary comedy about love, friendship and trying to fit in to an increasingly complex and impersonal world.

The Mick
Mackenzie “The Mick” Murphy (Kaitlin Olson) is a brash, blue collar, two-bit hustler who has spent her entire life gaming the system and shirking any semblance of responsibility. But when her estranged sister and billionaire brother-in-law flee the country to escape federal charges, the opulent, care-free life Mickey has always envied is finally within reach… But there is one minor catch: she must assume custody of her sister’s three rich, entitled, high-maintenance children.

Fox announced it's mid-season premiere dates at it's TCA meeting in LA (11/01/2017)

Sundays, beginning March 5
7:00-7:30 PM Animation Encores
7:30-8:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS
8:30-9:00 PM MAKING HISTORY (Series Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (Spring Premiere)
Thursdays, beginning March 9
9:00-10:00 PM KICKING & SCREAMING (Series Premiere)
Wednesdays, beginning March 22
8:00-9:00 PM SHOTS FIRED (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM EMPIRE (Spring Premiere)
Tuesday, April 4
8:00-8:30 PM NEW GIRL
8:30-9:00 PM THE MICK
9:00-10:00 PM PRISON BREAK (Season Premiere)
Tuesdays, beginning April 11
8:00-8:30 PM BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (Spring Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM THE MICK
9:00-10:00 PM PRISON BREAK

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