Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Fall Schedule: Fox

After NBC's crazy overhaul yesterday, Fox's schedule seems... completely boring.


8:00 - Bones
9:00 - The Mob Doctor (NEW)

As expected, Fox's new medical drama The Mob Doctor replaces its departing medical drama House. I don't think the new one will come anywhere near the level of creativity and quality of its predecessor, and Mondays are generally a difficult night to launch a new drama. But this move is not unexpected.


8:00 - Raising Hope
8:30 - Ben & Kate (NEW)
9:00 - New Girl
9:30 - The Mindy Project (NEW)

I don't really know why Fox is so high on this two-hour comedy block idea. It didn't exactly work for them this spring, when Raising Hope's ratings plummetted and New Girl sank without its Glee lead-in. I expect the 8:00 hour to fail, though I have higher hopes for the 9:00 comedies. The Mindy Project seems like an ideal companion to New Girl (but they should go back to It's Messy as the title, the new one is so vain and silly), and Mindy Kaling does have a decent following.


8:00 - The X-Factor

Nothing to say.


8:00 - The X-Factor - Results
9:00 - Glee (New Timeslot)

I suppose this makes sense. Glee is basically going to be rebooting itself in the fall when the vast majority of its characters graduate, so it's essentially like launching a new show. It's a no-brainer to pair it with a singing competition (in fact that's where Glee has its roots, airing behing American Idol), and if the rest of the networks keep their schedules the same (with ABC airing Grey's Anatomy and CBS airing Person of Interest), Glee has a chance of winning the timeslot. I still think Fox should have used the sizeable X-Factor lead-in to launch something new (like Ben & Kate followed by Raising Hope, if they wanted to use more comedies), but this isn't the worst decision.


8:00 - Touch (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Fringe

After beating the odds year-in and year-out, Fringe will air its final 13 episodes this fall. I will never understand how this final season renewal happened with such dire ratings, but that's why I don't run a network. Touch is a good companion piece for Fringe, and despite rapidly declining ratings it was never going to get canceled after one season with Kiefer Sutherland on board and all of Fox's freshman dramas performing so terribly.


7:30 - Football Overrun/The Cleveland Show
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Bob's Burgers
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - American Dad

Fox must really not like The Cleveland Show. I have to say I agree; it's not funny, especially compared to Seth MacFarlane's other comedies. They renewed both Family Guy and American Dad for new production cycles, ensuring their spots on the schedule through 2014... but not The Cleveland Show. And now it's being thrown to the wolves once again in favor of Bob's Burgers. In the 7:30 timeslot it will often be pre-empted for football doubleheaders and overrun. But I'm just glad that American Dad can keep its 9:30 slot.


The Kevin Bacon/James Purefoy starrer The Following will launch at 9:00 on Mondays at midseason; The Goodwin Games will joing the Tuesday comedy lineup then as well. Hell's Kitchen will replace Fringe on Fridays. Kitchen Nightmares has also already been renewed, and it will presumably replace something that does not work in the fall. Fox made no indication of Sunday night changes at midseason, so it's possible that Bob's Burgers will produce additional episodes.

Overall, this schedule is very tame and safe. There's no risk taken in the newly acquired series (The Mob Doctor sounds terrible, Ben & Kate sounds standard); the biggest risk is probably moving Glee, a fourth-year show. And it also looks like they're putting all their eggs in one basket, as they have only one midseason drama (which will not be ready to launch in the fall if something bombs a la Lone Star) and one midseason comedy. I don't particularly care for much of the schedule, and I won't personally be watching anything but Glee and possibly The Mindy Project. I was really hoping to see The Following on the fall schedule, but so is life.

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