With a slew of freshman failures, the finale of House just around the corner, Glee's mighty fall, and the stringing along of the abysmally-rated Fringe for one more season, Fox is now in need of some new blood to turn themselves around and get back on top without relying on American Idol (which is way down in the ratings this season) and The X-Factor (which was never as big as its sibling show but light years beyond Fox's scripted content).
8:00 - Bones but
9:00 - Untitled Berman/Wright Project (NEW)
Bones always gets the short end of the stick, jumping around the schedule without rhyme or reason and always performing decently no matter where it ends up. Hopefully it can anchor a new Monday evening block. With House ending this month, I think Fox will want to replace it with another medical drama, and that's where the new Berman/Wright pilot about a woman moonlighting as a mob doctor comes in.
8:00 - Glee
9:00 - New Girl
9:30 - Untitled Mindy Kaling Project (NEW)
New Girl started off as a break-out hit for Fox, but it has fallen significantly since its first weeks. Glee is now a shadow of its former self (both in terms of ratings and creativity), but the combination of it and New Girl is relatively strong. Adding another female-centric, slightly bizarre single camera comedy to the evening could help to restrengthen it.
8:00 - The X-Factor
9:30 - Raising Hope
Yup, it's back. It's possible that Fox will try a new sitcom late in the show's run when the finalists begin to dwindle, but that didn't really do much last season for I Hate My Teenage Daughter so it may not happen again. Instead I think Raising Hope will be saved until then.
8:00 - The X-Factor - Results
9:00 - Untitled Kevin Williamson Project (NEW)
Odd that none of Fox's frontrunners for series pickups have titles. Hmmm. Anyway, the Kevin Williamson serial killer project, which boasts the first regular series gig for Kevin Bacon, is apparently a lock for pickup following strong early reviews of the script, good casting, and solid execution. This is the prime slot to debut it, unless it is held for midseason to follow American Idol on Thursdays. But with viewership down so much in the spring, I think they'd want to get eyes on it ASAP.
8:00 - Touch
9:00 - Fringe
Despite awful ratings, even for Fridays, Fringe somehow eked out a final season renewal last month. I think pairing it with Touch would make a lot of sci-fi fans happy. Plus Touch has been performing okay, but not great, and this would be a good place to try it out without eating up a prime slot.
7:30 - Bob's Burgers
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - The Cleveland Show
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - American Dad
Bob's Burgers will have enough episodes leftover from its current production cycle to at least fill in the fall schedule. It performs about evenly with The Cleveland Show in the 8:30 slot now, but it is untested against football; so I think Cleveland will return to its original timeslot.
For some reason Fox seems to be high on this sitcom block when Glee goes on winter hiatus, so I think they will move Raising Hope there and pair it with a new sitcom, or start a new comedy block on another night (possibly Fridays?). I'd guess there will be two midseason sitcom pickups; I'm going with Rebounding and Ned Fox is My Manny (which really needs a new title). I'd also expect one more midseason drama to go forward, most likely the Cuba Gooding, Jr. vehicle Guilty. And now that Seth MacFarlane's The Flintstones remake isn't happening in the spring, I think that opens up the possibility of Napoleon Dynamite being renewed.
Bottom Line Predictions
New Series - Untitled Berman/Wright, Untitled Kevin Williamson, Guilty, Untitled Mindy Kaling, Rebounding, Ned Fox is My Manny
Canceled Series - House, Terra Nova, Alcatraz, The Finder, Breaking In, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Allen Gregory