Sunday, November 30, 2014

Midseason Schedule: Fox

Fox has taken a lot of hits this season. Their former President, Kevin Reilly, left the network right around upfronts, putting them in a strange situation: he'd done away with pilot season, and Fox was now stuck with all of his final decisions and no one to account for them. Among those questionable decisions Reilly made before jumping ship: ordering a full year (52 weeks) of untested reality series Utopia; sending a bunch of shows straight to series, including the canceled-before-airing Hieroglyph and the unnecessary Broadchurch remake, Gracepoint; and renewing Glee for two seasons last year, before the next-to-last season took a huge nosedive in the ratings. So there are still a few months left in the season before Fox can do an overhaul on the Reilly era, and those months are a bit of a scheduling mess.


8:00 - Gotham
9:00 - Sleepy Hollow
9:00 - The Following (beginning March 9; two-hour premiere March 2)

The Following struggled both creatively and in the ratings during its second season. I was surprised to see it renewed, especially with the original cast in tact, but, compared to the other woeful drama ratings for Fox, it may not do too terribly.


8:00 - Masterchef Junior
8:00 - Hell's Kitchen (beginning March 3)
9:00 - New Girl
9:30 - The Mindy Project
9:30 - Weird Loners (NEW - beginning March 31)

The third season of Masterchef Junior premieres on the heels of the second season finale, a surprisingly strong ratings contender for Fox. The Mindy Project received an order for additional episodes to bring it through March, when Weird Loners, which has just a 6-episode order, takes over.


8:00 - American Idol (beginning January 7)
9:00 - Empire (NEW - beginning January 7)

Fox has to be hoping some of the viewers who ran from the last season of American Idol return this year, though the damage may be done. Hip-hop drama Empire, starring two Academy Award nominees, hopes to (at the very least) do better than canceled fall drama Red Band Society.


8:00 - American Idol (two hours beginning January 8)
8:00 - Bones (beginning March 26)
9:00 - Backstrom (NEW - beginning January 22)
9:00 - Wayward Pines (NEW - beginning May 14)

So as of March, American Idol will be cut down to just one hour per week. Backstrom, which was originally a busted pilot which Fox later ordered to series, will be facing steep competition from Scandal on ABC and The Blacklist on NBC. And Wayward Pines gets the Gang Related treatment.


8:00 - World's Funniest Fails (NEW - beginning January 16)
9:00 - Glee (beginning January 16; two-hour premiere January 9)

Glee rides off into the sunset with a very quick burn-off of its final 13 episodes, all of which will air in just 11 weeks (the two-hour series finale is on March 20). It gets a brand-new viral video clip show, along the lines of MTV's Ridiculousness, as a lead-in, which just looks like Fox giving up on Fridays for now.


7:30 - Mulaney
7:30 - Bob's Burgers (beginning March 1)
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - Bob's Burgers
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth (NEW - beginning March 8; one-hour premiere March 1)

The good-as-canceled Mulaney finishes out its run by the end of February, when Fox is betting on SNL vet Will Forte's new comedy The Last Man on Earth to make good use of the Family Guy lead-in, at least until Seth MacFarlane's new animated series is ready to go. Bob's Burgers once again gets the shortest straw at that point and moves back to 7:30.

All of this just leaves the animated Bordertown, which seems likely to be held for next year at this point, without an air date.

For descriptions of the new scripted series, see the 2014 schedule post from May.

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