Monday, May 11, 2015

2015 Fall Schedule: Fox

Monday

8:00 - Gotham
9:00 - Minority Report (NEW)

Unsurprisingly, Fox is using its highest-profile drama to launch one of its many new genre offerings. Minority Report was the network's biggest drama acquisition (aside from possibly Scream Queens), so it makes sense to give it one of the best lead-ins possible.

Tuesday

8:00 - Grandfathered (NEW)
8:30 - The Grinder (NEW)
9:00 - Scream Queens (NEW)

Tuesdays are a rough night for all the networks, and Fox's attempt to remedy that is with a new night of comedies. Grandfathered and The Grinder seem like a match made in heaven, with beloved sitcom stars John Stamos and Rob Lowe, respectively, starring. Scream Queens has a built-in audience thanks to creator Ryan Murphy and an all-star cast of both young and old performers. It should easily boost the night's viewership.

Wednesday

8:00 - Rosewood (NEW)
9:00 - Empire

To cash in on the insane popularity of Empire, I think it's a good thing that it will be returning in the fall rather than at midseason (especially since it can be used to promote the midseason lineup now). Rosewood doesn't seem like much of a fit with it, aside from both having strong, well-known African American male leads, and I'm a bit confused as to why Fox wouldn't move Empire to 8:00 in order to use it as a lead-in. (I'm also a little confused as to why Rosewood wouldn't undergo a title change, to avoid confusion with Pretty Little Liars.)

Thursday

8:00 - Bones
9:00 - Sleepy Hollow (New Timeslot)

This looks like Fox pulling an NBC from a couple seasons ago and just giving up on Thursday nights for the time being. Bones is very low-rated at the moment, and Sleepy Hollow had a pretty steep decline in both quality and viewership in its second season, so going head-to-head with Scandal (in all likelihood, though not yet official) and Thursday Night Football doesn't show much confidence in the show... but I guess it's better than throwing a new series into the timeslot with a weakened lead-in and stiff competition.

Friday

8:00 - Masterchef Junior (New Timeslot)
9:00 - World's Funniest Fails (New Timeslot)

Despite being one of the few good surprises in its lineup this past season, Masterchef Junior gets bumped to Fridays, where Gordon Ramsay has had a strong presence for many seasons. Also, I assume that if any of the new dramas fail, it can be moved quickly from Fridays to fill in.

Sunday

7:30 - Bob's Burgers
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth

I assume The Last Man on Earth's second season will be as short as its first, because Fox has Seth MacFarlane's perpetually delayed new animated series Bordertown still to slot in, and it would need to go into the animation block somewhere, most likely after Family Guy. But for the fall, there are no changes to the night, which is solid for them, if not nearly as big as it once was.

Midseason

Fox will use the NFC Championship game to launch the six-episode revival of The X-Files, which will then move to Mondays to take over for Gotham durings its hiatus. Veteran comedy New Girl is being held for midseason as well, returning to the Tuesday lineup to help launch another new show, The Guide to Surviving Life (and reportedly to give star Zooey Deschannel time to have her baby). When that happens, Fox will once again have a two-hour sitcom block, with all but one being freshmen. American Idol will also return for a final season (can you believe it?!) in January, along with new dramas Lucifer and The Frankenstein Code, the former of which will be paired with The X-Files for a short time and then Gotham on Mondays and the latter of which will likely replace Sleepy Hollow on Thursdays.

This looks like a pretty strong schedule from the flailing network, which had only one major hit this season (Empire) and one minor one (Gotham, which started strong but faded by spring). Fox is starting to cut the dead weight by saying goodbye to The Mindy Project and renewing American Idol for a final season, and by tapping into known properties and/or established fanbases (Scream Queens, Minority Report, The X Files, Lucifer). Hopefully they can dig themselves out of the hole Kevin Reilly got them into with some of these moves.

Read full descriptions of the new shows after the jump.
Comedies

Grandfathered -  What’s the fastest way to put the brakes on a cruise-controlled bachelor lifestyle? Fatherhood? Guess again. Television icon John Stamos (Full House, ER) stars in a new comedy about the ultimate bachelor who discovers he’s not only a father, but a grandfather. Successful restaurateur and man-about-town Jimmy Martino (Stamos) is used to being the most suave, most handsome and most single person in the room. All that changes with the surprise appearance of Jimmy’s adult son, Gerald (Josh Peck, The Mindy Project), and his baby daughter, Edie. Now Jimmy has to unlearn a lifetime of blissful selfishness and grapple with the fact that he went straight from single to grandfather in six seconds flat. Keeping tabs on Jimmy is Gerald’s mother and Jimmy’s former girlfriend, rocker chick-turned-mother Sara (Paget Brewster, Criminal Minds, Community). Equally concerned about how Jimmy will manage these new developments is Jimmy’s restaurant family, especially assistant manager Annelise (Kelly Jenrette, Audrey) and chef Ken (Ravi Patel, Super Fun Night). Can Jimmy teach Gerald to be a little more like him in order to win the affection of Edie’s hot mess of a mom, Vanessa (Christina Milian, Family Guy, Baggage Claim)? Will Jimmy and Sara fall for each other all over again, even though she’s the one thing he never dates – a woman his own age? And who’s higher maintenance, Jimmy or the baby? Grandfathered is an unconventional, sophisticated comedy about coming of age – at any age. Daniel Chun serves as writer and executive producer. Stamos and Dan Fogelman also executive produce.

The Grinder - How many TV lawyers does it take to try a real-life case in a real-life courtroom? One, and his name is The Grinder. Starring Emmy Award nominee Rob Lowe (Parks & Recreation, The West Wing), The Grinder is a new comedy about a famous TV lawyer at a crossroads. When his legal series ends, he decides to move back home and join his family’s real law firm – despite having no formal education, no bar certification, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom. Dean Sanderson (Lowe) spent eight seasons playing the title role on the hit legal drama The Grinder. Now he’s moving back to his hometown of Boise, Idaho, where his brother, Stewart (Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Fred Savage, The Wonder Years), is a real-life attorney who is poised to take over the family law firm. It doesn’t take long for Dean to start injecting his TV drama into every aspect of Stewart’s life, both in the courtroom and at home, impacting Stewart’s wife – and Dean’s high school sweetheart – Debbie (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, New Girl); their two kids, 15-year-old Lizzie (Hana Hayes, Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures) and 13-year-old Ethan (Connor Kalopsis, Days Of Our Lives); and Dean and Stewart’s father, the law firm’s head, Dean Sr. (William Devane, 24: Live Another Day). Dean and Stewart don’t see to eye to eye, but when they stop arguing with each other and start arguing together in court…they make a formidable team. The Grinder is the story of two brothers, who took different paths, but meet again in the middle – for justice…sort of. Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul serve as writers and executive producers. Nicholas Stoller, Jake Kasdan and Lowe also executive produce. Kasdan will direct.

The Guide to Surviving Life - Wouldn’t it be great to have a friend who has made all the mistakes in life there are to make, and then tells you exactly where he went wrong, so you don’t have to? The Guide to Surviving Life is a new comedy that explores what we all go through on our way to figuring out what life is all about. Cooper Barrett (Jack Cutmore-Scott, Kingsman: The Secret Service) still doesn’t have the job he wants; he’s accidently fallen in love with his across-the-hall neighbor, Kelly Bishop (Meaghan Rath, Being Human); one of his roommates, Neal (Charlie Saxton, Betas, Hung), just can’t seem to dump his bodybuilder girlfriend; his other roommate, Barry (James Earl, Ground Floor, Glee), is a “loveable jackass” who can’t stop getting into trouble; and his 40-year-old-brother, Josh (Justin Bartha, The New Normal, The Hangover franchise), a married father of two, is constantly popping in to come hang with the fellas. The one thing they do have is each other. As Cooper struggles to survive each of life’s many challenges – a night in jail, an inappropriate text he never should have sent, an ill-advised household pet – he will guide us through the often-messy, always-hilarious ordeal, so that our lives don’t have to be nearly the entertaining disaster that Cooper’s is turning out to be. The cast includes Maureen Sebastian. Jay Lacopo serves as writer and executive producer and Gail Berman, Bill Callahan and James Griffiths also executive produce. Griffiths will direct.

Bordertown -  From Family Guy’s Mark Hentemann comes Bordertown, a new animated comedy about two families living in a Southwest desert town on the U.S. – Mexico border. The series takes a satirical look at the cultural shifts occurring in America, where the U.S. Census forecasts that by 2017, ethnic minorities will become the majority. Set against this increasingly diverse backdrop, the comedy explores family, politics and everything in between with a cross-cultural wink. Bordertown centers on two clans: the Buckwalds and the Gonzalezes. Bud Buckwald (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons) is a married father of three and a Border Patrol agent who is just a tad behind the times and feels slightly threatened by the cultural changes transforming his neighborhood. He lives next door to Ernesto Gonzalez (Nicholas Gonzalez, Sleepy Hollow), an ambitious family man, who has been in the country less than 10 years, but is already doing better than Bud – which, it turns out, is a bit of an issue for Bud. Bud is married to Janice Buckwald (Alex Borstein, Family Guy), both the wisest and most oblivious member of the family. The Buckwald kids include Becky (Borstein), a socially awkward, big-boned geek; Sanford (Judah Friedlander, 30 Rock), a loser who thinks he’s a player; and Gert (Missi Pyle, The Exes, Galaxy Quest), a beauty pageant-obsessed five-year-old with a pet pig. Meanwhile, living the American Dream next door are the Gonzalezes, including Maria (Stephanie Escajeda, 100 Things To Do Before High School), Ernesto’s no-nonsense wife; their son, Ruiz (guest voice Efren Ramirez, Napoleon Dynamite); and their 21-year-old nephew, J.C. (Gonzalez), a graduate student who is engaged to Becky and frequently butts heads with Bud. As Bud and Ernesto’s paths begin to cross, their two families soon become bound by romance, conflict and, perhaps most importantly, friendship – a word that means the same, no matter what side of the border you’re from. Mark Hentmann serves as writer and executive producer Seth MacFarlane also executive produces. Alex Carter and Dan Vebber are co-executive producers.

Dramas

Minority Report - The future is coming. Based on the international blockbuster film by executive producer Steven Spielberg and the first of his films to be adapted for television, Minority Report follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen. Set in Washington, D.C., it is 10 years after the demise of Precrime, a law enforcement agency tasked with identifying and eliminating criminals…before their crimes were committed. To carry out this brand of justice, the agency used three precogs – “precognitives” Dash, Arthur and Agatha – who were able to see the future. Now, in 2065, crime-solving is different, and justice leans more on sophisticated and trusted technology than on the instincts of the precogs. Precog Dash (Stark Sands, Inside Llewyn Davis) – driven by his terrifying, but fragmented visions – now has returned in secret to help a brash, but shrewd police detective, Lara Vega (Meagan Good, Think Like A Man franchise, Californication), attempt to stop the murders that he predicts. As they navigate this future America, they will search for Dash’s missing twin brother, Arthur, and elude others who will stop at nothing to exploit their precog abilities. Also complicating matters is Dash and Arthur’s ingenious, but reclusive, foster sister, Agatha (Laura Regan, Mad Men, Unbreakable) who just wants Dash to return home. A drama of crime and conspiracy, this is a timeless story of connection: two lost souls, Dash and Vega, who find friendship, purpose and redemption in each other. Max Borenstein serves as writer and executive producer. Kevin Falls, Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Mark Mylod also are executive producers. Mylod is director.

Rosewood - Meet the Beethoven of private pathologists…From executive producer Todd Harthan (Psych, Dominion), Rosewood is the story of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. (Morris Chestnut, Nurse JackieThe Best Man franchise), the most brilliant private pathologist in Miami. Using his wildly sophisticated autopsy lab, he performs for-hire autopsies to uncover clues that the Miami PD can’t see. His new partner-in-crime is Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz, The After), a Miami PD detective with attitude and demons to spare. While she’s impressed by Rosewood’s incredible abilities, his constant optimism is more annoying than it is infectious. But somehow, week-to-week, this unlikely tag team will solve many crimes together. Joining Rosewood in his practice are his sister and “toxicology queen,” Pippy (Gabrielle Dennis, The Game); and DNA specialist Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI (Anna Konkle, Man Seeking Woman, Betas), who is Pippy’s fiancĂ©e. Plagued with his own set of medical ailments, Rosewood sees that every moment of life should be embraced and lived to the fullest. And those moments of victims’ lives that will never be are what drive him the most. Todd Harthan serves as writer and executive producer. Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen and Richard Shepard also executive produce.

Scream Queens - The girls of Kappa House are dying for new pledges. Scream Queens is a new killer comedy-horror series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning executive producers of Glee and American Horror Story. Wallace University is rocked by a string of murders. Kappa House, the most sought-after sorority for pledges, is ruled with an iron fist (in a pink glove) by its Queen Bitch, Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts, American Horror Story: Freak Show, Scream 4). But when anti-Kappa Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies) decrees that sorority pledging must be open to all students, and not just the school’s silver-spooned elite, all hell is about to break loose, as a devil-clad killer begins wreaking havoc, claiming one victim, one episode at a time. Part black comedy, part slasher flick, Scream Queens is a modern take on the classic whodunit, in which every character has a motive for murder…or could easily be the next blood-soaked casualty. Scream Queens stars Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Lea Michele (Glee) Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland, August: Osage County), Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live), Oliver Hudson (Nashville, Rules of Engagement), Skyler Samuels (American Horror Story: Coven), Keke Palmer (Akeela and the Bee, Masters of Sex), newcomer Billie Lourd, Diego Bonita (Rock of Ages), Glen Powell (The Expendables 3), Lucien Laviscount (Episodes), Niecy Nash (Getting On, The Soul Man), pop superstar and actor Nick Jonas (Kingdom) and Grammy Award nominee and actress Ariana Grande. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennen serve as co-creators, writers, directors and executive producers.

The X-Files - Thirteen years after the original series run, the next mind-bending chapter of The X-Files will be a thrilling, six-episode event series helmed by creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-inhabiting their roles as iconic FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. This marks the momentous return of the Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning pop culture phenomenon, which remains one of the longest-running sci-fi series in network television history. Production on The X-Files event series is set to begin in summer 2015. The X-Files originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit, and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned 16 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny), as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. Mitch Pileggi also stars. Chris Carter serves as creator and executive producer. Glen Morgan also is an executive producer.

The Frankenstein Code - What would you do with a second chance? From executive producer/writer Rand Ravich (Life, Crisis) and executive producer Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24) comes The Frankenstein Code, a modern reimagining of the Mary Shelley classic, about a man brought back to life by two scientists playing god. Seventy-five-year-old Jimmy Pritchard (guest star Philip Baker Hall, Modern Family, Magnolia) is a shell of his former self. A drinker, a womanizer and a father who always put work before family, Pritchard was forced to resign as L.A. County Sheriff for corrupt conduct more than a decade ago. Now, some 15 unkind years later, he is killed when he stumbles upon a robbery at the home of FBI Agent Duval Pritchard (Tim DeKay, White Collar), one of his three children. But death is surprisingly short for Jimmy, who is brought back to life by billionaire tech-genius twins Mary Goodwin (Dilshad Vadsaria, Revenge) and her brother, Otto (Adhir Kalyan, Rules of Engagement), founders of the social networking empire, Lookinglass. Resurrected as a younger version of himself, with physical abilities of which he never dreamed, a re-animated Pritchard (Rob Kazinsky, True Blood) is given a second chance at life. What will he do with it? Will he seek vengeance against those who killed him? Will he try to repair the damage he did to his family? Will he embrace a new sense of purpose or fall prey to old temptations? Rand Ravich serves as writer and executive producer. Howard Gordon and Michael Cuesta (pilot) also are executive producers. Cuesta also serves as director.

Lucifer - The Devil has come to Los Angeles…Based upon the characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, Lucifer is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis, Merlin) has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub. Charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome, Lucifer is enjoying his retirement, indulging in a few of his favorite things – wine, women and song – when a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered outside of Lux. For the first time in roughly 10 billion years, he feels something awaken deep within him as a result of this murder. Compassion? Sympathy? The very thought disturbs him – as well as his best friend and confidante, Mazikeen aka Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt, The Librarians), a fierce demon in the form of a beautiful young woman. The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective Chloe Dancer (Lauren German, Chicago Fire), who initially is dismissive of Lucifer. But she becomes intrigued by his talent for drawing out people’s secrets and his desire to dispense justice, doling out punishment to those who deserve it. As they work together to solve the pop star’s murder, Lucifer is struck by Chloe’s inherent goodness. Accustomed to dealing with the absolute worst of humanity, Lucifer is intrigued by Chloe’s apparent purity and begins to wonder if there’s hope for his own soul yet. At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel (DB Woodside, Suits, 24), has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld…can the Devil incarnate be tempted toward the side of Good, or will his original calling pull him back toward Evil? Rachael Harris, Nicholas Gonzalez and Scarlett Estevez also star. Tom Kapinos serves as writer and executive producer. Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Len Wiseman, Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson also are executive producers. Wiseman also serves as director.

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