Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Fall Schedule: Fox


Just days after announcing its fall plans, Fox has issued some changes to its schedule: baseball drama Pitch will now air in the fall on Thursdays, bumping back Bones to January and moving the reboot of Prison Break to Tuesday nights.


8:00 - Gotham
9:00 - Lucifer

Fox keeps its Monday night spring lineup in tact, which may not be the worst idea considering how poorly Minority Report did last fall. Lucifer hasn't exactly lit the airwaves on fire this spring, so it'll be interesting to see how it holds up against bigger competition, like Monday Night Football.


8:00 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (New Timeslot)
8:30 - New Girl (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Scream Queens

This is the first time Brooklyn Nine-Nine, in yet another timeslot shift after being bounced out of the Sunday lineup this season, and New Girl have been paired together in over two years, and it went relatively well last time. I'm still shocked that Scream Queens managed a second season after the abysmal ratings and critical reception it received.


8:00 - Lethal Weapon (NEW)
9:00 - Empire

This pairing is jarring to me. When you have another music series ordered by the same man who created Empire, why would you not put it with Empire? Lethal Weapon doesn't really feel like a natural fit for the hip hop soap.


8:00 - Rosewood (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Pitch (NEW)

Pitch probably won't get much help from its lead-in, but airing at the same time as the World Series should provide some strong cross-marketing opportunities. Both shows do have African American leads, so perhaps they can attract some overlap in audiences.


8:00 - Hell's Kitchen (New Timeslot)
9:00 - The Exorcist (NEW)

Again, this doesn't make much sense to me. Why debut a new genre series on Friday, when you could have shifted an existing genre show (Lucifer, Scream Queens) here and put The Exorcist in a higher-profile timeslot? Expectations will be lower, sure, but when was the last time Fox successfully launched a Friday night drama? (The last show Fox premiered and aired entirely on Friday and then renewed for a second season was Dollhouse in 2009, and that wasn't really a success at all, with its second season being burned off quickly in 2010. Prior to that, the last Friday-night success was The X-Files, way back in 1993.)


7:30 - The OT / Bob's Burgers (New Timeslot)
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Son of Zorn (NEW)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth

Bob's Burgers gets shafted once again in favor of a new series, this time the animated/live-action hybrid Son of Zorn, which looks weird and quirky enough that it may work with The Simpsons.


Fox released an entire tentative midseason schedule. Which includes a hell of a lot of "bridging," which we've seen frequently from ABC. Monday nights, for example, will consist of two new dramas, 24: Legacy at 8:00 (following a premiere after the Super Bowl) and A.P.B. at 9:00, while both Gotham and Lucifer are on an extended break between the fall and spring halves of their seasons. On Tuesdsays, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl will temporarily share 8:00 to lead-in to new comedy The Mick at 8:30. New reality series Kicking & Screaming takes over at 9:00 when Scream Queens ends, followed by the reboot of Prison Break. Limited series Shots Fired goes to Wedensdays at 8:00 when Empire returns with the back-half of its third season; prior to that, Lee Daniels' new music series Star airs at 9:00, paired with the remaining episodes of Lethal Weapon. Bones finishes its 12-episode order on Thursdays at 9:00, with Rosewood staying at 8:00. Masterchef Junior returns to Fridays at 8:00, while Sleepy Hollow's fourth season moves back an hour to Fridays at 9:00. The Sunday lineup for midseason remains the same, except Son of Zorn vacates the 8:30 slot to make way for another new comedy, Making History. Also slated for midseason but without any announced plans is a new cooking show, My Kitchen Rules. In October, Fox will also air the film remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The midseason schedule is hugely ambitious, with the majority of Fox's new shows premiering then. Mondays will be completely new for a time, and that's got to be scary for them, because, despite some name recognition for 24: Legacy, there's no guarantee people will want to come back and watch a whole new show only somewhat-related to the original.

There are also a bunch of missed opportunities here, like pairing Lucifer and Sleepy Hollow on Fridays (taking pressure off the former and possibly giving a boost to the latter, not to mention freeing up a timeslot so a new drama wouldn't have to premiere on Fridays). Star and Empire seem tailor-made for each other, but they're not paired together, either. For a lot of these shows, it feels like Fox is betting a lot on names and hoping that they're enough to get eyes on television sets: Lethal Weapon, Prison Break, The Exorcist, and 24: Legacy are all recognizable titles (and Star is from a recognizable name in Lee Daniels), but this past season proved that doesn't always matter to audiences. Minority Report and Rush Hour both bombed this past season, yet Fox (and other networks) are betting hard that popular films will somehow equate to popular television shows. The Heroes sequel didn't do too well on NBC, but Fox used the same idea to resurrect one of their hits from the same time in Prison Break. It's all very confusing to me, but I suppose Fox is just trying to find something, anything that will stick in its first season post-American Idol, when they have 40+ hours of additional programming to create.

Read descriptions of Fox's new shows after the jump.


Son of Zorn - Featuring the voice of Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth, Horrible Bosses, We're the Millers), Son of Zorn is a new hybrid live-action/animated comedy about an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean – where everything and everyone is animated – who returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. Zorn (Sudeikis), the Defender of Zephyria, Conqueror of the tribes of Agon, decapitator of the dark herdsmen of Grith, has fought in countless epic battles throughout his life, but may find the greatest challenge of all when travels back to suburbia to reconnect with his family. Once there, Zorn finds himself estranged from his son, Alangulon or just “Alan” (Johnny Pemberton, 21 Jump Street), a 17-year-old with a mellow, P.C. attitude; and Alan’s mother, Zorn’s ex-wife, Edie (Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm), a former wild child now living the life of an upper middle class mom. Zorn’s efforts to win them back are complicated by the fact that Edie is now engaged to Craig (Tim Meadows, Saturday Night Live), an online psychology professor and a stable presence in their lives. Nevertheless, to be a good dad, Zorn commits to remaining in Orange County for the long haul, renting an apartment and even working in the exciting field of industrial soap sales under his boss, Linda (Artemis Pebdani, Scandal, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who likes his passion, but just wants him to rein it in at the office. As he adjusts to life in the suburbs, Zorn is the classic fish out of water, navigating his way through fatherhood, divorce and a boring office job. Sure, as an overlord of pain, he defeated glombeasts, wolf-bats and bloodthirsty arachnobots, but now he’ll go toe-to-toe with a new set of enemies: meter maids, dress codes and the DMV.

Making History - Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street), and written by Julius “Goldy” Sharpe (The Grinder, Family Guy), the new comedy Making History follows 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 shows in one, it’s both a rollicking historical adventure and a contemporary comedy about love, friendship and trying to fit in to an increasingly complex and impersonal world. Dan Chambers (Adam Pally, The Mindy Project, Happy Endings), a computer science professor at a small Massachusetts college, recently discovered time travel and has been transporting himself back to the 1700s to spend time with the colonial woman he’s fallen for. In the present, Dan is an unpopular nerd. But by claiming song lyrics, lines from movies and stand-up bits as his own in the 18th century, he’s absolutely hilarious – he gets the girl and makes friends. But Dan’s actions in the past are messing up the present. That woman he’s dating is not just any woman. She’s Paul Revere’s daughter, Deborah (Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl), and Dan’s meddling in the past causes her father to delay his famous ride, which may have altered the outcome of the entire American Revolution. To set matters right, Dan enlists the help of his colleague, Chris Parish (Yassir Lester, Girls, Key & Peele), a brilliant, polished and popular history professor, who’s now given the incredible opportunity to actually live the history he teaches. Can Dan, Chris and Deborah save America as we know it? Can a woman from 1775 adapt to life in 2016? Can the three intrepid time travelers improve the past, help the helpless, fight for justice and get rich?

The Mick -  is a no-holds-barred single-camera comedy that gives new meaning to the phrase “dysfunctional family.” Mackenzie aka “Mickey” (Kaitlin Olson, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is a brash, two-bit hustler from Rhode Island who has spent her entire life shirking any semblance of responsibility. Lacking any drive, but in constant search of the next easy payday, Mickey is not without her charms. She’s smart, she’s fun, and despite all appearances, her head’s always in the game. She just needs a big win. That win kinda, sorta comes true when, looking for a handout, Mickey visits her estranged sister and billionaire brother-in-law in Greenwich, CT, but gets more than she bargained for, as this absurdly rich couple flees the country to escape federal fraud charges. In a surprising turn of events, Mickey must assume guardianship of their three high-maintenance and ill-parented children: Sabrina (Sofia Black D’Elia, The Messengers, Gossip Girl), an ambitious, 18-going-on-30-year-old who is a worthy adversary to Mickey; Chip (Thomas Barbusca, The New Normal, Grey’s Anatomy), 13, an arrogant, entitled neo-con-in-the-making with an extremely punchable face; and Ben (newcomer Jack Stanton), seven, an adorably fragile nerd. The life that Mickey has wanted for so long now is within her reach – the mansion, the convertible, the swimming pool, the walk-in closet full of designer clothes. But as Mickey is well aware, nothing in life is free. The price? Transforming these outrageously spoiled children into honest, hard-working, decent members of society – something this foul-mouthed, debaucherous and completely out-of-her-element woman knows absolutely nothing about. Being a mother was never in Mickey’s game plan, but these kids desperately need a parent. And as irresponsible as Mickey has been her entire life, she may discover that responsibility and motherhood aren’t the buzzkill she always thought they would be.


The Exorcist - Widely regarded as the greatest horror movie ever made, The Exorcist broke box office records and terrified audiences around the world. Now, more than four decades after the Academy Award-nominated film, it returns as a TV series. Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), The Exorcist is a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera, Sense8, The Chosen) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small but loyal parish in the suburbs of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, another priest finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels, Flesh and Bone, House of Cards) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his sacred mission. Caught in the middle is the Rance family, members of Tomas’ parish. On the surface, they’re a normal, suburban family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, Henry Rance (guest star Alan Ruck, Spin City, Ferris Bueller's Day Off), is slowly but surely losing his mind. Eldest daughter Katherine (Brianne Howey, Scream Queens) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room. Her younger sister, Casey (Hannah Kasulka, The Fosters) thinks she’s hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother Angela (Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis, Commander in Chief, Thelma & Louise) has been plagued by recurring nightmares, each more frightening than the last. Angela believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the na├»ve young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the only hope against an evil force that has been mobilizing for centuries.

Lethal Weapon - Combining action and drama with friendship and humor, Lethal Weapon reboots the hit movie franchise, as it follows classic cop duo Riggs and Murtaugh, who are working a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. Grief-stricken after the loss of his young wife and unborn child, ex-Navy SEAL-turned-detective Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford, Rectify) moves to California to “start over” at the LAPD. He’s paired up with Roger Murtaugh (Emmy Award nominee Damon Wayans, Sr., My Wife and Kids, In Living Color), who’s just coming back to the job after a near-fatal heart attack. Riggs’ penchant for diving headfirst into the line of fire immediately clashes with Murtaugh’s prudent, by-the-book technique. It’s clear from the moment they meet, this partnership could be lethal. But during their first case together, Riggs drags Murtaugh on a high-speed chase culminating inside the Long Beach Grand Prix and into a seaport shootout with drug dealers – and despite his protests, the older cop feels more alive than he has in years. Meanwhile, Riggs gets a glimpse of why Murtaugh is so determined to get home safely at the end of each day – he’s got a family and a newborn baby of his own. By the time their investigation ends, Riggs realizes he may have found something worth living for – a partner and friend like Murtaugh. And even Murtaugh figures this arrangement might just work out after all. If only Riggs doesn’t get them killed first…

24: Legacy - The clock ticks again with 24: Legacy, the next evolution of the Emmy Award-winning 24. From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24: Live Another Day), Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 24), writers and executive producers Manny Coto and Evan Katz (24, 24: Live Another Day), director and executive producer Stephen Hopkins (24) and executive producer and original series star Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Legacy chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil – in the same real-time format that has propelled this genre-defining series. Six months ago in Yemen, an elite squad of U.S. Army Rangers, led by Sergeant Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins, Straight Outta Compton), killed terrorist leader Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. In the aftermath, Bin-Khalid’s followers declared a fatwah against Carter, his squad and their families, forcing them into federal witness protection. But a recent attempt on Carter’s own life makes it clear to him that his team is now exposed. To thwart further attacks, Carter enlists Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto, Homeland), who quarterbacked the raid that killed Bin-Khalid. She’s a brilliant and ambitious intelligence officer who has stepped down from her post as National Director of CTU to support her husband, Senator John Donovan (Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jimmy Smits, NYPD Blue, The West Wing), in his campaign for President of the United States. Decades of sleepless nights and missed anniversaries landed her at the top. With the White House within their grasp, can she truly embrace a new role as First Lady? Or will her love of the action draw her back in? Together, in this fast-paced thrill ride, Carter and Ingram uncover a sophisticated terrorist network that will force them to ask: “Who can we trust?” As they battle Bin-Khalid’s devotees, they are forced to confront their own identities, families and pasts.

APB - Police work isn’t rocket science. It’s harder. Inspired by true events, APB is a new police drama with a high-tech twist from executive producer/director Len Wiseman (Lucifer, Underworld) and executive producer/writer Matt Nix (Burn Notice). Sky-high crime, officer-involved shootings, cover-ups and corruption: the over-extended and under-funded Chicago Police Department is spiraling out of control. Enter billionaire engineer Gideon Reves (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk, Tyrant, Weeds). After his best friend is murdered in a botched attempted robbery, and the killer remains at large, Gideon demands justice. Putting up millions of dollars of his own money, he makes an unprecedented deal to take over the troubled 13th District – and reboot it as a private police force: better, faster and smarter than anything seen before. With cutting-edge technology created by Gideon himself, this eccentric yet brilliant outsider challenges the city’s police force to rethink everything about the way they fight crime. But the near-overnight transition to the city’s most advanced police district doesn’t sit well with all of its members. Gideon knows if he’s going to change anything, he needs an ally, whom he finds in Officer Theresa Murphy (Natalie Martinez, Kingdom, Under the Dome), an ambitious, street-smart cop who is ready to embrace Gideon’s technological changes. With the help of Gideon’s gifted tech officer, Ada Hamilton (Caitlin Stasey Reign), he and Murphy embark on a mission to turn the 13th District – including a skeptical Sgt. Ned Conrad (Ernie Hudson, Grace and Frankie, Ghostbusters), and determined Officers Nicholas Brandt (Taylor Handley, Vegas, Southland) and Tasha Goss (Tamberla Perry, Boss) – into a dedicated crime-fighting force of the 21st century.

Pitch - From executive producers Dan Fogelman (Cars, Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Rick Singer (Younger, American Dad), Pitch is the dramatic and inspirational story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. A beautiful, tough and gifted athlete, Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury, Under the Dome) is vaulted into instant fame when she’s called up by the San Diego Padres to make her Major League debut. Like any rookie, Ginny must prove herself to her teammates. Foremost among them is Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Franklin & Bash, NYPD Blue), the team’s ruggedly handsome star catcher. There’s instant chemistry between them, although neither dares admit it. After all, Mike is captain of the team and a few of his players don’t even want Ginny on the field. One of the players watching Ginny’s back is center fielder Blip Sanders (Mo McRae, Sons of Anarchy), an old friend from the minor leagues. Guiding her is her agent/confidante Amelia Slater (Ali Larter, Legends, Heroes). Amelia saw Ginny’s star potential early on and left her previous job as a Hollywood publicist to concentrate on the young phenom. Although groomed for this moment by her demanding father, Bill Baker (guest star Michael Beach, Sons of Anarchy), the end of Ginny’s improbable journey is the beginning of an almost impossible one: representing her gender as she embarks on a successful baseball career under the glare of the white-hot media spotlight. It’s a goal hard enough for anyone to achieve – except this player is also a woman, who happens to be the most important historical figure in sports since Jackie Robinson. This season, Ginny Baker will be the other woman trying to break into one of the oldest, most exclusive men’s clubs in the country.

Star - Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lee Daniels, creator and executive producer of broadcast’s No. 1 series, Empire, partners with Tom Donaghy (The Whole Truth) to pull back the curtain on music’s gritty and dark reality in Star. Featuring a soundtrack of original music and stunning music performances, Star follows three talented singers, desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. Meet Star (newcomer Jude Demorest), a tough-as-nails young woman, who came up in the foster care system and decides one day to take control of her destiny. Star tracks down her sister, Simone (newcomer Brittany O’Grady), and her Instagram bestie, Alexandra (newcomer Ryan Destiny), and together, the trio journeys to Atlanta to become music superstars. Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah (Bessie, Bringing Down The House) plays Carlotta, a surrogate mother to the young crew. Emmy Award nominee Benjamin Bratt (24: Live Another Day, Law & Order) rounds out the cast as Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent agent looking to revitalize his career, who’s taken a certain shining to Star. The series will also feature guest star and Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz (Lee Daniels' The Butler, The Hunger Games). Reality soon dawns on the girls’ fantasies, and they start to learn that ambition often comes at a cost. And sometimes that cost is too high.

Prison Break -  is back and ready for its biggest escape yet. In the thrilling new event series Prison Break, original series stars Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar and Paul Adelstein are reunited for an all-new adventure spanning the globe and featuring the signature thrills and cliffhangers that were hallmarks of the original series when it aired on FOX from 2005-2009. The original action drama centered on Michael Scofield (Miller, The Flash), a young man determined to save his convicted brother, Lincoln (Purcell, DC's Legends of Tomorrow), from death row by hatching an elaborate plan to escape from prison. In the all-new event series, filmed on location in Morocco, clues surface that suggest a previously thought-to-be-dead Michael may be alive. Lincoln and Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies, Colony, The Walking Dead), Michael’s wife until he was assumed dead, reunite to engineer the series’ biggest escape ever, as three of Fox River State Penitentiary’s most notorious escapees, Sucre (Nolasco, Telenovela), T-Bag (Knepper, Heroes) and C-Note (Dunbar, The Mentalist), are pulled back into the action. Prison Break was an immediate critical and ratings hit when it premiered on FOX in the fall of 2005, garnering Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama (Miller). The original producing team, including series creator Paul T. Scheuring, Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein and Dawn Olmstead, will return to executive-produce the new series, with Scheuring serving as showrunner/writer.

Shots Fired - Examining the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small Southern town, Shots Fired is a dramatic new event series that is a “why done it?” and a “who done it?” From Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, The Secret Life of Bees, Love & Basketball) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious), the 10-hour event series is an explosive look at the criminal justice system. When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside-down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, re-opening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. Leading the Department of Justice’s inquiry into these shootings is seasoned investigator Ashe Akino (Sanaa Lathan, The Perfect Guy) and a young Special Prosecutor, Preston Terry (Stephan James, Race, Selma), both of whom are African-American. As they start to pull back the layers of both cases, they suspect a cover-up that may involve some of the state’s most powerful people, including fiercely political North Carolina Governor Patricia Eamons (Academy-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets, The Sessions). She’s in a tough re-election fight, and the recent shootings in her state are making it even tougher. Meanwhile, real estate mogul and owner of a privatized prison Arlen Cox (Academy- and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, The Goodbye Girl, Jaws, Madoff), is pulled into the case, as Lt. Eric Breeland (Stephen Moyer, True Blood, The Bastard Executioner), a seasoned veteran in the town’s Sheriff’s Department, gets caught in the middle of the investigation. Shots Fired tackles the racial divide from all perspectives. As Ashe and Preston navigate the media attention, public debate and social unrest that come with such volatile cases, they learn that everybody has a story, and that the truth is rarely black and white.


Kicking & Screaming - is a new competition series that teams 10 expert survivalists with pampered partners to face the toughest challenges of their lives. From executive producer Matt Kunitz (Wipeout, Fear Factor), in association with Lionsgate Television, and hosted by Hannah Simone (New Girl), the series drops these unlikely duos into a tropical jungle in Fiji, where they must overcome dangerous animals, raging rivers, hunger and extreme weather. While these no-nonsense survivalists are accustomed to fending for themselves, there’s one thing for which none of their previous expeditions have prepared them: their nature-phobic partners, who think “glamping” is roughing it. To win the competition, and a cash prize of $500,000, the experts will have to drag their partners, Kicking & Screaming, to the finish line.

My Kitchen Rules - The No. 1 show in Australia for five years running is coming to FOX. The unscripted cooking series will pit celebrity duos against each other as they cook and critique each other’s food, in Hollywood homes. The teams will take turns hosting intimate dinner parties with a menu designed to impress their rival competitors and two professional chef judges, Curtis Stone (Top Chef Masters) and Cat Cora (Iron Chef America). Celebrities featured on the series include Lance Bass, Brandy & Ray J, Andrew Dice Clay, Brandi Glanville and Naomi Judd. With escalating rounds of competition, the celebrity duo with the lowest score at the end of each round will be eliminated. The last two teams standing will battle it out in the final round for a pressure-cooker evening during which they will prepare and present their ultimate dining menu. In the end, only one team will survive the heat, the drama and the right to claim My Kitchen Rules.

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