Last week, the networks revealed and previewed their fall schedules in what’s called “the upfronts.” Here is a look at Fox’s slate.
Fox is really going with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude for its upcoming season. The new dramas they greenlit are primarily dramas that will fit in quite nicely with hits like 24, Bones and Prison Break. Not that I’m complaining, since I love all three of those shows. Fox did have a few surprises up it’s sleeve however. Well not a few, but one big one: the midseason return of The Loop, one of the big surprise renewals of the season. They are also giving the scripted sitcom a whirl, with the inclusion of two new comedies, one of which looks promising, the other of which does not (and both of which will get crushed on Thursdays at 8:00).
Animation Domination will continue as Sundays will be a safe haven for Fox’s animated hits. For much of the fall the 7 – 8 hour will be allotted for football game overruns, and/or comedy reruns. After that, we’ll get the 18th (!) season of The Simpsons. You realize that if The Simpsons actually aged, Maggie would be the hottest piece of legal tail this side of the Olsens. Except a cartoon. The two worst shows on the lineup (making this a so-so night until King of the Hill comes back in January at 7:30 pm), American Dad and The War at Home are switching timeslots to 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm respectively. Personally, I think that a) people should stop hiring Michael Rappaport because his show is so bad it’s actually insulting, and b) Fox should cancel American Dad because although that show has its moments, I think this attention to it has taken away from The Family Guy (9:00 pm). After Family Guy, was miractualously saved from a lifetime of AdultSwim reruns and brought back to Fox, it has yet to live up the promise of its earlier episodes. And thanks to a South Park parody this season, I can’t watch it without laughing AT it. Damn you, Cartman!
Please don’t go… Please don’t go… Don’t GOOOOO… I’m begging you to stay
Mondays are one of those nights that Fox is really playing with in the Fall/Winter season changes. Like last year, they are going to give Prison Break, a jump on the competition by premiering it in the late summer, a great idea because I need to find out if Dr. Sara Tencredi really OD’d or not (word on the street, and by street I mean my cubicle, is that she was supposed to die, but Fox higher-ups want her to have a last minute reprieve and live on…I never thought I’d say this but… Thank you Rupert Murdoch). At 9:00 pm, Fox will premiere another serialized mystery with Vanished. The trailer of this show leans on a lot of borrowed material from both 24 and the ccccccraptacular Da Vinci Code. The story centers around the year long search for a senator’s (John Allen Nelson, President Logan’s scapegoat, Walt Cummings, in this past season of 24) wife who has gone missing. The team that is searching for her is led by Gale Harold of Queer as Folk fame and includes Noxzema girl (and Dylan McKay slain wife) Rebecca Gayheart and Ming Na (I. Hate. Mulan.). The words “centuries old mystery” were strewn about, and I think it would’ve played a lot better before 34,724,370,283 billion people either saw or read The Da Vinci Code. All that being said, Fox seems to be riding high on this show, which means very little, but might equal an early season viewing.
Oddly, in the winter both of these shows disappear off the schedule. Prison Break had this happen to it (for 4 months) this year and for better or worse was just fine. I’m wondering about what will happen to Vanished if Fox does end up with a hit on their hands. Regardless, Vanished is gone from at least the 9:00 pm timeslot to make way for Jack Bauer and company on 24. Let’s just hope that the rumors are false that the next season will kickoff on the next hour right after this season ends because I’m pretty sure that it would take about a season and a half for Jack to get to China on the freight ship. Anchoring the evening will be Standoff, (which will premiere in the fall Tuesdays at 8 PM) starring Ron Livingston, aka Berger from Sex in the City (a show I honestly never watched, except for the episode after Berger breaks up with Carrie on a PostIt note. Genius!). The show is basically about a team of hostage negotiators who are all sleeping together. Think Grey’s Anatomy meets Bones. The cast is pretty good (it also includes Gina Torres and Rosemarie DeWitt), and the promo looks fun (if not familiar), so it sounds like it’s worth a look.
In the fall Standoff will show at 8:00 pm, moving to Mondays at 8:00 PM in the winter, if it makes it that far. Followed by the #1 show on television that I have to make room for on my DVR, House. Tuesdays at 9:00 are just a really bad time for me, and don’t look like they are getting any better. But House is supposedly coming off of an even better sophomore year, and I need to catch up on DVD this summer. Tell me if I’m wrong!
In the winter, a little show called American Idol will be returning to the schedule at 8:00 pm, making karaoke fans across the country go into seizures (I’m not making fun – I’m the first one to make sure I don’t swallow my own tongue). It will be interesting to see how, if at all, this year’s show will affect next season’s performances. The early ousting of gay-hating Mandisa, the upset that was Chris Daughtry (tear), the inclusion of Bucky Convington on national television. I’m personally not a huge fan of either Katharine McPhee (Kanye West looks downright modest compared to her) or Taylor Hicks (S.I.P. – Elliot Yamin), so I wonder if people may possibly become even slightly disenchanted with the show after this season? I mean, come on, Taylor Hicks as the American Idol? At the very least, Simon is going to be sipping Paula’s cup o’fun next season. House stays put at 9:00 pm.
Justice starring Victor Garber and his enormous ears.
Bones will lead off the evening in the fall, hopefully riding high off a pretty interesting season finale (Bones’ father is… ALIVE!?!?!). I’m not a big fan of procedurals, but this one is a little quirky, and the introduction of a long term story arc has piqued my interest. Not to mention that I am contractually obligated to watch anything by a former member of the Buffy/Angel-verse. At 9:00 pm, the new show, Justice, about a team of high(yawn)priced lawyers shows only slight promise because of Victor Garber (Daddy Bristow on Alias – tear) and Kerr Smith – who reminds me of a younger, saner, more Top Gun-Centric Tom Cruise (wait… is that a compliment?). If Kerr Smith and Tom Cruise’s name together means something to you, that’s because he was Jack on Dawson’s Creek, which starred Katie Holmes, who is currently having sex with Tom Cruise. AHH Six Degrees of Tom Cruise’s penis! This show will sink or swim based on quality (Jerry Bruckheimer produced it – which means pretty to look at but probably emotionally vacuous) and cast chemistry.
Again all bets are off this Winter, with the incoming American Idol Results show (snoooore – anyone else miss Brain Dunkleman? Seriously.) at 9:00 pm. Justice will be moved to 8:00 pm (Bones is off to Fridays at 8:00 pm). But the real news here is the return of The Loop. The show was all but forgotten after lackluster ratings this spring, but I loooooved it! It’s now getting the plum post-American Idol time slot at 9:30 in the hopes of being the first successful live action sitcom that Fox has launched since That 70’s Show premiered in 1998. The show is being tweaked a little to focus more on the workplace antics that Sam (Brett Harrison, memorable for his performance as Danny, the guy with the BIG humor in season 2 of The O.C.), a fresh out of college Airline executive who got hired based solely on his thesis paper, gets into at work. The workplace cast is way better than the at home cast that bogged down the show this season, with Mimi Rogers and Philip Baker Hall as Sam’s bosses. Please watch.
Speaking of Fox sitcoms, the network is premiering two in the no-longer-as-competitive-as-it-used-to-be 8:00 – 9:00 pm timeslot. First up is Til Death, starring Eddie Kaye Thomas (FINCH) and Kat Foster as newlyweds who think marriage is fun until they move next door to long married soul crushers Brad Garrett and Joely Fischer. Sounds a little like Married… with Children, and that’s not a bad thing. Executed properly, I think this could be pretty good. At the upfronts last week, it seems Brad Garrett took to the stage and made an ass out of himself, making fun of everyone from Fox itself to CBS to poor drugged out Paula Abdul who was in the audience. It seemed to backlash as he was met with crickets. Insert Everyone Loves Raymond joke here. At 8:30 pm, Happy Hour premieres about a bunch of twentysomethings who are trying to balance work and play. It stars a bunch of nobodies and although I look forward to a show of this kind to be done well, early word is that Happy Hour is not that show. At 9:00 pm The O.C. returns, and while the season finale (please see the J-Unit and B-side clipgasm posted last week to further understand – hysterical), and the full-time return of creator Josh Schwartz left me with some hope, this is really the last shot this show has at winning me back. In the meantime, it will (continue) to struggle in the ratings up against CSI, Supernatural, and the newly replanted Grey’s Anatomy (which I’m pretty sure has many of the same viewers as The O.C.). The schedule remains the same in the winter.
Usually, I have very little interest in Friday Night programming, which is a shame because sometimes over the weekend it’s noice to have a fresh episode of something to watch on my DVR. In the fall, Fox will continue its attempts to completely ruin the family unit across the country with the reality liferuiners shows Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.
In the winter, Bones will get transplanted to Fridays at 8:00, and I think it will do pretty well there. It won’t be helped, however, by the midseason premier of The Wedding Album, starring the Carver himself, Bruno Campos, as a sought after wedding photographer who, get this, can’t settle down himself! Only noteworthy for co-starring my favorite ex-America’s Next Top Model, Eva Pigford.
For literally the 21084393880398 season, an hour of Cops will be followed at 9:00 pm by America’s Most Wanted.