Upfronts 2015: FOX’s Schedule for Next Fall

With NBC getting a head start by announcing their fall schedule yesterday, FOX is up next, announcing their schedule early this morning. It’s been an interesting year for the network, laying claim to the biggest victory of the season with Empire. Now, FOX is looking to find another hit with these new offerings. Mind you, the network has less hours of programming than the other Big 4 networks, running from 8-10 p.m., plus they have baseball interruptions in October.

MINORITY REPORT [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: Consider this a TV sequel of the 2002 film, as opposed to a TV reboot. The series takes place 10 years after the original film, wherein pre-cog Dash (played by Stark Sands) still can’t shake his visions and his Pre-crime life; he begins to discreetly work with Detective Lara Vega (played by Meagan Good) to do what he had done before – stop crimes before they happen. Admittedly, I haven’t even seen the movie (not sure why) so my interest in the show has nothing to do with the movie at all. I legitimately am interested in seeing this. It just sounds cool even if it is slightly procedural, and kind of makes me miss Almost Human. Plus, not to kill your viewing ability, but future Washington, D.C. looks a hell of a lot like Toronto (they filmed the pilot here, so I’m assuming they’ll continue to film the series here as well).

 

GRANDFATHERED [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: John Stamos is a perpetual bachelor in this series, but is in for a real shock when he finds out he’s not only a father but yep, a grandfather. The grandfather part is clearly the twist on what we’ve seen before, where a bachelor’s life changes forever when their long-lost child pops back up in their life. It’s not completely new territory, but played right, there’s potential.

THE GRINDER [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30]: Rob Lowe plays the star of a long-running TV series, who moves back to his hometown thinking his “training” as a TV lawyer qualifies him to take over his family’s law firm. Lowe definitely showed his comedic chops on Parks and Recreation, and this character ALMOST feels like Chris Traeger, with the “can do anything” attitude. Let’s see if this is even half as good as I make it out to be.

SCREAM QUEENS [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]: It’s a horror comedy from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, aka the people who brought you Glee and American Horror Story. Naturally, the next step is this show, which if it goes on for multiple seasons, will follow the anthology footsteps of AHS. For this first season, the story involves murders on a college campus and a sorority. Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, and Abigail Breslin are among the stars. Who knows, this could be campy fun.

ROSEWOOD [Drama – Wednesdays @ 8]: Morris Chestnut plays private pathologist, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, who does autopsies for hire to uncover clues that the police can’t. He’s joined by Miami P.D. Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), in helping solve these cases. He’s optimistic, she’s a cynic, I’m bored already. I applaud the casting of POC, but how many times have we seen this type of personality mismatch-up before?

THE X-FILES [Drama – Midseason]: The truth is still out there. Mulder and Scully reunite once more in this limited series. FOX wisely is saving this six-episode run for midseason, set to premiere after the NFC Championship game (football talk, I have no idea what that means.)

THE FRANKENSTEIN CODE [Drama – Midseason]: When Ray Pritchard (Philip Baker Hall), a morally corrupt retired cop dies, he suddenly gets a second chance at life when he is brought back in a younger body (Rob Kazinsky). Now he must decide whether to continue on in his ways or do things differently and right his past wrongs. I like that it isn’t a straight-up retelling of the Frankenstein story. In this format, it will probably lean towards procedural, but I could be wrong. I am willing to give it a shot, plus Tim DeKay (Peter Burke/”Suit”, White Collar) and Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca, Greek) is in it!

THE GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE [Comedy – Midseason]: A show which looks at what happens after you graduate from college, you know, that weird transition period before becoming a real adult. If the jokes are there, this could turn out to be something. I mean, we’ve seen shows cover high school, college, and then for some reason jump to thirtysomethings and adulthood, so this could turn out well if the writing is smart.

LUCIFER [Drama – Midseason]: FOX is doubling down on comic book lore with this TV series, which sees Lucifer bored with life in Hell, and leaving his throne behind for the LA craziness. Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Rachael Harris, and DB Woodside star. As usual, I know nothing of the source material, so I’ve got nothing to go on. If I didn’t know that this was based on a comic, I would’ve thought this was a hilarious plot. Because really, the devil got bored and decides to help out the LAPD solve crimes? That sounds ridiculous to me. Again, that’s just my impression of it.

Other Notables:

  • The biggest news coming out of the schedule reveal is that American Idol will come back for one last go ’round. Yep, after 15 seasons, Idol is done. I haven’t watched Idol in ages, because frankly I got bored, but it’s a big deal that Idol is ending. I half-expected it to run on forever. You know scripted shows will end at some point, but some of these reality shows that have continued on for years, you just think they’ll keep going. I mean, when the day comes that Survivor/The Amazing Race/So You Think You Can Dance/Dancing With The Stars ends, it’ll be a big deal too.
  • Empire will continue in its Wednesdays at 9 p.m. slot, but will expand to 18 episodes, broken up into 9-episode blocks for the fall and winter. Ne-Yo has also been added as one of the songwriters for the show.
  • Sleepy Hollow moves to Thursdays at 9 p.m. It’s a tough call to make because it made sense to pair it with something genre (Almost Human and Gotham, previously) but the numbers decreased significantly this season, so FOX gave the post-Gotham spot to newbie Minority Report. They could’ve paired it with another newbie like Frankenstein, but that might be taking too much of a risk, since Sleepy is sort of a wildcard going into this third season. FOX is already banking on all new shows on Tuesdays, so pairing Sleepy with the stable Bones might be better for the network, even if they are presumably facing Shondaland Thursdays on ABC. We’ll have to see how that works out.
  • Absent from the fall schedule is New Girl, which will return midseason and still air 22 episodes.
  • The Sunday night block of Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, and The Last Man on Earth will remain as is.

Tomorrow will be ABC’s turn! In the meantime, what are your thoughts on FOX’s schedule for next season? Any new shows seem interesting? Or are you still bummed about some of their cancellations? (*cough* The Mindy Project *cough*)

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