Upfronts 2014: FOX Reveals Fall TV Schedule

Following NBC’s scheduling announcement on Sunday, FOX has followed suit as planned with their Upfront presentation today. For all the negativity that’s been put upon them by fans for cancelling quite a number of well-liked/well-loved shows, I have learned to not be so harsh on them. Don’t get me wrong, for all the good they’ve done this season by bringing us and renewing Sleepy Hollow and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, they also brought and cancelled Almost Human and Enlisted. Lucky for FOX, I have a tremendous amount of good will towards them for the five seasons of Fringe I got. Point of the matter is, I appreciate that the network actually tries new and different shows; the new season is no exception.

GOTHAM [Drama – Mondays @ 8]: Another network, another DC show. Gotham follows a young Jim Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie), as he and his partner are tasked with solving the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne. That’s right, it’s a “Batman” show before Bruce Wayne became Batman. It’s an origin story for all the characters we know of Gotham – Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, and who knows who else will show up? It’s almost ridiculous how much I’m looking forward to this.

Gotham

HIEROGLYPH [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: It’s exactly what you think…we’re going back to ancient Egyptian times! A notorious thief is sprung out of prison to serve the pharoah and retrieve a dangerous scroll. Fantasy or shows set in ancient times tend to be hit and miss for me. The show is created and executive produced by Travis Beacham, who wrote the script for last summer’s Pacific Rim, but the selling point for me is actually the fact that Albert Kim (the former co-executive producer and writer extraordinaire of Nikita) is working on the show as well.

Hieroglyph

EMPIRE [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson head up this family drama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong which takes place at a hip-hop empire. Timbaland is also on board as the music supervisor/producer for the show, similar to T. Bone Burnett’s role during the first season of Nashville.

Empire

RED BAND SOCIETY [Drama – Wednesdays @ 9]: A group of teenagers meet in the pediatric wing of a hospital and become unlikely friends. The teenagers may be the focus but it’s the adults that are making me interested in the show, with Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable among the medical professionals at the hospital. On a network that does a lot of crazy different things, this show seems almost normal, so it’ll be interesting to see how it does. I’m certainly holding out hope for it.

Red Band Society

BORDERTOWN [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Another animated comedy from the world of Seth Macfarlene, this one revolves around a white border patrol agent and a Mexican immigrant. I honestly have never cared much for the animated comedies on FOX, so this doesn’t do much for me.

MULANEY [Comedy – Sundays @ 9:30]: The show centers on a stand-up comedian (John Mulaney) as he works towards taking his career to the next level. There are a lot of comedic talents behind the scenes of the show, which can hopefully mean only good things for it.

LAST MAN ON EARTH [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Will Forte stars in this show about two strangers who are forced to work together to save the human race. There might be some potential here, but I’ll reserve a wait and see attitude with this one.

WEIRD LONERS [Comedy – Midseason/TBA]: Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton (more Happy Endings alums!; this makes all three of the HE guys having moved on to the same network) star as two of the four titled loners, all relationship-phobic and who now form an unlikely bond. Sure it’s another Friends-like situation but you kind of have to hope for the best, especially for the people involved. Though I’m afraid I already have to worry about the show’s chances seeing as how it’s on the bench for now. Remember The Goodwin Games, also starring Becki Newton? It was essentially cancelled before it even aired, when production was cut from 13 to 7 episodes, and then it got burned off sometime last summer. Not exactly a vote of confidence you guys.

Weird Loners

BACKSTROM [Drama – Midseason/TBA]: Up for consideration this past season over at CBS, FOX picked it up instead later on. It was an unusual move, picking up a show – straight-to-series no less – in January, when the other networks were busy in development for the next pilot season. If one thing’s for sure though, FOX is thriving on being the offbeat one. Anyways, Backstrom is from Bones creator Hart Hanson and stars Rainn Wilson as a brilliant but offensive detective, who is brought back to run the Special Crimes Unit in Portland. It’s labeled a drama, but I’m sure there are strong comedic undertones, to which I say this could be a good lead-out of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (or is that too much comedy-cop hijinks?)

Backstrom

Notables/Thoughts:

  • The one-two punch of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow on Monday nights is going to be AWESOME! I mean what else can you possibly say about that?!
  • Similar to NBC’s decision to cut down its comedy Thursday, FOX has cut down its Tuesday with New Girl and The Mindy Project staying put in their respective timeslots. Leading off the night is some sort of reality show called Utopia, where 15 contestants move to an undeveloped location for one year and create their own civilization; the show airs Tuesdays @ 8 and Fridays @ 9.
  • FOX’s oh-so-reliable Hell’s Kitchen will move to Wednesdays @ 8.
  • The previously announced Gracepoint, the US adaptation of the UK’s Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Anna Gunn, will air Thursdays @ 9 after Bones.
  • The network has also decided to sort of get back to its former Sunday comedy roots by airing Brooklyn Nine-Nine (at 8:30) and the aforementioned Mulaney, in-between animated staples The Simpsons and Family Guy.
  • Glee‘s final season is being held off for midseason. It’s tentatively sitting with a full 22-episode order, but there’s a good possibility that it will get reduced.
  • American Idol looks like it’ll finally be reduced to one night a week next season. Details aren’t clear yet, but that’s what you can expect there.
  • Event series Wayward Pines, originally scheduled to air this summer, is now being pushed to next.

That’s all from FOX. For a complete description of all the new shows, head on over to Entertainment Weekly.

Tomorrow: ABC!

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