Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fox: In the Hole

The Fox network is ending the 2014-15 season in fourth place.  Okay, it has no daytime dramas, no nightly news report (thank God for that, considering its sister cable news channel), and no programming in the 10 PM Eastern hour, and it never did produce a successful late-night talk show, so it's not a major network in comparison to the Big Three anyway.  But it was in second place not too long ago, and now it's like a wannabe upstart again.
The Fox network is sticking mostly to the tried-and-true (yes, "The Simpsons" is back yet again on Sundays - though not with Harry Shearer - and so is "Family Guy").  But it's also taking a chance with comedies in the wake of NBC fleeing sitcoms like vampires fleeing a cross (along with much more new programming in the mid-season - see below).  Speaking of which, Fox has a one-hour comedy-horror show set for Tuesdays at 9 PM Eastern called "Scream Queens," about the goings on at a college sorority house, starring Jamie Lee Curtis (I kid you not!) as a college dean, with Emma Roberts as one of the top sisters.  Before that are two other new Tuesday shows, both half-hour sitcoms - "Grandfathered," starring John Stamos as a bachelor who finds out that he has a son who also has a son, and "The Grinder," starring Rob Lowe as someone who's not a lawyer but plays one on TV . . . and goes on to leave Hollywood join his family law firm back in Boise.
If I weren't so much against watching any TV network run by Rupert Murdoch, I'd be waiting to check out the latter two.  
(Lowe, by the way, is also slated to appear in NBC's unscheduled new series "You, Me and the End of the World." I don't know how he'll do two shows simultaneously; maybe DirecTV Rob Lowe will send one of his cable-TV Rob Lowes to one of them. :-D)
Meanwhile, check this out:  "American Idol," which many thought would infest the airwaves forever, begins its last season - its fifteenth - after the first of the year.  For every good singer it discovered, like Carrie Underwood (she can't act, I am led to understand, but she can in fact sing), it discovered a bunch of non-singers who didn't even deserve fifteen seconds of fame, much less fifteen minutes of it.  A new version of "The X-Files" has a two-night premiere event following the National Football Conference championship game on January 24.  In between that game and the Super Bowl is a live performance of the musical Grease, with Fox hoping to steal some of NBC's live-musical thunder (which there wasn't much of last time around).  Julianne Hough plays Sandy, and I'm sure she'll stir things up like a hurricane.  
Also, Mindy Kaling may be gone, but Zooey Deschanel's "New Girl" will be back in January on Tuesdays with virtually uninterrupted episodes (couldn't find enough sponsors, Uncle Rupert?)   And Monday nights will feature a TV series version of the movie Minority Report.  And the good news is that Tom Cruise won't be in it.
And so, here's the Fox 2015-16 lineup, all times being Eastern, the fall lineup's new shows in boldface:
Fall 2015

Mondays

8:00 PM - "Gotham"
9:00 PM - "Minority Report"

Tuesdays

8:00 PM - "Grandfathered"
8:30 PM -  "The Grinder"
9:00 PM - "Scream Queens"

Wednesdays

8:00 PM - "Rosewood"
9:00 PM - "Empire"

Thursdays

8:00 PM - "Bones"
9:00 PM - "Sleepy Hollow"

Fridays

8:00 PM - "Masterchef Junior"
9:00 PM - "World's Funniest"

Saturdays

7:00PM - "Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football"

Sundays

7:00PM - "NFL on Fox"
7:30PM - "The OT" (NFL post-game)/ "Bob's Burgers"
8:00PM - "The Simpsons"
8:30PM - "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
9:00PM - "Family Guy"
9:30PM - "The Last Man on Earth"

Unscheduled, Mid-Season 2016:

DRAMA: "Lucifer," "The Frankenstein Code," "The X-Files" (all new)

COMEDY: "The Guide to Surviving Life," "Bordertown (animated)," "New Girl" (all but "New Girl," ironically, new shows)
REALITY: "American Idol" (January; gone, thankfully, for good by May 2016) 

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