FOX is a fun network to program. Not only do you not have to worry about the 10 pm hour (local news), but their big reality properties (X-Factor and American Idol) suck down most of the oxygen in the room and big chunks of the primetime schedule. Couple that with an animation block on Sunday nights that has been largely unchanged for years and a slate of returning and renewed shows that have been solid for awhile, and there isn’t a ton at stake in terms of new show development.
8 pm – House: I’m not going to say that House doesn’t have issues. I’ve read that Hugh Laurie and Olivia Wilde are the only two actors under contract, and that the studio has yet to negotiate a distribution deal with FOX for a new season. I stopped watching House this season, so I have no idea if its good any more or not. However, it’s an established show, and it’s something that FOX can launch something new behind.
9 pm – Exit Strategy: An Ethan Hawke vehicle about CIA agents who go in and fix operations that go bad. It’s from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the guys behind Lost, Star Trek, Transformers… they’re kind of hot right now), and I just feel like it works on Mondays.
8 pm – X-Factor: So apparently Simon Cowell has a new show on FOX. I know, I hadn’t heard anything about it either. Well it’s like Idol, except in the places it’s not. Unless The Voice knee-capped it worse than anyone is predicting, and unless America doesn’t like Simon nearly as much as the network suits seem to think we do, this should be huge. (Idol gets this slot at mid-season).
9 pm – Terra Nova: Alright, this is a risk on my part, but I’m doing it anyway. In case you haven’t heard, Terra Nova is the show from Steven Spielberg that is best described as “Swiss Family Robinson with dinosaurs.” FOX has spent a fuck-ton of money developing it… and by all accounts, it’s kind of a mess. It was supposed to be on the 10-11 schedule (twice!) and got pushed both times, and that’s never a good sign. Still, for Kevin Reilly to have any chance of keeping “greenlit the next Waterworld” off his list of accomplishments, they’ve got to get it on the air before much longer, and it makes sense to stick it behind the show that should get the most eyeballs this fall.
8 pm – Glee: There’s always a chance that X-Factor goes here, and Glee remains to anchor Tuesday nights, but I think this is a move that has to happen.
9 pm – Little in Common: A comedy from Dan Etheridge and Rob Thomas (Party Down) about three families uniting through their kids’ little league sports. Yes I’m sending it into the teeth of Modern Family, but I think there’s a chance that show moves off this slot.
9:30 pm – Raising Hope: Not a show that I watch, but I hear that it’s decent. I don’t think its strong enough to lead into something new, so I’ll put it here.
8 pm – Bones: Not a show that I watch regularly, but a show that I’ve enjoyed on the occasions that I’ve caught it. I have a vast reservoir of good-will towards David Borneaz from his Angel days.
9 pm – Alcatraz: I’m really hesitant to put this new show here, because Thursday’s at 9 is an absolute killer… but CSI and Grey’s are both getting long in the tooth, and I think FOX goes for the jugular by rolling out one of the best properties it has in development. Alcatraz is from J.J. Abrams who (despite the turd that was Undercovers) is one of the reigning show-runner kings of television. I don’t know much about the show, but it has a sci-fi flavor, with some prisoners and guards on Alcatraz disappearing 30 years ago, and reappearing in modern times.
8 pm – So I originally had Chicago Code here. Then, last night, FOX up and cancels it, which is damn shame because I thought this had the chance to grow into a really solid show. So, without much other choice, I guess I’ll say that this is where you see Lie to Me end up, since I assume FOX now renews it (last show standing out of the Chicago Code, Human Target, Lie to Me troika). Lie to Me is like the Jerry Hariston Jr. of this network. He can play any position in the field, and he has a .260 bat with no pop. He won’t kill you, but no one is buying his jersey either.
(Edit: So in the time since I updated this last night to reflect the Chicago Code cancellation, FOX went ahead and canceled Lie to Me as well. Not a great day for bubble shows at FOX. I guess I’ll go with the Bones spin-off The Finder to start things off on Fridays.)
9 pm – Fringe: One of the best sci-fi shows on tv has done ok numbers here, so I don’t think they move it.
7:30 pm – American Dad
8 pm –Simpsons
8:30 pm – Bob’s Burgers
9 pm – Family Guy
9:30 pm – Cleveland Show
I don’t have much to say about the FOX Sunday night animation lineup. These shows are on, and I guess people like them. I don’t regularly watch any of them.