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October 10, 2015

2010 Upfronts: Fox

by Gary Susman, posted May 17th 2010 10:00AM
FoxFox plans to leverage its current hits to help launch its eight new shows. That means tweaking 'American Idol' so that there's more time afterwards for new series, moving some existing shows (like 'Glee') to 8PM slots elsewhere in order to follow them with new shows, and taking advantage of the fact that Fox has the Super Bowl this winter.

The results Fox hopes for include a solid block of comedies on Tuesday nights and a foothold for scripted dramas on Fridays during what are usually low-rated TV boneyard slots.


'American Dad,' 'American Idol,' 'America's Most Wanted,' 'Bones,' 'The Cleveland Show,' 'Cops' 'Family Guy,' 'Fringe,' 'Glee,' 'Hell's Kitchen,' 'House,' 'Human Target,' 'Kitchen Nightmares,' 'Lie to Me,' 'The Simpsons,' 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Canceled: '24,' 'Brothers,' 'Dollhouse,' 'Past Life,' 'Sons of Tucson,' ''Til Death,' 'The Wanda Sykes Show'

New: 'Bob's Burgers', 'The Good Guys,' 'Lone Star,' 'Mixed Signals,' 'Raising Hope,' 'Ride-Along,' 'Running Wilde,' 'Terra Nova'

'Bob's Burgers''Bob's Burgers' (Midseason, Sunday, 8:30PM) - Animated comedy designed for Fox's Sunday slate of 'toons. From creator Loren Bouchard ('Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist'), it's about a wacky family running a struggling burger joint. Voice cast includes H. Jon Benjamin ('Dr. Katz,' 'Archer') and Kristen Schaal ('Flight of the Conchords').

Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford in 'The Good Guys'•'The Good Guys' (Friday, 9PM) - Like 'Glee' last year, this one's getting a jump on the season by launching this spring. (in fact, it debuts this Wednesday, May 19). It's a buddy-cop dramedy, featuring Colin Hanks as a by-the-book rookie and Bradley Whitford as the boozy burnout he has to keep out of trouble. Show is the brainchild of Matt Nix ('Burn Notice').

'Lonestar''Lonestar' (Monday, 9PM) - After his guest role on Fox's '24' a couple seasons back, Jon Voight stars in his first regular TV role in this 'Dallas'-like nighttime soap about a shady swindler in the Texas oil business. Actually, the double-dealer here is newcomer James Wolk, as a guy who's living a double life, with one foot in the oil fields of Midland and the other in the boardrooms of Houston, and involved with women in both towns (one played by 'Friday Night Lights' alum Adrianne Palicki). Veteran character actor David Keith co-stars. Show comes from creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman ('Party of Five').

'Mixed Signals' (Midseason, Tuesday, 9:30PM) - A male relationship comedy from scribe Bob Fisher, who co-wrote big-screen bromance 'Wedding Crashers.' It's about three guy friends and the women who generously put up with them. The cast of relative unknowns includes Nelson Franklin, David Denman, Kris Marshall, Liza Lapira, and Alexandra Breckenridge.

'Raising Hope''Raising Hope' (Tuesday, 9PM) - Greg Garcia ('My Name Is Earl') offers another comedy about a wacky family. Here, the protagonist is played by 25-year-old newcomer Lucas Neff, as a guy who relies on his relatives (including Mom, played by Martha Plimpton) to help raise his newborn child when his baby-mama winds up on death row. The invaluable Cloris Leachman is on board as well.

'Ride-Along''Ride-Along' (Midseason, Monday, 9PM) - Shawn Ryan has left the showrunner's job at 'Lie to Me,' but he's still in business with Fox. The 'Shield' creator's latest police drama is this tale, shot on location in Chicago, featuring Jason Clarke ('Brotherhood') as a rule-breaking cop and Jennifer Beals as the Windy City's first female police chief, a woman determined to clean up the corruption in her town. (Yeah, good luck with that.) Delroy Lindo co-stars.

Will Arnett and Keri Russell in 'Running Wilde''Running Wilde' (Tuesday, 9:30PM) - 'Arrested Development' creator Mitch Hurwitz reunites with Will Arnett, who stars as a Beverly Hills narcissist (sounds like a lost member of the Bluth clan already) who falls for a social-justice-minded woman ('Felicity's' Keri Russell). Hilarious values-clash comedy ensues. Let's hope bigger ratings than 'Arrested Development' ever garnered ensue as well.

'Terra Nova' (Midseason, day and time TBD) - Steven Spielberg (who else?) produces this time-travel saga (along with 'Star Trek' vet Brannon Braga) about a family that must go back 85 million years to save humanity. Think a family-friendly 'Land of the Lost,' with much better special effects and more realistic dinosaurs.


8PM: 'House'
9PM: 'Lonestar'

8PM: 'Glee'
9:00PM: 'Raising Hope'
9:30PM: 'Running Wilde'

8PM: 'Lie to Me'
9PM: 'Hell's Kitchen'


8PM: 'Bones'
9PM: 'Fringe'

8PM: 'Human Target'
9PM: 'The Good Guys'

8:30PM: COPS
9PM: 'America's Most Wanted'


7PM: 'The OT' (NFL post-game)
8PM: 'The Simpsons'
8:30PM: 'The Cleveland Show'
9PM: 'Family Guy'
9:30PM: 'American Dad'


8PM: 'House'
9PM: 'Lonestar' / 'Ride-Along'

8PM: 'American Idol' performance show
9:30PM: 'Running Wilde' / 'Mixed Signals'

8PM: 'Raising Hope'
8:30PM: 'American Idol' results show
9PM: 'Glee'


8PM: 'Bones'
9PM: 'Fringe'

8PM: 'Human Target'
9PM: 'Kitchen Nightmares'

8:30PM: 'COPS'
9PM: 'America's Most Wanted'


7PM: 'The Simpsons' (encores)
7:30PM: 'American Dad'
8PM: 'The Simpsons'
8:30PM: 'Bob's Burgers'
9PM: 'Family Guy'
9:30PM: 'The Cleveland Show'


• In a conference call with reporters on Monday morning, Fox execs said they'll be tweaking 'American Idol' next season in response to viewer demand for more performance time and less stalling for time during results shows. That means that performance episodes will run 90 minutes and results episodes 30 minutes. Those changes also allow Fox to leverage 'Idol's' popularity to boost its new comedies, particularly 'Mixed Signals' and 'Raising Hope.' Still no word on 'Idol's' other big change: a judge to take the place of the departing Simon Cowell. Peter Rice, entertainment chairman of the Fox Networks Group, said Fox will be spending the summer looking for Simon's replacement. As for the flagging fortunes of the show this year, Rice claimed that the show's 9 percent drop in viewership was "actually pretty good" compared to other TV shows.

• 'Glee' is moving to 8PM Tuesdays just for fall, to help launch comedies 'Raising Hope' and 'Running Wilde.' The musical hit has landed the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot. After that, the winter season will see 'Glee' move back to a post-'Idol' slot on Wednesdays. In other words, Gleeks won't have to endure a four-month break in the middle of the season, like they did this year.

• The Super Bowl also will mark the shift between new Monday drama 'Lonestar' (which Fox hopes will be well-established by then) and the eagerly awaited 'Ride-Along.' 'Bob's Burgers' joins what Fox calls its Sunday "Animation Domination" line-up around the time of the big game as well.

• The low-rated 'Human Target' was on the bubble for much of this season, but Kevin Reilly, entertainment president of Fox Broadcasting, said it was renewed because it still won its time period every week. Paired with 'The Good Guys,' it'll create a tongue-in-cheek action block on Friday, a little-watched night usually reserved for cheap reality fare, not expensive scripted dramas. Since there's no more '24,' however, Fox viewers who want action will have to watch on Friday nights.

• Regarding the casts of the new shows, Reilly singled out Keri Russell in 'Running Wilde' for praise. "We ended up scoring the coup of the year with Keri Russell," he said. "Everybody was chasing her." He also wanted to spotlight newbie James Wolk, who plays the tricky lead role in 'Lonestar.' "I think [he] is going to be a huge breakout star," Reilly said.

• 'Terra Nova' may be Fox's most highly anticipated show, but there's no date for it yet because the production is so elaborate that Fox doesn't know when it'll be ready. Of the storyline, Reilly said it's a serialized drama with some mythology to it, but the episodes will work as stand-alone programs, meaning viewers don't have to have watched every episode (à la 'Lost') and can jump in at any time. Or, as Reilly put it, "This is not a highly complex, you-need-a-study-guide-to-follow-it show."

• Fox is still figuring out what will replace the canceled 'Wanda Sykes Show' on Saturday nights.

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Why doesn't Fox pick up Heroes & Flash Forward?

May 18 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Returning: 'American Dad,' 'American Idol,' 'America's Most Wanted,' 'Bones,' 'The Cleveland Show,' 'Cops' 'Family Guy,' 'Fringe,' 'Glee,' 'Hell's Kitchen,' 'House,' 'Human Target,' 'Kitchen Nightmares,' 'Lie to Me,' 'The Simpsons,' 'So You Think You Can Dance'

There was a time when I watched Fox ever day, all day. But right now the only good shows are the Simpsons, Hard Target, Lie to Me, Fringe, Bones and House. I'm over American Idol, but I can understand if others are still into it. The rest is crap.

May 18 2010 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well wish Glee was gone and that they kept Sons Of Tuscon as that one had promise. All the new stuff looks like crap wont be watching ay of that garbage. They should bring back King of the Hill and maybe futurama but the new shows all look like crap. They must have had some changes at Fox as they used to be right on now they have thesae NBC type shows that blow. I guess its good to see Glee move to its slot as that means its dying and hopefully it and american idol will be gone soon then we just have to kill damn NASCAR shows

May 18 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looks like I won't need to make much room for new Fox shows in my schedule - the only remotely interesting sounding one is Terra Nova.

May 18 2010 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, could Glee change timeslots a couple more times? Last year it was Wednesdays at 9pm, now it's Tuesdays at 9pm. In the fall, it'll be on Tuesdays at 8pm, and then move to Wednesdays at 9pm? What is up with Fox?!

I usually watch Human Target on Hulu (since it was on opposite other shows I watch) so it doesn't really matter to me what day it airs on tv, but Friday nights are where tv shows go to die... isn't it?

May 17 2010 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

am I the only one who finds switching a show's timeslot halfway through the year (even if it is announced well in advance) annoying??

May 17 2010 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm smelling a major rat with this schedule. I think they're going to be serious alterations before everything's said and done. Lonestar and Terra Nova? Are we sure these are real series?

May 17 2010 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My comment makes it sound like "Voyager" was creatively successful. Make no mistake: it wasn't.

May 17 2010 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since Star Trek: Voyager, Brannon Braga has not run a show in a creatively successful way. He gets too caught up in the concept and fails on execution. Expect Terra Nova to have the same clusterf*ck elements that FlashForward suffers from (Braga is involved in that show, too).

May 17 2010 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really bummed about Human Target on Friday this a great show. Mark Valley plays a great James Bond, the shows is fun and action packed albiet campy but that is a great part of its charm. This show has hit written all over it while none of these others do. Yet it gets put in the Friday death slot, fox will regret this in the end.

May 17 2010 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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