May 16, 2011

TV Upfronts: FOX's 2011-2012 Schedule

It's FOX's turn to show everyone what they've got for the upcoming season, and at first sight the 2011-2012 does not feel dramatically different even though two-and-a-half hours are now going to The X-Factor. Since it's replacing low-rated shows, repeats, and/or reality fare, it's inclusion doesn't feel so overwhelming.

Fall Line-Up

8p-9p: Terra Nova
9p-10p: House

Initial Thoughts: I'm a little surprised that they gave Terra Nova such a plumb spot since it keeps getting pushed back, but I guess the network doesn't want to show any weakness. I for one would've teamed up Alcatraz with House to begin with, and kept TN on the bench until mid-season to give it more time to shape up. Keeping House somewhere on Monday nights makes sense though.

8p-9p: Glee
9p-9:30p: The New Girl
9:30p-10p: Raising Hope

Initial Thoughts: Tuesdays nights have become synonymous with Glee, so I'm not surprised that it is staying put. I am a little surprised that FOX is giving The New Girl the lead-out position. It makes sense that you'd want to use your biggest hit to launch new shows, but I get the feeling that FOX regrets renewing Raising Hope, thus the weaker spot on the schedule. The New Girl sounds mildly interesting, and it could work well with Glee, but I wouldn't have teamed it up with Hope (more on that later).

8p-9:30p: The X-Factor Performance Show
9:30p-10p: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Initial Thoughts: Some may be up in arms that Simon Cowell is getting even more time on FOX's schedule, but X-Factor is replacing Hell' Kitchen and Human Target on the calendar, so no big loss. Sure, FOX could have beefed up its scripted offerings, but X-Fator makes financial sense at this point. I also like how they're keeping the same nights as American Idol to cut down on confusion (now, I know Wednesdays and Thursdays will always be FOX-free). The network must really be banking on I Hate My Teenage Daughter since it got the post-Factor and Idol spots, but I would've preferred seeing it teamed up with Raising Hope since they have similar sensibilities.

8p-9p: The X-Factor Results Show
9p-10p: Bones

Initial Thoughts: Nothing to see here since Thursday nights are virtually unchanged. So much for Bones being moved to Friday nights. In all reality, Bones is still one of the few consistent hits FOX has, so shuffling it to Fridays after it's been such a solid performer never made sense to me. Does it still warrant such a high profile spot? Maybe not, but I would've been shocked if an unproven show was given such prime real estate.

8p-9p: Kitchen Nightmares
9p-10p: Fringe

Initial Thoughts: Still more of the same, which is unheard of this day and age, as FOX Fridays will be exactly the same as it is now. The combo of Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe are apparently working, so why mess with a good thing. Plus, I'm glad we avoided a Chuck vs. Fringe vs. Nikita (potentially) fiasco.

7:30p-8p: The Cleveland Show
8p-8:30p: The Simpsons
8:30p-9p: Allen Gregory
9p-9:30p: Family Guy
9:30p-10p: American Dad

Initial Thoughts: Why mess with one of the most consistent nights of television? FOX continues to offer up Animation Domination with the new addition of Allen Gregory. I shouldn't be surprised that FOX is keeping Bob's Burgers off the schedule during the fall since it was a modest performer, but at least it's a known commodity. I guess they had to figure out where to put these new cartoons, so something had to give.

Mid-Season Line-Up

8p-9p: House
9p-10p: Alcatraz

Initial Thoughts: See above. I still think Alcatraz was a safer bet for a fall premiere, but I also wonder if FOX is starting to sour on the brand that is J.J. Abrams. Undercovers was a flop, and Fringe has been an underperformer, so maybe FOX isn't convinced that Alcatraz will be the next LOST. I'm interested to see how Person of Interest will perform for CBS.

8p-9:30p: American Idol Performance Show
9:30p-10p: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Initial Thoughts: Not much to say here.

8p-9p: American Idol Results Show
9p-10p: The Finder/Bones

Initial Thoughts: I'm glad that Bones and its spin-off, The Finder, will be sharing a slot instead of being paired up. I don't know if I would have given The Finder such an important spot, but I'm guessing FOX is hoping Hart Hanson's fans will support his new show right off the bat.

7:30p-8p: The Cleveland Show
8p-8:30p: The Simpsons
8:30p-9p: Napoleon Dynamite
9p-9:30p: Family Guy
9:30p-10p: Bob's Burgers

On the Bench: Family Album, Little in Common, Touch

Initial Thoughts: Isn't it a little too late for an animated version of Napoleon Dynamite? You figured this kind of project would've happened when the movie was still relevant. Instead, this project feels stale and out of place. Apparently, no one learned from Clerks: The Animated Series.

Aside from House being moved back and forth on Monday nights, the 2011-2012 FOX schedule is kind of a snoozer, which is both good and bad. FOX has a very good grasp of what it does well, and so it has the luxury of complacency, but the lack of major buzz for new shows isn't helping either.


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