After a pretty terrible season, FOX is making quite a few changes to its fall schedule. Gone is Animation Domination, which now has a mix of animated series and live-action comedies (both single-camera and multi-camera). Mondays get a small makeover, and Tuesday is back to an hour of comedy. Bones is on the move (yes, again). Gordon Ramsay has two series on the fall lineup, and FOX tries to go big with its next reality concept in Utopia.
7 – NFL Game
730 – Bob’s Burgers
8 – The Simpsons
830 – Brooklyn Nine Nine (new night)
9 – Family Guy
930 – Mulaney (new comedy)
Analysis: Interesting idea here. Bob’s Burgers will undoubtedly have the best lead in on FOX, the NFL. Who would have guessed that scheduling move? (update: Bob’s Burgers will air in the timeslot when there is no NFL game). The Simpson’s remains at 8 o’clock, with Brooklyn Nine Nine at 830. Sorry FOX, but I think that move is a mistake. The show was weak and I don’t see people checking it out now, although I could be wrong. Family Guy returns to its 9pm timeslot, with new comedy Mulaney at 930. FOX is obviously going for an all male block here, ditching Animation Domination, so it will be interesting to see if it works. If not, FOX does have new animated series Bordertown waiting to air.
8 – Gotham (new drama)
9 – Sleepy Hollow
Analysis: FOX kicks off the night with new drama Gotham, which will air for 16 episodes. The built-in name should allow the Batman prequel to self start, so not a bad move. Sleepy Hollow shifts to 9 o’clock and will air 18 episodes. The biggest problem with this lineup is that by midseason it will need to be replaced entirely. My guess is The Following returns, but what else? I would have left Bones here just to provide a bit of stability to the night, but overall, it should do well in the fall.
8 – Utopia (new reality series)
9 – New Girl
930 – The Mindy Project
Analysis: Sigh. We all expected FOX to stick with New Girl and The Mindy Project in the 9 o’clock hour, so we can’t be mad with that scheduling move. Still though they will be airing against the NBC comedies…again. Are people really going to tune into Utopia? I think it may be one of the hardest sells of the season. If it bombs, oh well, its already part of the low-rated Tuesday lineup. If it hits though, it may bring life back to the two comedies. The other bizarre item is that it will also air on low-rated Friday, which makes me question just how well FOX thinks it will do.
8 – Hell’s Kitchen
9 – Red Band Society (new drama)
Analysis: Hell’s Kitchen is a shell of its former self, but it is still doing well on Thursdays this season. Should CBS leave Survivor in the timeslot, the two competition series will likely cannibalize each other. FOX is very high on new drama Red Band Society, and with Hell’s Kitchen as a lead in, it should at least be sampled. In the long run though, I’m not sure how it will do. I could see it settling in to Hell’s Kitchen type numbers, or falling, but a 2.0 seems unlikely.
8 – Bones (new night)
9 – Gracepoint (new drama)
Analysis: Always reliable Bones is on the move yet again, this time back to Thursday nights. With yet another move, I believe the audience will shrink yet again. On Mondays its only doing 1.5’s, so how much can be left on Thursdays, especially against the NFL? New drama Gracepoint will also struggle against the NFL and female-skewing ABC lineup.
8 – Masterchef Junior
9 – Utopia (new reality series)
Analysis: Two Ramsay series are indeed on the FOX lineup in the fall! Masterchef Junior held its own last season and returns to Friday nights. The competition is very light at 8 o’clock, so FOX should win the hour. Questionable Utopia airs at 9. As I said above, with a Tuesday/Friday airing schedule, how much faith does FOX really have in the series?
Overall grade: C