|New / Returning|
On Monday morning, Fox became the second network to announce its schedule for 2011-12, a season in which the network will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Though some of Fox's plans are still in flux (see below), many decisions have been made:
- Fox has canceled Lie to Me, Human Target, Traffic Light, and Breaking In, as well as the season's best-reviewed new network show, The Chicago Code. First-year shows The Good Guys, Running Wilde, and Lone Star were canceled earlier in the season.
- America's Most Wanted hasn't been fully canceled, but will no longer be a regular series; instead, the 23-year-old show will appear as four, two-hour specials.
- As announced last week, House will return for an eighth and likely final season, though it will shift to 9pm in the fall.
- Not only will Bones be back for a seventh season, but a spinoff, The Finder, is also on the network's 2011-12 schedule.
- American Idol will return with a special episode on Sunday, January 22, after the NFC championship game.
- Though Bob's Burgers will return for a 13-episode second season, it will be shelved until winter to make room for another animated newcomer, Jonah Hill's Allen Gregory.
- Also among Fox's eight new programs are Simon Cowell's singing competition The X Factor (which will run in American Idol's regular timeslots, but in the fall), the J.J. Abrams-produced Alcatraz, a Zooey Deschanel comedy called The New Girl, an animated series based on Napoleon Dynamite, and the big-budget, Steven Spielberg-produced, prehistoric action-adventure Terra Nova, which was originally included on last year's schedule but was delayed.
- In a bit of a surprise given its buzz, the Spielberg-produced, Mark Romanek-directed supernatural drama Locke & Key was not picked up by the network. Neither was Exit Strategy, an Ethan Hawke action drama about the CIA, but the Antoine Fuqua-directed show is reportedly being retooled and still has a slim chance for a midseason pickup.
- It looks like one additional comedy will get picked up for midseason after some retooling: either the Rob Thomas (Party Down)-created Little in Common, starring Rob Corddry, or the Mike O'Malley comedy Family Album. Either way, that show will air in Glee's timeslot (paired with another comedy) in March when Glee would normally be in reruns. And a new Kiefer Sutherland drama, Touch, was a late arrival to development season and has yet to shoot a pilot; however, if that goes well next month, that series is very likely to grab a spot on Fox's midseason schedule.
Below, we take a closer look at Fox's projected schedule, followed by descriptions for each of the network's new programs.
Fox's primetime schedule
New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.
|SUN||The OT (NFL Postgame) *||The Cleveland Show||The Simpsons||Allen Gregory||Family Guy||American Dad|
|TUE||Glee||The New Girl||Raising Hope|
|WED||The X-Factor [90 min]||I Hate My Teenage Daughter|
|THU||The X-Factor [results]||Bones|
|SAT||Cops||Cops||reruns or America's Most Wanted **|
|SUN||reruns||The Cleveland Show||The Simpsons||Napoleon Dynamite||Family Guy||Bob's Burgers|
|TUE||Glee *||The New Girl||Raising Hope|
|WED||American Idol [90 min]||I Hate My Teenage Daughter|
|THU||American Idol||The Finder **|
|SAT||Cops||Cops||reruns / America's Most Wanted ***|
Fox's new programs
First-year series on Fox's schedule during the 2011-12 season include:
Alcatraz Watch trailer
A mysterious drama with elements of sci-fi, set on an island? It could only mean one thing: another show produced by J.J. Abrams. This time, however, we know where the island is; the mystery surrounds a group of Alcatraz prisoners and guards who have resurfaced in the present day after disappearing 30 years ago. Lost's Jorge Garcia stars alongside Sam Neill, Robert Forster, Jonny Coyne, and Sarah Jones. The show will debut in the winter.
Allen Gregory Watch trailer
One of two new animated comedies in Fox's 2011-12 lineup, Allen Gregory stars Jonah Hill (who also co-created the series and will be writing for it) as an ultra-pretentious 7-year-old (he claims to have "composed operas, written novels and dated Chloe Sevigny") who is forced to attend elementary school with regular kids. The vocal cast also includes Will Forte and French Stewart. Seven episodes were ordered.
The Finder Trailer
A spinoff from Bones set in the Florida Keys, The Finder revolves around the character of Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) -- a former Iraq War soldier with a brain-damage-induced gift for locating people and things -- introduced on the parent show's April 21st episode and based on The Locator books written by Richard Greener. Michael Clarke Duncan and Saffron Burrows will also reprise their roles from the Bones episode. The 13 episodes will run during Bones' regular timeslot in the winter.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter [tentative title] Trailer
Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) and Katie Finneran (Wonderfalls) star as mothers who are appalled to discover that their teen daughters have turned into the same type of "mean girls" that tormented them when they were high school outcasts, in a comedy from New Adventures of Old Christine writers Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer.
Napoleon Dynamite Watch trailer
This animated high school comedy about an awkward Idaho teen and his friends is based on the 2004 movie of the same name. Produced by the film's writers, Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess, along with Mike Scully (The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation), the series will feature the voices of many of the movie's stars, including Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, and Efren Ramirez. Just six episodes have been ordered, and are expected to air in early 2012.
The New Girl [tentative title] Watch trailer
Film actress and musician Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer) lands her first starring TV role as a goofy, optimistic elementary school teacher who moves in with three rowdy guys in New York. The comedy comes from screenwriter Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) with a pilot directed by Jake Kasdan. Though Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Damon Wayans Jr. were set in the roommate roles, Wayans' ABC series Happy Endings was unexpectedly picked up for a second season, so his part will be recast.
Terra Nova Watch trailer
A regular family from the year 2149 travels back in time to prehistoric earth in an effort to save the human race from an environmental catastrophe in this dinosaur-filled action-adventure produced by Steven Spielberg. Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) stars. The producers, who also include Brannon Braga (24) and René Echevarria (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Castle), have promised that despite the ongoing storyline, episodes will be mostly stand-alone in nature. The 13-episode (for now) series was originally set to be part of Fox's 2010-11 schedule, but was held back a year in order to perfect the complex special effects. (With all the money already poured into this show, don't expect a quick cancellation if ratings disappoint.)
Though not yet officially picked up -- the pilot won't even be filmed until next month -- odds are strong that this Kiefer Sutherland drama will be added to Fox's midseason schedule. Sutherland will star as the father of an autistic boy who has a gift for seeing patterns that no one else can see, which will gradually reveal a mystery that links seemingly unrelated characters across the world. The series comes from Heroes creator Tim Kring; other roles have yet to be cast.
The X Factor
Not content with merely being the star judge on American Idol, Simon Cowell departed that hit show last year to concentrate on his own singing competition series, which has actually been airing in the UK since 2004. The results arrive this fall in the form of The X Factor, which will feature Cowell and fellow Idol escapee Paula Abdul as judges, along with music producer L.A. Reid and former Girls Aloud member Cheryl Cole. Unlike in Idol, the new show will solicit groups in addition to solo artists, and judges will also serve as mentors to the contestants, who will be competing for a $5 million recording contract.