Upfronts: Fox's New Shows and 2015-16 Schedule

  • Publish Date: May 11, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Updated 5/14

Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York continues with a look at Fox's plans for the 2015-16 season. We'll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week. See more upfronts coverage...


Highlights and notes

  • American Idol will end after next season, its 15th. The current judges will return for the final season, which will likely see some appearances from past judges as well.
  • Fox's first-year hit Empire will return in the fall (with the first half of its 18 episodes) along with most of the network's returning shows, though New Girl will be held back until 2016. Many of Fox's drama seasons, like Empire's, will be split into fall and winter halves.
  • Empire's expanded second season will feature music by Ne-Yo and guest appearances by Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Alicia Keys.
  • The network's four new dramas include an adaptation of the film Minority Report, the DC Comics tale Lucifer, and a reimagining of Frankenstein as a modern-day cop show.
  • Fox will also launch four new comedies next season, including the animated series Bordertown (delayed from last season) and shows starring Rob Lowe, John Stamos, and Fred Savage.
  • The network will also launch a horror/comedy anthology series from Ryan Murphy called Scream Queens.
  • Five of those new shows will launch this fall (including on an all-new Tuesday night), and every night of the week will see at least one change, with the exception of Sundays.
  • As previously announced, the X-Files is being revived as a miniseries, with much of the original cast and crew returning. Fox will launch the series in the high-profile post-NFC Championship Game slot on Sunday, January 24.
  • Much like NBC, Fox is also getting into the live musical game, with a production of Grease airing on January 31.
  • Left out of Fox's 2015-16 announcement was House creator David Shore's new series Houdini and Doyle, to which the network had given a 10-episode order. That series will now presumably air in a later season, if at all.
  • Fox executives revealed that 24 could return once more in the future, though development is still "very early in the process."

Renewed and canceled

With most of the decisions already made last week, today's only announcements were the renewal of American Idol, Hell's Kitchen, and World's Funniest Fails (now titled World's Funniest) and the cancellation of Weird Loners. The network also confirmed that Mulaney has been canceled.

Scripted shows are in bold below.

Renewed   Canceled or Ended   Fate Uncertain
American Idol
Bob's Burgers
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Family Guy
Hell's Kitchen
The Last Man on Earth
MasterChef Junior
New Girl
The Simpsons
Sleepy Hollow
World's Funniest Fails
The Following
Hieroglyph **
The Mindy Project
Red Band Society
Weird Loners
  Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader*
Golan the Insatiable*

Home Free*
So You Think You Can Dance*
Wayward Pines*

* Season debuts this summer; status will be determined after show airs.
** Canceled without airing any episodes.

Fox's 2015-16 primetime schedule

New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.

Fox Fall 2015 Schedule
  7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
SUN (NFL) Bob's Burgers ** The Simpsons Brooklyn
Family Guy The Last Man on Earth
MON   Gotham Minority Report
TUE   Grandfathered The Grinder Scream Queens
WED   Rosewood Empire
THU   Bones Sleepy Hollow *
FRI   MasterChef Junior * World's Funniest *
SAT Fox Sports Saturday (College Football)

* New day and/or time
** Bob's Burgers will be preempted by Fox's NFL post-game report on days when the network has a later game.

Midseason debuts that do not yet have a day/time:
Bordertown, Bullseye, The Frankenstein Code, The Guide to Surviving Life, Lucifer, New Girl

Fox's new shows at a glance

The 10 first-year series ordered for Fox's 2015-16 season are detailed below. Shows that did not get picked up include the Eric McCormack-starring music industry/drug drama Studio City (which is reportedly still in contention for a later pick-up, or could get shopped to other networks) and a large number of comedy pilots, including Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel's Drive Share and the Danny Pudi vehicle The Tyler Zone. Another comedy pilot, 48 Hours ‘Til Monday (starring Rob Riggle, Jane Curtin, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner), may also still have a shot at a later pick-up.

ANIMATED COMEDY tbd midseason

Producer Seth MacFarlane's latest animated Fox series was originally announced a year ago for the 2014-15 season, but should finally make its debut in early 2016. Created by Family Guy scribe Mark Hentemann, Bordertown will be set in a fictitious desert town near the Mexican border, where it will center on the lives of two neighbors: an American Border Patrol agent, and a hard-working Mexican immigrant. Issues of race and culture will no doubt be handled with the subtlety and nuance that has become MacFarlane's hallmark. The voice cast includes Hank Azaria (The Simpsons), Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow), Alex Borstein (Family Guy), and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock).

ImageThe Frankenstein Code
DRAMA/SCI-FI tbd midseason

The latest drama from Rand Ravich (Crisis, Life) was originally known simply as Frankenstein before getting its hipper makeover. Set in the present day, the series centers on a washed-up, corrupt L.A. sheriff (Philip Baker Hall, for a few minutes, at least), who—spoiler?—is killed early in the first episode. Naturally, there are two eccentric tech billionaires on hand to resurrect him as a younger man (Rob Kazinsky, True Blood) with enhanced physical powers. What will he do with a second chance at life? You'll know at some point in early 2016. Homeland vets Howard Gordon and Michael Cuesta serve as producers (the latter also directs the pilot), and Tim DeKay (White Collar) co-stars.

COMEDY Tuesdays at 8p

John Stamos stars as "the ultimate bachelor" whose lifestyle is shaken up by the arrival of his adult son—who also happens to have a baby daughter. That's right, Stamos is a grandfather, which is, presumably, hilarious. Josh Peck (The Mindy Project), Paget Brewster (Community), Ravi Patel (Super Fun Night), and singer Christina Milian also star for first-time series creator Danny Chun (a producer on HBO's Hello Ladies).

ImageThe Grinder
COMEDY Tuesdays at 8:30p

Coming from the team behind the short-lived Allen Gregory, Fox's other new fall comedy stars Rob Lowe as an actor who gained fame playing a lawyer on a hit television series for eight seasons. When that show ends, he decides to move back home to Boise and join his family's law firm—despite the fact that the entirety of his legal experience came on TV. Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and William Devane also star.

ImageThe Guide to Surviving Life
COMEDY Tuesdays, midseason

Airing Tuesdays beginning in January with a returning New Girl as its lead-in, Guide dares to imagine a world in which a group of good-looking, 20-something friends live together in two apartments across the hall from each other. Here, however, their stories are all told from the perspective of just one of them (Jack Cutmore-Scott, Kingsman: The Secret Service), a "wickedly charming and deeply flawed" recent college grad who seems to make a lot of poor decisions.

DRAMA/SCI-FI tbd midseason

Based somewhat loosely on Neil Gaiman's Vertigo/DC Comics character (who first appeared in The Sandman), this adaptation from Tom Kapinos (Californication) finds the devil (Welsh actor Tom Ellis) growing bored with hell. So he resigns his position and heads to Los Angeles (obviously not realizing how ridiculous real estate prices are these days). There, he buys a nightclub and teams up with an LAPD detective to use his particular set of skills to punish evildoers. Len Wiseman and Jerry Bruckheimer are among the producers, though Joe Henderson (White Collar) will serve as showrunner.

ImageMinority Report
DRAMA/SCI-FI Mondays at 9p

Based on Steven Spielberg's 2002 film of the same name, Minority Report the series picks up ten years later, in a world where Precrime has been abolished. But one of the surviving precogs (Stark Sands, Inside Llewyn Davis) can't shake his visions of terrible murders yet to be committed, and he secretly teams up with a cop (Meagan Good, Deception) in an attempt to prevent those crimes, while simultaneously searching for his missing twin brother and evading those who would exploit his powers for evil. Wilmer Valderrama and Laura Regan (Mad Men) also star. It's the first TV project for screenwriter Max Borenstein, who penned the recent Godzilla.

DRAMA Wednesdays at 8p

This Miami-set procedural centers on a talented, technology-obsessed pathologist (Morris Chestnut) who runs a private autopsy lab where he uses his skills and his gadgets to help a "tough-as-nails" (shocking!) detective (Jaina Lee Ortiz) solve difficult murder cases that would otherwise stump the Miami PD. The series comes from Todd Harthan, a writer/producer on such shows as Psych and Crash.

Scream Queens
HORROR/COMEDY Tuesdays at 9p

Glee might be gone, but creator Ryan Murphy will have three shows on the air this fall: two on FX (including the new American Crime Story), and this new anthology series on Fox. Ordered straight to series without filming a pilot, Scream Queens will blend horror, mystery, and comedy, and in its 15-episode first season will focus on a sorority house at a fictitious university that is rocked by a series of murders. Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Oliver Hudson (replacing Joe Manganiello, who had to bow out for Magic Mike XXL), and Nasim Pedrad are just some of the regulars, while guests will include Ariana Grande, Niecy Nash, and Nick Jonas. As with Murphy's other current shows, future seasons would feature a different story, setting, and cast.

The X-Files
DRAMA/SCI-FI Miniseries begins January 24

Returning to the air for the first time since its ninth season ended in 2002 (a second movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, debuted in theaters in 2008), The X-Files will take the form of a six-part miniseries that launches after the NFC Championship Game in January. Nearly everyone is returning, including the most important figures: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will reprise their roles as Mulder and Scully. Also returning are Mitch Pileggi (who played Skinner) and William B. Davis (the "Cigarette-Smoking Man"), while the "Lone Gunmen" trio could also be back. The revival is expected to include a mix of stand-alone episodes as well as some that deal with the show's ongoing mythology. Series creator Chris Carter is again at the helm, and he'll have many of his former X-Files writers back as well, including Glen Morgan and James Wong, who will each write and direct one episode. However, writer Vince Gilligan (who later, of course, went on to create Breaking Bad) will not be among them, since he is already committed to Better Call Saul.

More coverage of the 2015-16 upfront presentations ...


Comments (1)

  • SwarleyStinson  

    Coming this fall, staring Rob Lowe... Everything.
    Seriously hes in at least 4 shows so far and that's just from NBC and Fox.

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