Sunday, May 15, 2011

Playing Programmer: FOX

Yesterday I played programmer for ABC and today I'll do it for Americas' #1 network in the advertiser coveted demographic Adults 18-49 for the past six years or so Fox. Fox is a stable network mainly because of how huge American Idol is but that does not come in midseason (January) so Fox usually struggles in the fall with the timeslots of American Idol since most shows they slot there are low rated but looks like they finally found the solution for that as Fox will be launching the US edition of the hit British show "The X Factor" (Leona Lewis is the most notable winner of that contest). And with that set to launch this fall and presumably taking the slots of American Idol, Fox has few spots to fill in their line up. FYI, Fox only programs two hours of primetime (8 to 10pm Mon-Sat) and three hours (7-10pm) for Sundays) as oppose to ABC, CBS and NBC which programs 8-11pm (7-11pmon Sundays). This happened because Fox just started in the late 80s as oppose to the 3 networks which has been on for decades and when they started they opt to just programs for two hours and give 10pm to the affiliates for their local news which proved to be profitable until this day so even if Fox is already successful they will not change this business model because it works for them. Fox cancelled all of its low rated shows ("Lie to Me", "Human Target", "The Chicago Code", "Breaking In" and "Traffic Light") save for scifi drama "Fringe" which is on Fridays where ratings expectations are lower. Fox had the dinosaur drama "Terra Nova" which was supposed to air this season but was pushed back to next season so there are really few available spots to launch new shows. Fox picked up just two new hourlong showa, three half-hour live action sitcoms and two new half-hour animated series. You can see the new shows' premises via

Here's my 'schedule' for Fox


7 pm: The OT
7:30 pm: American Dad
8 pm: The Simpsons
8:30 pm: The Cleveland Show
9 pm: Family Guy
9:30 pm: Napoleon Dynamite

Basically unchanged since adult animated shows work perfectly for Fox. Fox has two new ones Napoleon Dynamite & Allen Gregory and both have short orders of 6 and 7 episodes respectively so I figure Fox will launch at least one this fall and my bet is Napoleon Dynamite because it has a brand already and I'll place it after Family Guy, the highest rated show in the block so if this one is a hit Fox could order a second season early and production will be underway already (production for animated take a lot of time so they are always given way early renewal notices). Once Napoleon Dynamite finishes, Fox could set Allen Gregory or just bring back with The Cleveland show there and premiere for already renewed Bob's Burgers. Fox has lots of option to do for this block

8 pm: House
9 pm: Terra Nova

House will stay on the same slot and help boost the launch of the delayed Terra Nova. Nothing really has worked that well with the post House spot in a while and maybe this much hyped but delayed project could do fine.


8 pm: Glee
9 pm: The New Girl
9:30 pm: Raising Hope

Fox's new sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel [<3 ] is said to be well received and with the likely female skew for this show it would make sense to pair it with Glee. Sophomore Raising Hope does decent number after Glee but still loses a lot of its lead in and I think it will do just fine moving away from cushy post Glee spot especially if The New Girls becomes a hit


8-10pm: The X Factor

Like almost everyone I'm thinking Fox will follow the American Idol schedule pattern and air this show for two hours straight on this day and once if reaches the point where two hours will be too long I think they could have the last half hour open for a sitcom, maybe the other sitcom they picked up "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"


8 pm: The X Factor
9 pm: Bones

I think The X Factor will have two-hour episodes early on its run so "Bones" will premiere a little later. Fox could also use the post X Factor to launch a new show although while everyone is assuming The X Factor will be a hit (and I think it will too) I think FOx will still play it safe and just have the ever reliable Bones at 9pm.


8 pm: Kitchen Nightmares
9 pm: Fringe

Kitchen Nightmares does fine for a Friday show so I think Fox will not change it but if ever Kitchen Nightmares is not available for a fall run, they could always plug in one of many Gordon Ramsay shows they have. Fringe will stay there because well low ratings are acceptable on this night and Fox could just let it be there.


8 pm: Cops
9 pm: America's Most Wanted

Of course nothing will change here for this time tested duo that does fine on a dead night for broadcast primetime TV (viewership levels on Saturdays is low in the states because a lot of people go out I assume)


The Finder
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Allen Gregory

JJ Abrams' new scifi show "Alcatraz" will definitely be heavily serialized so an uninterrupted run is advisable and I guess it will premiere after American Idol to give it the best lead in it can possibly have. "The Finder" meanwhile is the "Bones" spin off which reportedly only has a 13 episode order, this show might replace Bones when it goes on hiatus (lead actreess Emily Deschanel is pregnant so it would affect the show's production so maybe there will be a shorter order this season). Fox is reportedly still thinking of picking up more sitcoms so "I Hate My Teenage Daugther" might premiere a little later if my prediction of X Factor Wednesdays eventually will be trimmed down to 1.5 hours to give this show a shot does not happen. "Allen Gregory" will likely be launched in the fall given how many animated shows Fox have.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FOX has had much better luck launching new shows after The Simpsons rather than Family Guy.