It seems that Fox is living, at least for the last five years or so, with the advent of reality television. Of course, if you’ve seen the ratings of American Idol over its span on Fox TV, then you probably wouldn’t complain. I’m sure Fox executives aren’t. But I also know that they are trying to capture the ratings war with all demographics, and it has been a battle with the other major networks with the quality and range of shows they have all produced.
However, with shows like House, Prison Break, and The O.C. all coming in the last few seasons, Fox is coming into the game with some firepower. Let’s see if this new season will yield some promising winners to team with their already successful shows. Fox is the only one of the major networks where the programming ends at 10 PM instead of 11 PM, so there is a bit of lapse in their schedules where the news will take over where other networks still have shows. New shows in bold italics.
7-8 PM: Football/Comedy Encores & King of the HIll (January 2007)
8-8:30 PM: The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM: American Dad
9-9:30 PM: Family Guy
9-30-10 PM: The War at Home
Notes: Fox will have football most likely running into primetime during the season, but once it’s voer you’ll see some encores and new episodes of King of the Hill in January. The longest running cartoon sitcom in history, the Simpsons, comes back for even more and there really looks like there’s no end to that show. The first of two Seth McFarlane shows, American Dad, takes over the 8:30 spot, no doubt to hold on to viewers from the Simpsons and/or waiting for Family Guy. Speaking of Family Guy, the comeback kids of Fox come back with more episodes, crazier and funnier than ever. They’ll send The War at Home to the end of the night so that they could have the surprise show at the end of the night and keep viewers on Fox after Family Guy.
8-9 PM: Prison Break
9-10 PM: Vanished / 24 (January)
Notes: Prison Break will return for another season. They finally escaped the prison, but of course, that’s not enough to keep a show called Prison Break off the air. They’ll come back with the fugitives out of prison and most likely still running from the law. We’ll have to see what kind of life it’ll have with the new direction of the show. A new shoe, Vanished, will take over the 9 PM slot, keeping it warm until Kiefer Sutherland and 24 return to television, which will also be in January. Vanished is about the FBI and a reporter looking for a kidnapped wife of a prominent Senator. Will it succeed, or will it leave us hoping for more from Jack Bauer?
8-9 PM: Standoff / American Idol (January)
9-10 PM: House
Notes: Usually one of my favorite TV nights of the season, Tuesday is still strong for Fox. They’ll start off with a new show, Standoff, about two hostage negotiators who happen to be romatically involved. Of course, with American Idol waiting in the wings, this very well looks like a fill-in show. If it works, it could take over another shows slot eventually. Once American Idol comes back, watch for Fox to dominate Tuesday and Wednesday like it traditionally does. House, one of my favorite shows on television, comes back with a new season and Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie. An entertaining show that is more about the characters than the medicine, it’s a fun show to get into.
8-9 PM: Bones
9-10 PM: Justice / The Loop & American Idol (January)
Notes: More than any of the other networks, we’ve got a lot of midseason returns for fox. Bones will be back from the start of the season. The smart show about a crime investigator specializing in bone study has potential to continue to grow a fanbase. Justice is a new show about four lawyers who come from different places working together on the biggest media circus trial in the country. It’s got an interesting concept, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’ll work. The outlandish show The Loop will return in January with American Idol result shows in January. The Loop was surprisingly clever, if not sometimes over the top with it’s comedy. It’ll be interesting to see it’s ratings because American Idol is a family event and The Loop strays from that formula.
8-8:30 PM: ‘Til Death
8:30-9 PM: Happy Hour
9-10 PM: The O.C.
Notes: Two new comedies take over Thursday night with That 70’s Show ending it’s run. Til Death is about a married couple for a long time (8,743 days to be exact) when they get newlyweds who move in next to them. From the previews I’ve seen it has the potential to be really funny or not… we’ll have to wait and see on that. Happy Hour, which follows it, is about a guy who moves to Chicago only to have his life turn upside-down. He meets another man there who becomes his mentor and tries to teach him about life. And at 9 PM, although they’ve graduated from high school, the O.C. gang is back, minus Marissa (Mischa Barton). Creator Josh Schwartz has promised no ‘O.C. University.’ But it will be interesting to see how the characters stay together or where the story develops from here.
8-9 PM: Nanny 911
9-10 PM: Trading Spouses / The Wedding Album
Notes: Fox and ABC are pretty much having a war with who’s particular brand of reality shows featuring a British nanny is better. The Fox version, Nanny 911, makes its return to television for us on Friday night. It’ll be followed by Fox’s version of ABC’s Wife Swap, Trading Spouses. It really doesn’t do much in terms of keeping us entertained, as NBC in particular has a much stronger Friday night lineup. This is one of those nights where if you have nothing better to watch, you may wander over. They do have a new show starting as a midseason replacement, The Wedding Album, which is about a wedding photographer who is tamed by his new British assitant.
8-9 PM: Cops
9-10 PM: America’s Most Wanted
Notes: Nothing has changed about this lineup in years. You get your reality cop shows back to back, with Cops dominating the first hour and America’s Most Wanted returning once again for another run at catching bad guys on a Saturday night.