FOX announced its primetime slate for the 2009-2010 season, striking a balance between staples and new shows. Suggesting that last season’s strategy of using established hits to launch new shows having paid off, FOX announced that they will use the same plan to bring four new comedies, two new dramas and one late-night show to its schedule. The timetable is a little more stable this year, something Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment for FOX, identified as a goal for the network.
FOX’s new dramas this past season, Fringe and Lie To Me, ended the season number one and number three among new shows in the 18-49 demographic and the network will continue to support them with preferred timeslots. Hit show House will stay on Mondays at 8:00PM ET, with Lie To Me following at 9:00PM in the fall, and 24 taking Lie To Me’s slot at mid-season. Lie To Me will shake things up a bit by bringing Shawn Ryan (The Shield) on as new show runner and the series has a thirteen episode order.
Despite some protracted negotiations regarding licensing fees, solid performer Bones returns to its Thursday at 8:00PM ET slot, and sophomore show Fringe will move to follow Bones at 9:00PM. With Fringe and Lie To Me getting the benefit of solid lead-ins, the fall cycle aims at injecting some stability into the schedule by featuring a new cycle of summer hit So You Think You Can Dance from 8:00 to 10:00PM ET on Tuesday, while the results show at 8:00PM ET on Wednesday will platform new comedy Glee in the 9:00PM ET slot.
Glee is from Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck) and stars Jane Lynch (The Forty Year Old Virgin) and newcomers Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, and Cory Monteith. The show, which features a soundtrack of hit music, follows a high school teacher trying to revive a fading glee club to its former glory. Viewers can catch a special preview on Tuesday May 19 at 9:00PM ET.
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse returns to its same timeslot on Friday at 9:00PM ET, while Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been cancelled. Both shows had similar ratings, but FOX felt Dollhouse grew creatively across the season and its DVR numbers indicate a strong core audience the network feels will grow. Basically, FOX President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly said they were betting on Whedon’s strong track record.
Two additional comedies and a new talk show make their premiere in the fall. Animated comedy The Cleveland Show from the producers of Family Guy joins the Sunday night animated line up at 8:30PM ET, following The Simpsons. Brothers, a scripted comedy about a former big-city NFL star who returns home to his mother’s house to get his life on track, stars Michael Strahan (FOX NFL Sunday) and Daryl “Chill” Mitchell (Ed, Veronica’s Closet). It will be seen on Fridays at 8:00PM ET. FOX will shake up the late night show landscape with a new topical round table discussion show starring Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes. The irreverent show will debut on November 7th, at 11PM ET.
At midseason, two new dramas and one new comedy will join the schedule. Human Target will premiere with a special preview on Sunday January 17th, 8:00PM ET, following the NFC Divisional Playoff game. The new series is an action thriller based on a popular DC Comics graphic novel and stars Mark Valley (Fringe), Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen). Its regular timeslot will be Wednesday at 9:00PM ET, following the American Idol results show.
Here's the trailer for the show.
The other new drama on FOX's schedule is Past Life, a thriller based on the book The Reincarnationist, about a psychologist and a former NYPD detective who have to unravel mysteries in the present and the past. The new series starts Kelli Giddish (All My Children) and Nicholas Bishop (Home and Away) and airs in the choice slot of 9PM ET on Tuesday, following American Idol. The Sunday night schedule switches around as new non-traditional family comedy Sons of Tucson replaces The Cleveland Show at 8:30PM ET, that show moves to 9:30PM, while American Dad will air at 7:30PM.
The eighth season of 24, set in New York city, returns with a special premiere over two nights, beginning on Sunday, January 17th at 9:00PM ET, following Human Target’s debut, before settling into its regular time on Monday at 9 PM ET, replacing Lie To Me after House.
The network’s strategy of protecting its sophomore hits Fringe and Lie To Me, while launching new shows from the platforms of its tent pole series looks sound. There’s lots to look forward to in the new fall slate, so mark your calendars!