FOX revealed its Fall Schedule yesterday afternoon from New York’s Beacon Theatre on Broadway. For those who were not able to attend in person, it was also streamed live internationally. So without further ado, let’s get on with the presentation!
The show kicks off with a little video fun to get us started. The gang from FOX’s hit comedy show, NEW GIRL (Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris), are looking for a new roommate. Of course, the first one to walk is BONES’ Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel and sister to Zooey) followed by an array of FOX characters – Randy Jackson (AMERICAN IDOL), Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison, GLEE), Sabrina and baby Hope (Shannon Woodward and Baylie/Rylie Cregut, RAISING HOPE), the kid from TOUCH with his somber stare and (my personal favorite) Walter Bishop (John Noble, FRINGE) – to name a few. Even the black latex wearing entity from AMERICAN HORROR STORY (a Fox Television produced show) shows up to apply, but it just turns out to be the Dad from AMERICAN DAD underneath the mask. The highlight of the video skit for me involved Walter Bishop in a short, silk floral robe. And even though he was admonished for not having the legs to carry that look off, I have to disagree. Who wouldn’t love John Noble in a short kimono?! Come on, people!
After the video, the lights come up on a stage full of all of the “stars of FOX” and we are introduced to them all:
Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson (AMERICAN IDOL)
Dakota Johnson, Nat Faxon, Echo Kellum, Lucy Punch (BEN & KATE)
David Boreanaz, Tamara Taylor, Michaela Conlin, John Francis Daley (BONES)
Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis (FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD, THE CLEVELAND SHOW)
Kevin Bacon, Natalie Zea, James Purefoy (THE FOLLOWING)
Anna Torv, Josh(ua) Jackson, John Noble (FRINGE)
Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Jane Lynch (GLEE)
Becky Newton, Scott Foley, Jake Lacey (THE GOODWIN GAMES)(for some reason the MASTERCHEF crew were shown throughout these introductions – gotta love those “live” mishaps!)
Joe Bastianich, Graham Elliot, Gordon, Ramsay (MASTERCHEF)
Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Anna Camp, Ed Weeks (THE MINDY PROJECT)
Jordana Spiro, William Forsythe, Wendy Makkena, Zjelko Ivanek, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Zach Gilford (THE MOB DOCTOR)
Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone (THE NEW GIRL)
Martha Plimpton, Garrett Dillahunt, Shannon Woodward, Lucas Neff (RAISING HOPE)
Cat Deeley, Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?)
THE SALES PITCH
Next comes a bit of that boring part I was telling you about. With Ryan Seacrest as the host of the presentation, they go with the AMERICAN IDOL theme throughout the entire upfront, which really falls flat at times, but AI is a juggernaut show and FOX’s biggest claim to fame, so we’ll let them have it. Sales chief, Toby Byrne, and Entertainment Chairman, Peter Rice, regale the crowd with talk of demographics, genres, sports programming, social media, branding and lots of promises of a bigger and better year than the one before. Interesting for media buyers, perhaps, but for TV addicts like us — not so much (although I do remember them mentioning that the FOX network turned 25 last month so Happy Birthday, FOX). Seriously, I don’t need a lot of numbers to tell me what a FRINGE fan looks like. I just look in the mirror.
Just as I am starting to worry about the repercussions of how much water I drank before the show, they bring out the big guns and here comes the part of the show that we couch potatoes have been waiting for…
THE NEW STUFF
Beginning with Tuesday night, FOX Entertainment President, Kevin Reilly, unveils the new and returning shows for the next fall season. Mixed in with quips about returning shows are clips from the upcoming new series which includes 3 new comedies and 2 new dramas. So, here is what’s new:
BEN & KATE – A brother and sister, who grew up in a tumultuous, unorthodox family, help each other get through the ups and downs of adulthood. Kate is now a struggling single mother with an adorable 5 year old daughter, Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones from WE BOUGHT A ZOO) who is wise beyond her years. Ben is the perpetual kid at heart who wants to be a reliable sibling to younger sister, Kate, but can’t seem to get his head out of the clouds. Ben & Kate, with the help of their assorted friends and, of course, each other, learn how to face life and truly grow up.
THE MINDY PROJECT – Mindy Kaling plays OB/GYN, Mindy Lahiri, a woman with a successful career by day and a disastrous personal life by night. Mindy just wants what every woman wants: life to be the perfect romantic comedy. She doesn’t know how to make it happen, but she is determined to find a way.
b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>THE GOODWIN GAMES – This midseason replacement comedy series tells the story of three grown siblings who return home after their father’s death, and unexpectedly find themselves poised to inherit a vast fortune – if they adhere to their late father’s wishes. Let the games begin!
THE MOB DOCTOR — A fast-paced medical drama featuring a brilliant young female cardiothoracic surgeon who is split between two distinct worlds as she juggles her promising medical career with her lifelong debt as a doctor to Chicago’s Southside mob. To pay off her brother’s life-threatening gambling debt, Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) makes a deal with the devil and agrees to work “off book” for the mafia men she once despised. Can she live in these dual worlds without losing herself in the process?
THE FOLLOWING — When notorious serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree, the FBI calls former agent, Ryan Hardy (Emmy-nominated actor Kevin Bacon), to consult on the case. In a new twist on tracking serial killers, Hardy uncovers that Carroll was covertly communicating with a network of killers in the outside world. It quickly becomes obvious that he has more planned than just a prison escape, and there’s no telling how many additional killers are out there.
Other new programming includes a new late-prime animation block slated for 2013 that will feature animated mixed media (shorts, interstitials, or full 22 minute episodes) from new artists that show promise but may not really fit into the prime time block. The show will run from 11:00 pm until 12:30am on Saturdays and will have encore plays on Sundays.
*Reilly expressed great excitement about the Tuesday night line-up where FOX takes its two strongest comedies and creates a comedy block with promise. From 8-9PM, the comedy pairing of RAISING HOPE and BEN & KATE focuses on quirky families that make it through the ups and downs of daily life by sticking together. The 9-10 comedy pairing of NEW GIRL and THE MINDY PROJECT focuses on the strong friendships, relationships and careers of quirky – or, umm, adorkable – singles trying to make it through the ups and downs of daily life by sticking together. And I have to say, each show has its own appeal and I think this combination may just work. What remains to be seen is how THE GOODWIN GAMES, which at first glimpse, doesn’t seem to be quite as strong the other new comedies, will affect the mix at midseason. Also, an awkward “bit” between Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling introducing a clip from THE MINDY PROJECT fell flat, but was forgotten once I got into the clip.
*New X FACTOR judges, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, join L.A. Reid and show creator, Simon Cowell on stage for the first time.
*Summer 2012 programming includes a new season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? and a new Gordon Ramsay show, HOTEL HELL. Also, 2 new dating game shows, TAKE ME OUT and THE CHOICE, with the latter featuring celebrity bachelors choosing blind dates (Joe Jonas, Dean Cain and Tyson Beckford were included in the clips).
*Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker each to have multi-episode arcs on the new season of GLEE. As several of our GLEE gang have graduated, the show will become a show within a show featuring storylines with the remaining students back in Ohio and also with the graduate who are now toughing it out in New York.
*Kiefer Sutherland series, TOUCH, will add Maria Bello to the cast next year playing the character she introduced this season.
*FRINGE will complete its series run with a 13 episode finale.
*The two new dramas, THE MOB DOCTOR and THE FOLLOWING, defy a set type of genre. THE MOB DOCTOR looks to be a series that combines hospital drama with the intensity of a crime thriller with characters that straddle the lines between good and bad. I’m really curious to see the full premiere episode for this. The other new, THE FOLLOWING drama (from creator, Kevin Williamson), looks just as intriguing and suspenseful and with strong leads like Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, I can’t wait to check it out. The storyline, with its multiple levels, seems to be a police procedural, a personal drama, and a cat-and-mouse thriller all rolled into one. The show will run for 15 weeks after the football season. I hope each of these dramas manages to maintain the taut balance shown in the trailers.
*Finally, Mary J. Blige performs a cover of U2’s “One” as a closing number and the presentation concludes.
THE 2012-2013 FOX FALL SCHEDULE
8:00-9:00PM – BONES
9:00-10:00PM – THE MOB DOCTOR (new drama)
New drama, THE FOLLOWING, joins in midseason.
8:00-8:30PM – RAISING HOPE (returns)
8:30-9:00PM – BEN & KATE (new comedy)
9:00-9:30PM – NEW GIRL (returns)
9:30-10:00PM – THE MINDY PROJECT (new comedy)
New comedy, THE GOODWIN GAMES, joins in midseason.
8:00-10:00PM – THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)
8:00-9:00PM – THE X FACTORS Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00PM – GLEE (new slot)
8:00-9:00PM – TOUCH
9:00-10:00PM – FRINGE (13 episode, fall)
HELL’S KITCHEN returns in midseason.
7:00-10:30PM – FOX SPORTS SATURDAY (fall)
COPS returns in midseason.
11:00PM-12:30AM – ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF (new late-prime animated show) will join in 2013.
7:00-7:30PM – NFL Game (fall) / ANIMATION DOMINATION (encores)
7:30-8:00PM – THE OT (fall) / THE CLEVELAND SHOW
8:00-8:30PM – THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00PM – BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30PM – FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00PM – AMERICAN DAD
FOX series returning in 2012-2013 include: AMERICAN DAD (Season 8), AMERICAN IDOL (Season 12), BOB’S BURGERS (Season 3), BONES (Season 8), THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Season 4), COPS (Season 25), FAMILY GUY (Season 10), FRINGE (Season 5), GLEE (Season 4), HELL’S KITCHEN (Season 10), KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Season 5), MASTERCHEF (Season 3), MOBBED (specials), NEW GIRL (Season 2), RAISING HOPE (Season 3), THE SIMPSONS (Season 24), SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Season 9) and TOUCH (Season 2). AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE and TEEN CHOICE 2012 will also return to the FOX schedule.
SO, LET’S STAY IN TOUCH
Keep up with all the new series on the FOX 2012-2013 primetime schedule at FOX.com or by “liking” the series on Facebook and following the series on Twitter:
BEN AND KATE
THE GOODWIN GAMES
THE MINDY PROJECT
THE MOB DOCTOR