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FOX Finally Announces Fall Schedule, Ends Days of Speculation

After days of speculation and very little news about how their actual schedule would shake out, FOX has finally announced their new primetime lineup for the 2008-09 season, just a few hours ahead of unveiling the sked to advertisers.

While I was hoping there would be an eleventh hour reprieve for a fall slot for Joss Whedon's highly anticipated new drama Dollhouse, such was not to be; the series will launch on Monday nights in January, but we will be getting a full season of J.J. Abram's drama Fringe beginning in the fall. (That's got to count for something, no?)

Let's take a look at how the schedule breaks down night by night.


8 pm: Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Midseason: Dollhouse)
9 pm: Prison Break (Midseason: 24)

8 pm: House (Midseason: American Idol)
9 pm: Fringe

8 pm: Bones (Midseason: House)
9 pm: 'Til Death (Midseason: American Idol Results)
9:30 pm: Do Not Disturb (formerly known as The Inn) (Midseason: TBA Comedy)

8 pm: Moment of Truth (Midseason: Hell's Kitchen)
9 pm: Kitchen Nightmares (Midseason: Secret Millionaire)

8 pm: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (Midseason: Bones)
9 pm: Don't Forget the Lyrics (Midseason: 'Til Death/Do Not Disturb)

8-9 pm: COPS
10 pm: America's Most Wanted

8 pm: The Simpsons
8:30 pm: King of the Hill (Midseason: Sit Down, Shut Up)
9 pm: Family Guy
10 pm: American Dad (Midseason: The Cleveland Show)

Contenders for Midseason Orders:
Lie to Me, Courtroom K, Boldly Going Nowhere, Outnumbered

New Series:
Dollhouse, Fringe, Do Not Disturb, Secret Millionaire, Sit Down Shut Up (midseason), The Cleveland Show (midseason)

Renewed Series:
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Prison Break, 24, House, American Idol, 'Til Death, Moment of Truth, Hell's Kitchen, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, Don't Forget the Lyrics, COPS, America's Most Wanted, MADtv, Talkshow with Spike Feresten Show, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad, So You Think You Can Dance

Canceled Series:
K-Ville, Back to You, Canterbury's Law, Nashville, Next Great American Band, New Amsterdam

I'm actually very pleased with the strength of FOX's schedule. While we all know that much of it will change over the coming months (not to mention the arrival of ratings juggernaut American Idol), I really love the combination of Fringe and House on Tuesdays (though the folks at Warner Bros. TV must not be too happy with their baby Fringe going up against fellow WBTV drama The Mentalist). Fringe is simply put: dazzling visionary television. But don't take my word for it: you can watch the trailer for Fringe right here.

Holding Dollhouse for the midseason may be a wise cautionary move but it does make me sad not to get my Joss fix now. Following the trailer for Fringe, the sneak of Dollhouse looked a little less glossy and polished but that might be just because the first episode wrapped late last week and they've had less time to get a trailer ready for airing. Still, I have every confidence in Joss and in this brilliant drama project.

Otherwise, it's a mixed bag. I don't think that Do Not Disturb will be around for very long, regardless of however many name changes the series has. I have the pilot episode in my possession so will have to watch it before I give my final judgment but I wasn't impressed with what I've seen so far. I want to like Sit Down, Shut Up because of the pedigree of the creator and talent but I'm having a hard time finding the funny. Though having Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Henry Winkler together again (even in animated form) is pretty darn awesome.

What I am very excited about is the Remote-Free TV initiative that Ligouri unveiled today, which will add six minutes of commercial ad time back into the program. That means, rather than 42 minutes of content, select FOX series (like Dollhouse) will run 48 minutes out of a one-hour slot. To call this a gamechanger is to completely underestimate what this will mean for creative, compulsory series and for ad revenues (supply and demand, my friends).

What do you think? What are you excited for? What do you think of Fringe? And were you as mostly underwhelmed by the upfronts this year as I was? Talk back here.


TxGowan said…
They're only doing a half season of House? I see it being replaced by AI midseason, but not moving anywhere else midseason.
Erica said…
no, house is moving to wednesdays midseason, taking bones's spot. only half a season of bones?
Jace Lacob said…
Bones will move to Fridays in midseason. Lots and lots of shuffling going on.
Anonymous said…
Not very thrilled that Terminator (fall) and then Dollhouse (January) will be going up against my favorite show Chuck on Mon. 8pm.

This is what DVR's were meant for. And I'll be watching Chuck live.


ps. first time commenting on your blog. LOVE it.
TxGowan said…
@Nancy -

Yeah, it's looking like (for me) Mondays at 7(CT) and Thursdays at 8 are gonna be the busiest times of the week.

Who knew?

Is The CW going to keep repeating Gossip Girl episodes on Sunday afternoons?
I love Chuck but have to say that I'm more excited about Dollhouse. I just wish we didn't have to wait for midseason!!!

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