Upfront week continues with FOX's schedule announcement for next season. Technically, you need three for a trend, but based on FOX's plans and what NBC announced yesterday, it does seem as if we may be heading for a season where the broadcast nets save most of their new material for winter and spring, and lean heavily on returning series in the fall, when the attrition rate tends to be higher.
FOX's fall schedule will only have a trio of newbies – two of them, Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist, adapting popular movie series – while the network plans to roll out nine different freshman series – including high-profile sequels to 24 and Prison Break, plus Lee Daniels' first new series since Empire – after the calendar turns to 2017, with both new and returning shows shuttling on and off the air between January and spring to avoid repeats wherever possible.
The schedule, night-by-night:
MONDAY: Status quo in the fall and spring, with Gotham at 8 and Lucifer at 9. In between will be 24: Legacy – which stars Corey Hawkins from Straight Outta Compton as the new hero, and Jimmy Smits as the new presidential candidate, and which will premiere after the Super Bowl – and APB, from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, starring Justin Kirk as a tech billionaire who privatizes a Chicago police district. (This won't be the first time FOX has aired a Monday cop drama about someone who thinks they can change how things get done in Chicago.)
TUESDAY: With Grandfathered and The Grinder both deceased (but what if they weren't?), FOX is condensing its Tuesday comedies down to a single hour at 8, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine leading into New Girl in the fall, New Girl leading into new sitcom The Mick with Kaitlin Olson from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the winter, and Brooklyn tagging in for New Girl in the spring. (If you don't get a headache thinking about it, it's not a FOX schedule!) Scream Queens returns in the fall at 9, replaced at winter by reality competition Kicking & Screaming, which in turn will be replaced by Pitch, a drama starring Ginny Baker as the first woman to play major league baseball.
WEDNESDAY: Lethal Weapon – with Clayne Crawford from Rectify in the Mel Gibson role, and Damon Wayans Sr. in the Danny Glover part – airs at 8, leading into Empire. In the spring, it'll be replaced by Shots Fired, a miniseries about a racially charged shooting in a Southern town, starring Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, and Stephen Moyer. Empire takes a midseason break for Daniels' Star, with Queen Latifah and a trio of newcomers playing an up-and-coming musical group.
THURSDAY: In the fall, the final season of Bones leads into the still-extant Rosewood. In the spring, the Prison Break revival nobody asked for – and that will have to handwave away several major character deaths – takes over at 8.
FRIDAY: In the fall, Hell's Kitchen leads into the TV version of The Exorcist, starring Geena Davis. At midseason, it's Masterchef Junior leading into the return of Sleepy Hollow, now minus Nicole Beharie.
SUNDAY: Mostly consistent throughout the year: Bob's Burgers at 7:30 (when it's not being pre-empted by football in the fall), The Simpsons at 8, Family Guy at 9, The Last Man on Earth at 9:30. And both the 8:30 shows come from the producing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller: in the fall, it's animation/live-action hybrid Son of Zorn, starring Jason Sudeikis as the voice of the title character; in the spring, it's Making History, starring Adam Pally, Leighton Meester, and Yassir Lester as time-traveling buddies.