FOX announced the first part of its 2015-16 schedule on Monday (May 11) morning and even though the network has abandoned its annual tradition of revealing two separate schedules, what we already know is full of interesting tidbits.
A few highlights before we get down to the night-by-night breakdown:
*** “The X-Files” will return with a two night premiere starting after the NFC Championship on Sunday, January 24.
*** “New Girl” is being held for midseason and will air [virtually] uninterrupted in the spring.
*** “Empire” will continue to air at 9 p.m., meaning this season's biggest ratings sensation won't be able to serve as a lead-in for anything new, though FOX hopes a halo effect will benefit “Rosewood.”
*** A Tuesday comedy block featuring Rob Lowe and John Stamos suggests a bit of a demographic shift for FOX.
*** Oh and this next season of “American Idol” will be its last. But that's important enough for its own story.
So let's get down to business. FOX's fall will feature the premieres of three new dramas and two new comedies, plus a time period shift for “Sleepy Hollow,” but at least it will be anchored by the fall success “Gotham” and the spring smash “Empire.”
“Building on the phenomenal momentum created by 'Gotham,' 'The Last Man on Earth' and, of course, 'Empire,' we”re infusing next season”s schedule with new ambitious dramas, smart comedies, aspirational unscripted series and big live events and specials – all from the best creators in the business,” blurb Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “And our strategy with these bold creative swings is simple: schedule them strategically, market them relentlessly and create events that break through and captivate viewers across every platform.”
Here's how the fall will break down, night by night.
“Gotham” will continue to air at 8 p.m. on Monday, where it will be followed by the series premiere of “Minority Report,” set roughly 10 years after the events of the Steven Spielberg movie and starring Meagan Good, Stark Sands and the FOX return of Wilmer Valderrama. It's a police procedural with a pre-cog twist.
Tuesday will move its comedy block up to the 8 p.m. hour, where the John Stamos comedy “Grandfathered” will be followed by Rob Lowe and Fred Savage in the legal comedy “The Grinder,” proving that the dream of the '90s is still very much alive on FOX. Ryan Murphy's horror-comedy anthology “Scream Queens,” featuring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Oliver Hudson, Keke Palmer and guest stars Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas, will air in the 9 p.m. hour with FOX promising “at least one casualty each week,” “Harper's Island”-style.
Wednesday will begin with the Morris Chestnut Miami-based procedural “Rosewood,” followed by “Empire” at 9 p.m. It remains to be seen how many episodes FOX will get out of “Empire” this season, but the network obviously didn't want to hold it back for midseason.
FOX is keeping “Bones” at 8 p.m. on Thursday and moving “Sleepy Hollow” to the 9 p.m. hour to face off against “Scandal” and “The Blacklist.”
After migrating into the week this season, “Masterchef Junior” is moving back to Fridays at 8 p.m. followed by a show called “World's Funniest,” which is presumably what “World's Funniest Fails” has become.
Sunday will remain basically stable with NFL on FOX and The OT taking the 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. half-hours except for the occasional “Bob's Burgers” episode at 7:30. “The Simpsons” will remain at 8 p.m. followed by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Family Guy” and “The Last Man on Earth.”
That leaves a lot of pieces lingering for midseason, though only “The X-Files” has a concrete premiere, airing at 10 p.m. on Sunday, January 24 and then in its regular time period on Monday, January 25 at 8 p.m. And yes, that means that 1/3rd of the new “X-Files” episodes will be gone within two nights. Tempus fugit, y'all.
On the drama side, FOX's midseason includes semi-established properties “The Frankenstein Code” and DC Comics/Vertigo's “Lucifer.” On the comedy side, “New Girl” definitely return to Tuesdays, though in what slot remains to be seen. The live-action “Guide to Surviving Life” and the animated “Bordertown,” originally ordered back in 2013, will also premiere at midseason.
FOX previously announced that “Grease: Live” will air on Sunday, January 31 in a three-hour block.
Here's the fall part of the schedule in chart form:
FOX FALL 2015 SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM GOTHAM
9:00-10:00 PM MINORITY REPORT (new)
8:00-8:30 PM GRANDFATHERED (new)
8:30-9:00 PM THE GRINDER (new)
9:00-10:00 PM SCREAM QUEENS (new)
8:00-9:00 PM ROSEWOOD (new)
9:00-10:00 PM EMPIRE
8:00-9:00 PM BONES
9:00-10:00 PM SLEEPY HOLLOW
8:00-9:00 PM MASTERCHEF JUNIOR
9:00-10:00 PM WORLD”S FUNNIEST
7:00-10:30 PM FOX SPORTS SATURDAY: FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL
7:00-7:30 PM NFL ON FOX
7:30-8:00 PM THE OT / BOB”S BURGERS
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
What jumps out at you?