Last Season: Last season was a mess for Fox, having suffered massive ratings erosion, particularly in it’s key demographic of 18-49 year olds. The network managed to fall back into a tie with ABC for second place overall, a particularly bad sign for a network that up until a couple of years ago had most of the hottest properties on TV.
This Season: Fox seems intent on staying the course all around, not taking many risks in particular, and the end result is a schedule that seems blocked out exactly the same as last year.
The X-Factor (9/17 and 9/18) continues to dominate the scheduling, maintaining it’s three hours of Fox’s primetime a week, taking up the entire Wednesday slate (Fox only schedules two hours of prime-time on weeknights) as well as the first hour of it’s Thursday run. As with last year, we see the results hour of Fox’s singing shows followed up by veteran comedy Glee, which faces stiff competition from the other major network’s offerings.
Even it’s newer shows tend to hew the course to Fox’s typical offerings, as it’s MasterChef gets a spin-off in the form of MasterChef Juniors which will air on Friday nights starting September 20th. This lineup will get bolstered by the returningRaising Hope and the family/Military comedy Enlisted after the World Series.
Speaking of comedies, Tuesday remains Fox’s big comedy night, pairing tentpole New Girl, and returning The Mindy Project with Andy Samberg vehicle Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Seth McFarlane’s newest project Dads, which if reviews for the pilot are correct, clearly was done as an act of appeasement for canceling The Cleveland Show. This lineup debuts on September 17th.
Mondays remain the primary drama night for Fox, and it is the home to Fox’s most hyped new show: Sleepy Hollow (9/16). The thriller will be paired with veteran procedural Bones (9/16) for it’s initial push until fellow fantasy show Almost Human debuts in November.
Additionally, Fox stays the course with it’s dominant Sunday Animation Domination lineup, which debuts on 9/29. No real changes to this night, as we continue to see the lineup of The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and (the likely best of the four) Bob’s Burgers. My guess is we’ll see repeats of those shows on the weeks that football ends early or your market only receives a 1pm game.
Fox tends to be affected more by sports in the fall than other networks due to its’ coverage of the MLB playoffs, it’s NFL football coverage (which creeps later than CBS’s as a general rule) and its’ College Football package that airs Saturday nights. This means that as usual, we can expect Fox to hold back a couple of shows until November, and this year it does that with dramas Almost Human (11/4) and Enlisted (11/8).
Tomorrow: NBC had a lot of changes it had to make coming into this year, how did it fare?