Next fall, two dozen new series on NBC, NBC, and ABC will compete for viewers, so the fourth-place Fox network will try a different strategy: If you can’t beat ’em, don’t play their game. In a departure from the network tradition of fall launches, Fox will unveil its five new series at the rate of one or two a month. The Ultimate Challenge, an hour of stunts and daredevilry from the creators of the syndicated hit American Gladiators, will appear in July. Roc, a comedy about a working-class family, will follow in August. September will bring Shut Up, Kids, with Dabney Coleman as a con man who becomes an irascible (what else?) fourth-grade teacher, and It’s All In Your Head, in which four forces — Genius, Wimp, Angel, and Animal — vie for control of a young editor’s mind. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures will arrive in October (after this summer’s sequel has ended its run) with two new faces as the time-travelling Valley Guys.
While Fox is keeping some of its lowest-rated series (Totally Hidden Video, True Colors) on the air, Against the Law, Babes, D.E.A., Top of the Heap, and Yearbook didn’t make the cut. Get a Life isn’t on Fox’s new schedule either, but the Chris Elliot comedy will stay in production and will probably return next January. Viewers can also expect to see more of some of Fox’s most popular shows; the teen hit Beverly Hills 90210 will begin airing new episodes on July 11, and for In Living Color, Fox is increasing the number of new episodes next season from 22 to 30.