Fox's fall lineup: If it ain't broke...
When your network has American Idol, American Dad, and America’s Most Wanted, it would be downright unpatriotic to mess too much with your primetime slate. Fox’s fall schedule, to be announced at today’s upfront presentation to advertisers, contains just three new dramas, two new comedies, and two new unscripted shows, all of which look very much like familiar hits.
Watch for late summer debuts for the 24-ish dramas Vanished (pictured, starring John Allen Nelson, 24‘s treacherous Walt, as a senator whose wife’s disappearance prompts a season-long FBI investigation) and Standoff (Sex and the City‘s Ron Livingston plays an FBI crisis negotiator who violates protocol by getting romantically involved with his partner). Alias‘ Victor Garber stars in Justice, a legal procedural from the Jerry Bruckheimer factory (think CSI-meets-Boston Legal).
On the comedy side, there’s the Married With Children-ish ‘Til Death, about a cynical, squabbling, long-married couple (Joely Fisher and Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett) who set a bad example for the newlyweds next door. And there’s Happy Hour, about work-hard-play-hard Chicago singles, which sounds like a clone of Fox’s recent comedy The Loop (which is also coming back next season).
Unscripted fare includes Simon Cowell’s Duets (singing stars pair with non-musical celebs to croon for charity) and Talk Show With Spike Feresten (in which the former Seinfeld scribe tries to become the next Conan).
As for returning shows, look for a split season like this year’s, with autumn dominated by baseball and Prison Break and winter ruled by 24 and Idol. And of course, there’ll be such Fox mainstays as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, MADtv, and Cops, which return for their 189th, 397th, 425th, and 842nd seasons, respectively. Who’d have imagined that Fox would be the one island of stability among the big four networks?