Fox reveals a pandemic-proof 2020 fall TV schedule
How do you fill a fall TV schedule when so much of Hollywood is shut down?
Fox has revealed its pandemic-proof lineup, making the network the first broadcaster to announce a specific fall schedule since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The lineup is anchored by -- appropriately enough for these times -- The Masked Singer.
The schedule (posted below) is stocked with reality TV, animation, and sports, along with scripted content that was either held over from last season or acquired from other distributors.
"The effects of this global health crisis leave no business unaffected. As a media company that prides itself on an entrepreneurial spirit and the focus that comes with doing fewer things better, we mobilized, swiftly creating an entirely new, original-programming lineup for the fall to share with our partners this upfront,” said Charlie Collier, CEO, Fox Entertainment.
Programming includes Gothic family soap Filthy Rich starring Kim Cattrall and AI thriller NeXt starring John Slattery, both of which were already filmed and held over from the current season, Deadline pointed out.
There's also Spectrum Originals' Bad Boys universe drama L.A.’s Finest starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. L.A.’s Finest already premiered on the fledgling Spectrum Originals service, but will now have its broadcast network debut on Fox.
Another notable is the third edition of the Emmy-winning documentary Cosmos, which like L.A.'s Finest has already debuted elsewhere (on Nat Geo).
Even Fox's schedule still has some remaining pandemic hurdles. The Masked Singer hasn't yet been shot, but Fox is presumably working on some production workarounds to pull off filming their critical reality hit. The biggest question mark on the schedule is Thursday Night Football given the NFL season still might not happen and the event takes up the network's entire Thursday night.
"As for the football season and what the fall is going to be: It will be entirely dependent on the effectiveness with which we as a society respond to the inevitable [second wave] outbreak that will occur," Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC Sports' Peter King over the weekend. "Now, even if the virus goes down dramatically in June and July and August, as the virus starts returning in the fall, it would be in my mind, shame on us if we don’t have in place all of the mechanisms to prevent it from blowing up again. In other words, enough testing to test everybody that needs to be tested. Enough testing so that when someone gets infected, you could immediately do contact tracing and isolation to prevent the infection from going to a couple of infections to hundreds of infections. That's how you control an outbreak. So, practically speaking, the success or failure, the ability or not, to actually have a football season is going to depend on just on what I said ... but what I’m really saying is it’s unpredictable depending upon how we respond in the fall."
Fox pointed out the network is expected to finish the season No. 1 among the adults 18-49 demographic and the only network to have year-over-year growth in the demo and total viewers.
In midseason, original programming will include the return of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star, along with new comedy Call Me Kat, starring Mayim Bialik and new animated comedies The Great North and Housebroken as well as new seasons of animated comedy Duncanville and reality veteran Hell's Kitchen.
Here is Fox's schedule:
FOX FALL 2020 SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM L.A.’S FINEST (network television debut)
9:00-10:00 PM NEXT (new series)
8:00-9:00 PM COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS (network television debut)=
9:00-10:00 PM FILTHY RICH (new series)
8:00-9:00 PM THE MASKED SINGER (new season)
9:00-10:00 PM MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (new season)
7:30-8:00 PM ET/ FOX NFL THURSDAY PRESENTED BY VERIZON
4:30-5:00 PM PT
8:00-8:19 PM ET/ GMC KICKOFF SHOW
5:00-5:19 PM PT
8:20 PM-CC ET/ THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PRESENTED BY BUD LIGHT PLATINUM
5:20 PM-CC PT
8:00-10:00 PM WWE’S FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN
7:00-10:30 PM FOX SPORTS SATURDAY
7:00-7:30 PM NFL ON FOX
7:30-8:00 PM THE OT / FOX ENCORES
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (new season)
8:30-9:00 PM BLESS THE HARTS (new season)
9:00-9:30 PM BOB’S BURGERS (new season)
9:30-10:00 PM FAMILY GUY (new season)