The Fox network started by cleverly going where the others weren't. At various points, it tried all the things the big networks had abandoned. Some failed (there are, at times, good reasons for abandoment) and some succeeded splendidly; Fox revived primetime cartoons ("Simpsons"), variety shows ("In Living Color"), sci-fi ("X-Files") and amateur competitions ("American Idol").
Now comes another example: December is when almost everyone switches to light, cheery shows. Many of these are excellent -- see my holiday mega-list, a few blogs back -- but we still need variety; that's what Fox and one of its cable channels, FX, are delivering this week. Consider:
-- FX has two terrific dramas wrap up this week -- "Sons of Anarchy" at 10 p.m. today (Tuesday), "Terriers" at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Each is concluding a complex, 13-week story, filled with death and deception. "Sons" does it quite well; "Terriers" does it brilliantly.
-- Amid lots of reruns, Fox has strong episodes this week from two of its drama series. First is "Human Target," at 8 p.m. Wednesday; this week focuses on the young thief and scam artist (beautifully played by Janet Montgomery) who has been a big boost for the show. Then "Fringe" (8 p.m. Thursday) has a superb and pivotal episode, with the two Olivias in opposite worlds.
For details, hit the "TV columns" part at the top. Then be glad Fox delivers some December variety.