The Fox network has concocted a pandemic-proof (almost) schedule for this fall.
It’s found ways to have a full schedule without any shows that require a fresh pilot film. That includes repurposing two series — “L.A.’s Finest” (shown here) and “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” — that have aired elswhere.
The result still has a batch of shows for mid-season, when football ends and voids begin. It makes no mention of “Last Man Standing,” “The Resident” or “Deputy.” Also, “Empire” had finished its six-season run.
Networks usually order a batch of pilots each spring, then announce the schedule in a festive setting for advertisers in late May. This year, the pandemic has sidelined both traditions.
How do you do a schedule without new pilots. Fox has:
– Two shows that were originally planned for this spring. “Filthy Rich” is a Gothic drama-comedy, with Kim Catrall as the maybe-widow of a rich tele-evangelist (Gerald McRaney) who is believed to have died in a plane crash. “NeXt” takes our fear of computers to the next level: An artificial-intelligence force keeps improving itself; John Slattery heads the team trying to stop it.
– Two shows that have aired elsewhere. “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” – a non-fiction show with Neil deGrasse Tyson – was on the National Geographic Channe;l. “L.A.’s Finest” – with Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba as cops who were supporting characters in the “Bad Boys” movies – was on the Spectrum system.
The fall line-up has:
MONDAYS: “L.A.’s Finest,” 8 p.m.; “NeXt,” 9.
TUESDAYS: “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” 8 p.m.; “Filthy Rich,” 9.
WEDNESDAYS: “The Masked Singer,” 8 p.m.; “MasterChef Junior,” 9.
THURSDAYS: Pro football.
SATURDAYS: College football.
SUNDAYS: Pro football in the afternoon and early evening; then “The Simpsons,” 8 p.m.; “Bless the Harts,” 8:30; “Bob’s Burgers,” 9; “Family Guy,” 9:30.
That’s built on the assumption that football will continue as usual. The pros have already announced their schedule, but aren’t sure if fans will be allowed at the games, in full or partially full stadiums.
Either way, Fox will need more shows by mid-season. By then, it says, it will have several returning ones, including “9-1-1” and its spin-off, “9-1-1: Lone Star.” It will also have the “Hell’s Kitchen” reality show and several animated shows – the returning “Duncanville” and the new “Houseebroken” and “The Great North.”
It will also have a lone non-animated comedy, “Call Me Kat.” Jim Parsons produces the show, which stars Mayim Bialik, who played his wife on “The Big Bang Theory.”