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Fall Schedule Predictions: FOX Says Goodbye to Pilot Season

FOX
Officially Renewed: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, The Following, Glee, The Mindy Project, New Girl, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow
Likely Renewed: American Idol
TBA: Dads, Enlisted, Rake, Surviving Jack
Officially Canceled/Ended: Almost Human, Raising Hope, The X Factor

*FOX has pretty much made its decisions already. American Idol hasn’t been officially picked up yet, but despite its falling ratings it’s going to come back with a high level of certainty. The other four question marks: Dads, Enlisted, Rake and Surviving Jack are pretty much dunzo. The only one I see coming back is Dads and that’s only because of the network’s relationship with Seth MacFarlane. The ratings aren’t terrible, but FOX has limited scheduling availability and it won’t have room.*

Officially Ordered to Series:
Backstrom
Gotham
Gracepoint
Hieroglyph
Mulaney
Wayward Pines
Weird Loners

*At least year’s Upfront Presentation, the president of FOX said that he’s saying goodbye to pilot season and will be ordering things to series throughout the year. He followed through with that promise and these shows have already gotten a series order from the network. When they will air is another question. Wayward Pines was announced as a miniseries last year and it still has yet to air. Gracepoint is also being considered a limited event series. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this model and if another networks follow suit.*

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SUNDAY:
7PM: NFL Overrun/The O.T.
8PM: The Simpsons
8:30PM: Mulaney
9PM: Family Guy
9:30PM: Bob’s Burgers

*This night needs a little bit of an update. The experiment this spring of pairing The Simpsons and Family Guy together at 8PM was successful, but because of the weird NFL scheduling I doubt it’ll continue into the fall. I could see them possibly doing it again in the spring to launch a new drama on Sunday night. But for the fall I think they will revert back to the animated comedies. American Dad isn’t canceled. Instead its moving networks to TBS. That leaves open a space. FOX doesn’t have a new animated series ready to go, so they’ll probably stick their only multi-camera series commitment and stick it here.*

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MONDAY:
8PM: Sleepy Hollow
9PM: Gracepoint

*Sleepy Hollow was the surprise hit of the fall season last year and was almost immediately renewed for a second season. It should remain in its Monday night timeslot to remain successful. Gracepoint is the American adaptation of Broadchurch. It should get enough attention for that reason alone. With both of these shows unlikely to run the whole broadcast television season, my other prediction: The Following and another year of 24 will take over the night in the winter.*

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TUESDAY:
8PM: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:30PM: Weird Loners
9PM: New Girl
9:30PM: The Mindy Project

*I have no clue what FOX is going to do with this night. I have a feeling they will keep the comedy night in-tact because they don’t have a whole lot of other options. The Mindy Project needs New Girl to survive, so I doubt those two are going to be separated. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has gained enough traction to lead-off the hour, with already ordered to series comedy Weird Loners filling out the opening hour of the evening. I could actually see Fox moving its comedy night to Thursday, but it would be pretty ballsy to put up their shows against the juggernaut that is The Big Bang Theory. But you never know.*

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WEDNESDAY:
8PM: Empire
9PM: Gotham

*This night is going to be completely empty this fall. The X Factor and American Idol have kept this night full for three years. But with AI not presumably returning until January, the night is free. Their best bet is to move two of their high profile series here. Gotham is gaining a lot of attention already because of the Batman connection. It should have a high premiere. Empire has the star power of Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Gabourey Sidibe, and director Lee Daniels. I could see it being one of those 13-episode only orders along the lines of Sleepy Hollow to make room for AI in the winter.*

THURSDAY:
8PM: Bones
9PM: Backstrom

*This night is another blank canvass. Without X Factor and Idol. I doubt they are going to launch any comedies on this night against NFL, Big Bang and NBC’s comedies. That leaves old faithful Bones to fill the void and bring some audience to a new night. Backstrom seems like a compatible show that would work well for a crime drama block on Thursdays, which the other networks don’t have.*

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FRIDAY:
8PM: Glee
9PM: Kitchen Nightmares

*Glee is entering its final season and can barely pull 2 1/2 million viewers. I doubt FOX is going to use it to launch another evening of programming. Its buzz level has completely diminished. There’s not much life left in the series. Faithful viewers will still watch it on Friday evenings. Otherwise, I guess they’ll fill the night with various repeats or more episodes of Kitchen Nightmares.*

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Midseason: American Idol, Dead Boss, The Following, Hieroglyph, Last Man on Earth, Red Band Society, 24, Wayward Pines

*FOX has been developing a weird model of how they are airing programs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they ordered this many shows for midseason. Despite the lack of an official announcement, American Idol is certainly coming back. Probably in a more limited capacity (maybe not 3 hours every week?), but it will be back. And I also have a prediction that 24 will be returning sooner than we think. The ratings for the premiere were pretty fantastic. FOX is going to want to go back to the well again.*

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