Upfronts 2018: Fox to Launch Just 2 New Series This Fall, Plus “TNF”
From PromaxBDA: Once the home to for edgy and unconventional fare where entries such as “Married With Children,” “The X-Files,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” set it apart, the today’s so-called New Fox looks more like a retro version of the Big 3 broadcast networks.
With a newfound emphasis on multi-camera comedies, procedural dramas and live sports, Fox has traded its niche approach to a “bigger and broader” philosophy where programming more universal in appeal could result in an older skew. While animated staples like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” remain visible, their relevance is no longer as significant.
On the forefront is the arrival of “Thursday Night Football” for five seasons this fall at a reported cost of $550 million annually. And then there is Tim Allen sitcom “Last Man Standing,” which after six respectable seasons on ABC, now signals the direction Fox is heading in comedy: multi-camera.
Another sign of that: Fox canceled or ended five single-camera sitcoms: “New Girl” concluded this season, while Fox opted not to bring back Will Forte’s “Last Man on Earth,” Andy Samberg’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which quickly found a new home on NBC, Kaitlin Olson’s “The Mick” and “Ghosted.” Fox also canceled two demon-themed dramas: “Lucifer” and “The Exorcist.”
This fall, Fox will introduce just two new series: sitcoms “The Cool Kids” out of “Last Man Standing” on Friday and “Rel” out of “Family Guy” on Sunday. Four returning dramas – “The Resident,” “9-1-1,” “The Gifted” and “Lethal Weapon” – will shift to new time periods. The changes and new series, including “Thursday Night Football,” will impact five nights of the week. Only Wednesdaywith “Empire” and “Star” and Saturday with College Football will return intact.
On tap in midseason on Fox are new dramas “The Passage” and “Proven Innocent,” and new seasons of “The Orville,” “Cosmos” and “Gotham,” which heads into its fifth – and final – season. “The Orville” will anchor Thursday once football ends.
The network also has two comedy pilots still vying for a series pick-up, including a single camera project with Lake Bell and Ed Begley, Jr., and what it refers to as a “number of new non-scripted series” in development. A live production of musical “Rent” will air in January 2019.
In the non-scripted department for midseason or summer are “Beat Shazam,” “The Four: Battle for Stardom,” “Love Connection,” “MasterChef,” “MasterChef Junior,” “Showtime at the Apollo” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Gordon Ramsey will also be featured in new entry “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.”
“This year, we launched four of the top-10 new shows on broadcast, which led to a very strong roster of young series returning for their sophomore seasons. That gives us tremendous momentum heading into the fall,” said Gary Newman and Gary Walden, the co-chairs and CEOs at Fox Television Group in a prepared statement. “With our increased investment in football, we’re going to use the powerful platform of the NFL to launch our new comedies. We’ll then take some big swings with dramas at midseason, which is a proven strategy for Fox.”
For an analysis of Fox’s fall 2018 primetime line-up, click here