FOX Unveils Its 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

Today was Fox’s turn to unveil its 2011-2012 schedule at this year’s upfronts presentation. The upcoming season is a huge one for Fox. Not only are two highly anticipated series finally making it on air (Terra Nova and X Factor), but the network is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’ll commemorate this milestone with a star-studded retrospective special airing on Sunday April 1. It’ll feature Fox’s biggest stars from both past and present paying homage to the network.

Overall, Fox picked up nine new shows. Five of which will premiere in the fall, while the remaining four will debut midseason. Obviously with new shows coming in, room has to be made to accommodate the brand new shiny hopefuls. Gone are “The Chicago Code,” “Lie to Me,” “Breaking In,” “Traffic Light,” “Human Target.”, “Running Wilde”, “Lone Star”, “The Good Guys” and “America’s Most Wanted“. None of them are too surprising with exception to the latter.

The criminal catching series has been on the network since 1988 and still garners over 5 million viewers on Saturday. Pretty impressive for a dead television night. However, with the production costs increasing, producing the show no longer became viable and thereby canceled. That said, the show will return with four specials throughout next season. With over 1000 episodes and equally as many captures underneath its belt, it’s ironic the long running show won’t make it to FOX’s 25th milestone year.

The Newcomers

Allen Gregory

Stars: Jonah Hill (“Superbad,” “Get Him to the Greek”), French Stewart (“3rd Rock from the Sun”), Nat Faxon (“The Cleveland Show”) and Joy Osmanski (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

Premise: Allen Gregory is a new animated comedy series that tells the story of one of the most pretentious 7-year-olds of our time. When he looks in the mirror, he doesn’t see a child. Rather, he sees a young man who is intelligent, sophisticated, worldly, artistic and romantic. He lives with his father with whom he shares an extraordinary father-son bond and his adopted Cambodian sister.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Stars: Jaime Pressly (“My Name Is Earl”), Katie Finneran (“Wonderfalls”), Kristi Lauren (“You”) and Aisha Dee (“Dead Gorgeous”).

Premise: A new multi-camera comedy about two best friends who are single moms struggling to raise their difficult and over-privileged teenage daughters. Annie (Jaime Pressly) and Nikki (Katie Finneran) are former high school outcasts whose pasts inform their current parenting styles. Annie, who was raised in an ultra-strict, über-religious household where she had little-to-no freedom, pretty much allows her daughter, Sophie (Kristi Lauren), to do whatever she wants. Nikki, once an unpopular, overweight social pariah, has reinvented herself as a pretty Southern belle whose top priority is providing her daughter, Mackenzie (Aisha Dee).

New Girl (working title)

Stars: Zooey Deschanel (“(500) Days of Summer”), Jake Johnson (“No Strings Attached”), Max Greenfield (“Ugly Betty”) and Damon Wayans Jr. (“The Underground”).

Premise: A new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether (“No Strings Attached”) that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. Jess Day( Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys.

Terra Nova

Stars: Jason O’Mara (“Life on Mars”), Shelley Conn (“Mistresses”), Landon Liboiron (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”), Allison Miller (“Kings”), Naomi Scott (“Life Bites”) and newcomer Alana Mansour

Premise: From executive producers Steven Spielberg comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. An ordinary family goes on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past.

The X Factor

Stars: Simon Cowell (“American Idol”), Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Cheryl Cole (U.K. “X Factor”), Paula Abdul (“American Idol”), Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones.

Premise: The judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. Will Simon Cowell & Paula Abdul’s reunion translate to big ratings?

Alcatraz

Stars: Sarah Jones (“Sons of Anarchy”), Jeffrey Pierce (“The Nine”), Robert Forster (“Jackie Brown”), Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”), Jonny Coyne (“Undercovers”), Jason Butler Harner (“The Changeling”) and Parminder Nagra (“ER”).

Premise: From executive producer J.J. Abrams comes Alcatraz, the chilling new thriller centered on America’s most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation’s most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers, thieves and arsonists. When San Francisco Police Department Det. Rebecca Madsen is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: Jack Sylvane, a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. He is now loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since he was in Alcatraz.

The Finder

Stars: Geoff Stults (“She’s Out of My League”), Saffron Burrows (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) and Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile”).

Premise: Iraq war veteran Walter gained a reputation while serving in the Army Military Police as someone who was very good at tracking down insurgents, deserters and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Unfortunately, Walter found one IED just moments before it found him. Two months later, when Walter woke from his coma, he earned an honorable discharge and returned home. His resulting brain damage from the explosion transformed him from someone skilled at recovering people and things into something much more extraordinary: a Finder.

Napoleon Dynamite

Stars:The original cast from the film – Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries and Diedrich Bader – will voice their characters in the series. Guest voices in the debut season include Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie”), Sam Rockwell (“Choke”) and Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”).

Premise: An animated series based on the hit film, Napoleon Dynamite, which follows the continuing adventures of America’s most awesome awkward teenager and his quirky family and friends as they struggle to navigate small-town life in rural Idaho. The original cast from the film reunite to voice their animated dopplegangers.

Touch

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland (“24”)

Premise A preternatural drama in which science and spirituality intersect with the hopeful premise that we are all interconnected, tied in invisible ways to those whose lives we are destined to alter and impact. Through masterful storytelling, the series follows a group of seemingly unrelated characters. At the center is Martin Bohm (Sutherland), a widower and single father, is haunted by an inability to connect to his mute, severely autistic 10-year-old son, Jake. Everything changes when Martin discovers that Jake possesses a gift of staggering genius – the ability to see things that no one else can, the patterns that connect everything. Jake is indeed communicating after all. But it’s not with words, it’s with numbers. And now he needs Martin to decipher their meaning and connect these numbers to the cast of seemingly unrelated characters whose lives they affect.

My Thoughts

Overall, I think it’s a well-thought schedule. Even though “American Idol” is a huge hit for the network, programming shows around it has made it difficult. In the Fall you have to occupy three hours of primetime slot only to shove them aside when Idol returns. The fact X-Factor will now occupy those hours in the Fall, will make the transition to Idol much easier. That being said, I worry that having two singing competition shows will dilute Idol’s power. Add in “The Sing-Off” and “The Voice” on NBC, people might tire of wannabe singers belting out covers.

Launching high-concept shows has proven very difficult for networks the past few years. Just look at “The Event”, “V” as a couple of examples. I have high hopes for both “Alcatraz” and “Terra Nova”. With Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams respectively behind the scenes, both projects should be good. Minus Abrams’ misstep of “Undercovers” this season, he’s got a winning record. That goes without saying for Spielberg as well.

I’m also very excited to see both their new comedies. Both “New Girl” and “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” look promising. Though, I’m not a fan of weekly animation shows, their new offerings have me intrigued. I’ll definitely check their pilot when it becomes available.

Breakout Hits: Terra Nova, New Girl and X-Factor
Surefire Bomb: The Finder

Which 2011-2012 Fox Show Looks Most Promising?

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FOX Fall 2011 Primetime Schedule

Monday

8:00 pm – Terra Nova (NEW)
9:00 pm – House

Tuesday

8:00 pm- Glee
9:00 pm – New Girl (NEW)
9:30 pm – Raising Hope

Wednesday

8:00 pm – The X Factor Performance Show (NEW)
9:30 pm – I Hate My Teenage Daughter (NEW)

Thursday

8:00 pm – The X Factor Results Show (NEW)
9:00 pm – Bones

Friday

8:00 pm – Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 pm – Fringe

Saturday

8:00 pm – Cops
8:30 pm – Cops
9:00 pm – Encores / America’s Most Wanted (specials)

Sunday

7:00 pm – THE OT (NFL post-game)
7:30 pm – The Cleveland Show
8:00 pm – The Simpsons
8:30 pm – Allen Gregory (NEW)
9:00 pm – Family Guy
9:30 pm – American Dad

FOX Midseason 2012 Primetime Schedule

Monday

8:00 pm – House
9:00 pm – Alcatraz (NEW)

Tuesday

8:00 pm – Glee
9:00 pm – New Girl (NEW)
9:30 pm – Raising Hope

Wednesday

8:00 pm – American Idol Performance Show (NEW)
9:30 pm – I Hate My Teenage Daughter (NEW)

Thursday

8:00 pm – American Idol Results Show
9:00 pm – The Finder (NEW) / Bones (spring)

Friday

8:00 pm – Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 pm – Fringe

Saturday

8:00 pm – Cops
8:30 pm – Cops
9:00 pm – Encores / America’s Most Wanted (specials)

Sunday

7:00 pm – Animation Domination (Encores)
7:30 pm – The Cleveland Show
8:00 pm – The Simpsons
8:30 pm – Napoleon Dynamite (NEW)
9:00 pm – Family Guy
9:30 pm – Bob’s Burgers

  • maurice

    whe is the new sEASON OF bONES GOING TO START