The gang at Fox continues to plug along.
Once again, they have won the
Don Draper advertiser coveted 18-49 demographic while finishing second overall to television powerhouse CBS in overall viewers. They got strong performances from newbies New Girl and X-Factor and have constructed their fall schedule around them accordingly.
Fox is also in the fortunate position of only having to fill two hours of television programming every night. Normally, one could argue that the lost hour hurts the bottom line because of lost sponsorship dollars and show merchandise, but in this era of network television, less is definitely more.
Monday night’s on Fox begin with yet another season of Bones. It’s definitely become a tentpole show for Fox that has a set of core viewers that will see it through until the end. It’s an exceedingly capable show that no longer captures the national interest. It has its fans, they’ll stick it out until the end, and they won’t be bothered with any of the arguments about the show jumping the shark, being completely ridiculous, or any of the other meritorious arguments that get thrown its way. It is what it is.
While Bones provides stability, the 9 PM hour will feature freshman drama, The Mob Doctor. I feel slightly torn by this show. First off, the premise (and I am sure execution) of the show seems ludicrous on roughly 168 levels. However, the show features a lot of people that I like. I enjoy the work of Michael Rapaport and William Forsythe. Unfortunately, given the ridiculous premise and the presence of The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and CBS Monday in the mix, I doubt I will be seeing them on my TV screen for many seasons to come.
On Tuesday, Fox decides to double down on their 9 PM comedy block from last season and go for a full two hour comedy block to occupy their evening. Kicking things off on the evening is the poorly rated, but critically adored Raising Hope. It’s hard to imagine their ratings getting any better, so Fox decides to put it at the front of the night so as to not waste a lead-in for a show that can’t retain it. 8:30 will bring a new brother-sister Odd Coupleish comedy Ben and Kate. Kate’s the straight arrow responsible person. Ben is the ne’er do well goof who can’t seem to grow up. Shows like Ben and Kate make me feel strongly that we have run out of television ideas. Still, the preview made it seem cute and sweet, so if you’re into that sort of thing, feel free to give it a whirl. I’m sure Fox won’t mind.
For the 9 PM hour, Fox leads with its big hit from last season, New Girl. New Girl really seemed to find itself toward the end of last season and will certainly begin this year with a ton of buzz as well. New Girl will lead into the their latest big freshman comedy, The Mindy Project. Though the show title generator refresh button has been hit a few times on this one, the show has a good pedigree and has a chance to pair up with Jess and the gang to form a solid hour of girl power comedy.
Wednesday is all about the X-Factor on Fox. The entire two hour block rests in their hands. I see the flaws in the X-Factor system, but I can’t help but love it anyway. I’m not the least bit worried about the new cast additions. Not because I think Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will be outstanding, but because of who they are replacing. Nicole Scherzingererererer (sp?) seemed like she was actively trying to be unhelpful and uninteresting every week. Let’s just say she won’t be missed. Since you can’t downgrade on nothing, all Spears and Lovato have to do is provide some level of crazy and spar with Simon a little to make this trade a win.
On top of all of the new casting additions, I thought that the talent on last season’s edition of X-Factor trumped what American Idol has been doing for the last several years. X-Factor puts together all aspects of a talented artist over who the next uninteresting white male with a guitar winner of American Idol will be. X-Factor will never win the ratings war, but it may very well win the war of record sales.
Thursdays on Fox start with the X-Factor results show which is followed by the biggest mover of the season. Glee goes from its typical Tuesday slot to try to fit in with the post X-Factor/Idol time slot that Fox can’t seem to figure out. The massive audiences for those shows should lead perfectly into whatever show they wish, but they haven’t found a show that could retain that audience. You could certainly understand why they would put Glee in this spot, but what new fans are coming to Glee at this point?
Given both the ratings and creative decline of the show, it feels a little like Fox is trying to pull a Weekend at Bernie’s move where they ask X-Factor to prop up a dead show. I know it’s still a part of the national conversation to a degree, but the creative train wreck the show has become is tough to ignore. Whatever happens, it’s an intriguing move by Fox, and one that bears watching when the fall comes around.
The Friday lineup on Fox is the equivalent of the Lonely Hearts Club Band. Fox will trot out two shows that will continue to plug away despite dismal ratings. Fringe was granted 13 more episodes to finish out its run. It’s a shame that more people don’t watch, but the fans that it does have should feel lucky that they get to see the show play out over 13 more episodes. Leading into Fringewill be the Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch. Things were pretty bad for Touch as its brief run ended this year. I imagine that the only thing keeping it afloat is the name Kiefer Sutherland. The man is an American patriot who gave his all for CTU and thwarted colossal terrorist plots in a single day multiple times.
Wait… I’m being told that those things were all a part of a fictional TV show called 24 and those feats of heroism where performed by fictional television character Jack Bauer. Well, now I have no idea why Touch is still around.
On Sunday, the animation domination comedy block will continue to reign supreme on Fox. However, it will continue without the presence of The Cleveland Show until midseason. Bob’s Burgers also makes a somewhat surprising return for a 13 episode run in its place this fall. All of the usual suspects will populate their typical time slots. The Simpsons will continue on for more zaniness, Family Guy will continue to crush the 18-49 demographic in the time slot for Fox, and American Dad will continue because Fox has bet big on the Seth MacFarlane business. The Sunday animation block isn’t going anywhere.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know what you think of Fox’s 2012 schedule in the comments.
The TV Czar
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