[Upfronts] Fox's New Fall Lineup

The network that seems to push every boundary of morale decency, FOX, has released its fall schedule. Fans of Arrested Development will be happy to hear that it has been given another chance. The show has been moved to Monday’s at 8 p.m. but will need to find a new home in January as House is shifting to that timeslot when 24 starts its season.

Partly because of its playoff baseball coverage and also due to the fact that two of its most popular series, 24 and American Idol, only start their season in January, FOX’s schedule can seem a bit disjointed.

In the fall Monday’s will consist of Arrested Development at 8 p.m. followed up by a new comedy, Kitchen Confidential. The premise sounds a bit like the failed Emeril show. It is based on the life renowned chef Anthony Bourdain, yeah never heard of him either. So basically this star chef takes over some fancy restaurant, hires a new staff and comedy ensues, or at least that’s the plan. Bradley Cooper from Alias stars as Bourdain with John Chow (Harold and Kumer) and Nicholas Brenden (Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) appear as chefs in Bourdain’s kitchen. At 9 p.m. FOX introduces one of its more promising new dramas, Prison Break. The premise sounds innovative and downright cool. This guy Michael has a brother, Lincoln, on death row for a murder he didn’t commit (or at least Michael thinks Lincoln didn’t do it). So Michael gets himself arrested so that he can get in the same jail in order to break his brother out. Oh btw Michael is a structural engineer who has blueprints to the prison so he wont be using no rock hammer for 20 years to get out, which is good because his brother only has a few months before he is executed. Sounds like it has lots of potential, let’s hope it lives up to it. The two brothers are played by British actors, Wentworth Miller and Domenic Purcell, you may or may not recognise but not many people knew who Hugh Laurie was before House so this casting strategy may work again.

Tuesday’s start off at 8 p.m. with a new drama called Bones which like Kitchen Confidential is based on a real-life person. Instead of a chef this series deals with a forensic anthropologist, played by unknown Emily Deschanel, who on the side from her research job helps police out with badly decayed or burned bones to find clues for identification purposes. Former Angel star, David Boreanaz plays a special agent who distrust science. House returns to its 9 p.m. time slot, which it faired quite well in despite being against The Amazing Race. Hopefully House doesn’t fall into a sophomore slump.

Wednesday night starts off with a couple of comedies. That 70’s Show returns at 8 p.m., even though it should have just said goodbye now that its main character is gone. Stacked, staring Pam Anderson, did well enough to earn another shot is given the 8:30 p.m. slot. At 9 p.m FOX has a new show dubbed as a comedic drama called Head Cases. Chris O’Donnell (Robin from the Batman movies) stars as a successful lawyer who is dumped by his wife causing him to have a nervous breakdown. Yeah I also thought Chris O’Donnell had fallen off the face of the earth. At least the show has Rachel Leigh-Cook to add the hotness factor.

Starting in January House moves to Monday’s at 8 p.m. to be followed up by another season of 24 at 9 p.m., in what FOX no doubt hopes to be a dominant night. American Idol takes over the 8 p.m. slot on Tuesdays and Bones moves to an hour later at 9 p.m. That 70s Show and Stacked stay where they are on Wednesday nights. The American Idol recap/vote show takes place at 9 p.m. that night and will be followed up by the new comedy The Loop at 9:30 p.m. It is a series about a bunch of early-20-somethings who want to work and have fun. None of the actors are big or even minor stars.

The O.C. returns to its 8 p.m. Thursday time slot and FOX is still trying to find the right show to follow it. After abysmal failures, North Shore and Pleasant Point, Reunion gets its show at 9 p.m. starting in the fall. The drama follows six friends over the course of twenty years in just one season. One of the friends dies under mysterious circumstances in 2005 but before the identity is revealed the show flashes back to 1986 as the friends are graduating high school. Each episode is one year later then the next. Sounds pretty cool but what happens after the first season? You kinda lose your gimmick after you get back to 2005 don’t you? Well its on against CSI so it may not even make it to the late 90s before its cancelled.

Friday’ starts off with the return of The Bernie Mac Show at 8 p.m. followed by Malcolm in the Middle, which makes the move from Sunday, at 8:30 p.m. A new series with the working title The Gate premieres at 9 p.m. This show is another in the long line of the crime/mystery genre. With recent trends ofcourse there has to be a twist to the abnormal/perverse. A pair of detectives search San Fran for the most disturbing criminals (think Se7en) who commit the most disturbing crimes. It stars a bunch of actors who were had guest roles in other Fox dramas in 2004. Johnny Messner (Lance from the O.C.) and Marguerite Moreau (Reed from The O.C) star as the pair of detectives and Chi McBride who was great in his guest spots in House stars as the Lieutenant overseeing the pair.

FOX’s Saturday nights stay the same with two episodes of Cops starting at 8 p.m. and America’s Most Wanted at 9 p.m. Now I remember why I go out most Saturday nights.

The formerly dominant FOX Sunday has floundered in recent years but hopes that its Animation Domination can bring it back on top. The fall of 2005 will start off with an animation re-run at 7 p.m. (probably will end up being pre-empted by football for the fall anyway) and King of the Hill at 7:30 p.m. The Simpsons return for another season, must be their 50th by now, at 8:00 p.m. The only change in the line-up, of what is currently being used, is the introduction of the new comedy, The War at Home, which gets the formerly coveted post-Simpsons 8:30 p.m. slot. You could probably guess from the title that yes this is a family comedy. A couple, Michael Rapaport (Boston Public) and Anita Barrone (The Jeff Foxworthy Show), try to deal with their three teenagers. Sounds pretty standard but Fox did give it the Sunday slot that it has tried to use to launch many other comedies. Seth McFarlane gives us an hour of frivolity with Family Guy at 9 and American Dad at 9:30

Fox pulled off a coup with the success of House this year. If it can get similar success from one or two of its new dramas it will be a huge boost. The network has seen a great deal of turnover because of failed reality shows, crappy comedies and lame dramas over the past two seasons. At least the network had the courage to stick with Arrested Development and give it a shot on Monday nights. If North American viewers pick King of Queens over Arrested then they truly do deserve to be stuck with crap on TV.

Fall 2005

Monday Tuesday Wedneday
8 PM Arrested Development
Kitchen Confidential
Bones That 70’s Show
9 PM Prison Break House Head Cases

Jan 2006

Monday Tuesday Wedneday
8 PM House American Idol That 70’s Show
9 PM 24 Bones American Idol
The Loop

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7 PM Animation Reruns
King of The Hill
8 PM The O.C. The Bernie Mac Show
Malcolm in the Middle
Cops The Simpsons
The War at Home
9 PM Reunion The Gate (working title) America’s Most Wanted Family Guy
American Dad

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