After a difficult TV season where Fox lost its overall key rating leadership of several years, it has decided to revamp its prime-time lineup in a big way
-- making what it says is its biggest investment ever in programming for the upcoming season.
Fox will debut five new comedies, four new dramas, a new unscripted series, and a new animated series. For the first time, it is starting up a new "event" series, including the return of Fox series "24" in the summer of 2014.
Concerning the health of the broadcast TV industry -- especially with regard to the cable TV networks, which have seen sharp ratings rises from AMC's "Walking Dead" and others -- Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, said: "We live by a different standard. The vast majority of cable [rating] flow comes from our network programing. We cancelled shows that most cable networks would continue with."
Fox has seen significant drops in TV ratings -- losing some 15% to 20% in key viewing metrics versus a year ago. For the first time in years, it will not win the coveted crown among 18-49 viewers.
For TV marketers, Toby Byrne, president of advertising sales for Fox Broadcasting, says the environment is "a challenge, but also an opportunity as the value of the broadcast content increases." He says it is expanding new ways for advertisers to get involved, including its Fox Now app, Hulu, and video-on-demand. Advertisers can now more easily change advertising creative through "dynamic ad insertion."
Reilly reasserted his effort to change the landscape in terms of when and where TV shows start in a broadcast season -- not just fall, midseason or summer. This also goes for the
number of episodes of a show in a given year. "Our goal is for year-round programming. There will be shows that play at 13, 15, 17 [episodes]. There is no magic number."
Fox's fall schedule on Monday starts with longtime drama "Bones," followed by new show "Almost Human," a J.J. Abrams drama about a police drama set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.
Later in the fall, there is new mystery-drama "Sleepy Hollow," a show set 250 years in the future in a world on the brink of destruction. After this comes "The Following," the highly rated new Fox show this season.
Tuesday starts off with a new Seth MacFarlane-produced show -- new live-action comedy "Dads," where two young entrepreneurs have their dads move in with them. It is a traditional multi-camera comedy show. Then comes "Broadway Nine-Nine," an office-comedy about a police squad featuring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher from "Saturday Night Live." "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" follow in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. time block.
Wednesday will be the main place again to see the two-hour versions of "X Factor" (in the fall) and "American Idol" (in the spring). On Thursday, the one-hour versions of both shows will be followed by "Glee" in the fall and then a new show, "Rake," follows the comedic and chaotic life of a criminal defense lawyer.
Friday will see a new version of its "Masterchef" summer reality series -- "Junior Masterchef." This will be followed by encores with "Sleepy Hollow." Later in the season, "Bones" will move from Monday, to be followed by "Raising Hope." Then at 9 p.m. comes "Enlisted," a comedy about three brothers on a small Florida Army base.
Fox's "event" series will include "24: Live Another Day" for the summer 2014 -- and, launching sometime in 2014, "Wayward Pines" from M. Night Shyamalan, starring Matt Dillon.
Fox's Prime Time 2013-2014 Schedule
8:00-9:00 p.m. BONES (fall) / ALMOST HUMAN (new; late fall)
9:00-10:00 p.m. SLEEPY HOLLOW (new; fall) / THE FOLLOWING (midseason)
8:00-8:30 p.m. DADS (new)
8:30-9:00 p.m. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (new)
9:00-9:30 p.m. NEW GIRL
9:30-10:00 p.m. THE MINDY PROJECT
8:00-10:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)
8:00-9:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 p.m. GLEE (fall) / RAKE (new; midseason)
8:00-9:00 p.m. JUNIOR MASTERCHEF (wt) (new; fall)
9:00-10:00 p.m. SLEEPY HOLLOW encores (fall)
8:00-9:00 p.m. BONES (late fall)
9:00-9:30 p.m. RAISING HOPE (late fall)
9:30-10:00 p.m. ENLISTED (new; late fall)
7:00-10:30 p.m. FOX SPORTS SATURDAY
11:00 PM-12:30 a.m. ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF
7:00-7:30 p.m. NFL Game (fall)
7:30-8:00 p.m. THE OT (fall)
8:00-8:30 p.m. THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 p.m. BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 p.m. FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 p.m. AMERICAN DAD