Without a formal live, upfront TV program presentation due to COVID-19, the Fox Television Network unveiled its 2020-2021 TV season with four new fall shows and a little help: Two of the new additions previously had their start on cable networks.
Those series -- “L.A.'s Finest” and “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” -- will have their Fox “network” television debut coming from the Spectrum Originals' on-demand channel and National Geographic Channel, respectively.
“L.A.'s Finest,” starring Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, about a DEA agent who takes a new job with the LAPD, goes into its second season. “Cosmos," a documentary TV series, comes to Fox for its third season, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Fox has been doing virtual, one-on-one small meetings with media agencies in lieu of a big, live upfront program presentation for media executives.
“The effects of this global health crisis leave no business unaffected,” stated Charlie Collier, CEO, Fox Entertainment.
Collier said the company’s “entrepreneurial spirit” has helped it “mobilize, swiftly creating an entirely new, original-programming lineup for the fall to share with our partners this upfront.”
Many TV networks have faced challenges with TV productions being suspended/delayed due to COVID-19.
With a couple of weeks to go before the season ends, Fox leads in 18-49 viewers among all broadcast networks -- what would be its first big win in the category in more than eight years.
Fox is averaging a 1.8 rating/9 share in Nielsen’s live program-plus-seven days (L7) of time-shifted viewing metric. NBC is next with a 1.4/7.
Fox is up 13% in 18-49 viewers and 17% in total average prime-time viewers.
One major reason for Fox’s success is “Thursday Night Football,” which averaged 15.0 million viewers, according to the Nielsen live program-plus-same day rating -- the second-biggest TV show after NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (20.1 million). Fox's airing of the Super Bowl in February was a major factor.
In addition, Fox’s competition show “The Masked Singer” has been the highest-rated entertainment show of the season among 18-49 viewers, averaging a 3.0 rating/15 share, according to Nielsen live program-plus-three days of time-shifted viewing (L3) -- up 30% from the previous season -- with average viewers up 27% to 10.2 million.
“Masked Singer” returns to Wednesdays this year at 8 p.m., with “MasterChef Junior” at 9 p.m.
Among new series starting this fall, “Next” is a drama/thriller about artificial intelligence that goes rogue, threatening to cause a global disaster. It takes the Monday 9 p.m. time slot.
“Filthy Rich” is a soap/drama focused on a mega-rich Southern family who created a successful Christian TV network. It takes the 9 p.m. slot on Tuesday.
New midseason shows so far include “Call Me Kat,” a comedy starring Mayim Bialik, and two animated series: “The Great North” and “Housebroken.”