This morning, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group, announced FOX’s primetime slate for the 2016-2017 television season. The announcement of the fall slate of programming comes on the heels of last week’s cancellations of several series including freshman comedies, The Grinder and Grandfathered.
FOX has essentially split the 2016-2017 programming season into three parts with most of its returning series premiering in fall, and lots of new series launching in Winter and Spring. FOX series Gotham and Empire will take the winter period off to allow for the launch of two new series.
Let’s take a look at the new primetime lineup before I give a brief description of the new series. (Old series in ital., new series in bold ital.)
FOX FALL 2016 SCHEDULE (All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Gotham
9:00-10:00 PM Lucifer
8:00-8:30 PM Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:30-9:00 PM New Girl
9:00-10:00 PM Scream Queens
8:00-9:00 PM Lethal Weapon (new)
9:00-10:00 PM Empire
8:00-9:00 PM Rosewood
9:00-10:00 PM Bones
8:00-9:00 PM Hell’s Kitchen
9:00-10:00 PM The Exorcist (new)
7:00-10:30 PM FOX Sports Saturday: FOX College Football
7:00-7:30 PM NFL on FOX
7:30-8:00 PM The OT / Bob’s Burgers
8:00-8:30 PM The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 PM Son of Zorn (new)
9:00-9:30 PM Family Guy
9:30-10:00 PM The Last Man on Earth
FOX MIDSEASON 2016-2017 SCHEDULE (All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM 24: Legacy (new) / Gotham (spring)
9:00-10:00 PM APB (new) / Lucifer (spring)
8:00-8:30 PM New Girl / Brooklyn Nine-Nine (spring)
8:30-9:00 PM The Mick (new)
9:00-10:00 PM Kicking & Screaming (new) / Pitch (new; spring)
8:00-9:00 PM Lethal Weapon / Shots Fired (new; spring)
9:00-10:00 PM Star (new) / Empire (spring)
8:00-9:00 PM Rosewood
9:00-10:00 PM Prison Break (new)
8:00-9:00 PM MasterChef Junior
9:00-10:00 PM Sleepy Hollow
8:00-10:00 PM FOX Sports Saturday
7:00-7:30 PM Encores of FOX Animation Series
7:30-8:00 PM Bob’s Burgers
8:00-8:30 PM The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 PM Making History (new)
9:00-9:30 PM Family Guy
9:30-10:00 PM The Last Man on Earth
New Fall Series Descriptions
Four decades after the Academy Award-nominated film, The Exorcist returns as a psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. FOX’s Dana Walden says that this “Scary, Scary cinematic show” and its premiere on Friday nights reminds them of the initial Friday premiere of The X-Files. “This is a reason to stay home on Friday nights, She says.
CAST: Alfonso Herrera (Sense8, The Chosen) as Father Tomas Ortega, Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone, House of Cards) as Father Marcus Brennan, Geena Davis (Commander in Chief, Thelma & Louise) as Angela Rance, Brianne Howey (Scream Queen) as Katherine Rance, Hannah Kasulka (The Fosters) as Casey Rance, Kurt Egyiawan (Beasts of No Nation) as Brother Bennett. Alan Ruck (Spin City, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) will guest star as Henry Rance.
Lethal Weapon reboots the hit movie franchise, and follows classic cop duo Riggs and Murtaugh, who are working a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. Riggs’ penchant for diving headfirst into the line of fire immediately clashes with Murtaugh’s prudent, by-the-book technique. It’s clear from the moment they meet, that this partnership could be lethal. FOX execs are excited to use NFL to their advantage to introduce this “Muscular” new series, before moving it to its normal Wednesday timeslot.
CAST: Damon Wayans, Sr. (In Living Color, My Wife and Kids) as Roger Murtaugh, Clayne Crawford (Rectify) as Martin Riggs, Jordana Brewster (Fast and Furious) as Dr. Maureen “Mo” Cahill, Kevin Rahm (Desperate Housewives, Judging Amy) as Captain Brooks Avery, Keesha Sharp (Girlfriends) as Trish Murtaugh.
Son of Zorn
Son of Zorn is a new hybrid live-action/animated comedy about an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean — where everything and everyone is animated — who returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son.
CAST: Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth, Horrible Bosses, Saturday Night Live) as Zorn, Johnny Pemberton (21 Jump Street, Pickle & Peanut) as Alan, Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Edie, Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) as Craig, Artemis Pebdani (Scandal, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), as Linda.
October TV Event
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
FOX is doing the Time Warp, and bringing the 1975 cult classic to life with a reimagining of the original movie.
CAST: Tim Curry (the original Frank-N-Furter), as the show’s Criminologist Narrator, Victoria Justice (Victorious) as Janet, Ryan McCartan (Liv & Maddie, Heathers the Musical), as Brad, Lavenre Cox (Orange is the New Black) as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Staz Nair (Game of Thrones) as Rocky Horror, Adam Lambert (American Idol) as Eddie, Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark) as Riff Raff, Annaleigh Ashford (Sylvia, Masters of Sex) as Columbia, Christina Milian (Grandfathered) as Magenta, Ben Vereen (Pippin) as Dr. Everett Scott.
New Midseason Series:
24: Legacy is the next evolution of the Emmy Award-winning 24 franchise and chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil. 24: Legacy will premiere in the highly coveted post-Super Bowl slot and Walden calls star Corey Hawkins, “A breakout. He has so much superstar appeal.”
CAST: Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) as Eric Carter, Miranda Otto (Homeland) as Rebecca Ingram, Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue, The West Wing) as Senator John Donovan, Teddy Sears (Masters of Sex, Raising the Bar) as Keith Mullins, Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) as Andy Shalowitz, Anna Diop (The Messengers) as Nicole Carter, Ashley Thomas (Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands) as Isaac Carter, Charlie Hofheimer (Mad Men) as Ben Grimes, newcomer Coral Pena as Mariana Stiles, Sheila Vand (State of Affairs, Fargo) as Nilaa.
Empire creator Lee Daniels pulls back the curtain on music’s dark and gritty reality in his new drama, Star. The series follows three talented singers, desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. “It’s a different way into the music business” says FOX execs who says that the series takes a lot from Daniels’ life.
Cast: Queen Latifah (Bessie, Bringing Down The House) as Carlotta Brown, a surrogate mother to the young singers, Benjamin Bratt (24: Live Another Day, Law & Order) as Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent, and starring as the trio of singers are newcomers Jude Demorest as Star, Brittany O’Grady as Simone and Ryan Destiny as Alexandria. The series will also feature guest star and Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Hunger Games).
Just in time for baseball, FOX will premiere Pitch, the dramatic and inspirational story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. Ginny’s improbable journey is the beginning of an almost impossible one: representing her gender as she embarks on a successful baseball career under the glare of the media spotlight.
CAST: Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome) as Ginny Baker, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Franklin & Bash, NYPD Blue) as Mike Lawson, Ali Larter (Legends, Heroes) as Amelia Slater, Mark Consuelos (All My Children) as Oscar Arguella, Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) as Al Luongo, Mo McRae (Sons of Anarchy) as Blip Sanders.
A billionaire engineer puts up millions of his own dollars to take over Chicago PD’s troubled 13th police district and reboot it as a private, high-tech police force: better, faster and smarter than anything seen before.
CAST: Justin Kirk (Tyrant, Weeds) as Gideon Reeves, Natalie Martinez (Under the Dome) as Theresa Murphy, Ernie Hudson (Grace & Frankie, Ghostbusters) as Sgt. Ned Conrad, Taylor Handley (Vegas, Southland) as Officer Nicholas Brandt, Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours) as Ada Hamilton, Tamberla Perry (Boss) as Officer Tasha Goss, Eric Winter (Days of Our Lives) as Scott Murphy.
In the thrilling series, original series stars Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar and Paul Adelstein are reunited for an all-new adventure spanning the globe and featuring the signature thrills and cliffhangers that were hallmarks of the original series when it aired on FOX from 2005-2009.
This 10-hour event series focuses on a small Southern town in the aftermath of racially charged shootings. When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside-down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, re-opening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. The series is an explosive look at the criminal justice system and asks “why done it?” and “who done it?”
CAST: Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy) as Ashe Akino, Stephan James (Race, Selma) as Preston Terry, Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) as Governor Patricia Eamons, Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl, Jaws) as Arlen Cox, Stephen Moyer (True Blood) as Lt. Eric Breeland, Tristan Wilds as Dep. Joshua Belk, Aisha Hinds as Pastor Janae James, Will Patton as Sheriff Daniel Platt, Conor Leslie as Sarah Ellis, Clare-Hope Ashitey as Kerry Belk, DeWanda Wise as Shameeka Campbell.
This no-holds-barred single-camera comedy that gives new meaning to the phrase “dysfunctional family.” Mackenzie aka “Mickey” is a brash, two-bit hustler who has spent her entire life shirking any semblance of responsibility. But when Mickey visits her estranged sister and billionaire brother-in-law, they flee the country and leave their three, ill-parented children under Mackenzie’s guardianship.
CAST: Kaitlin Olson(It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Mackenzie, Sofia Black-D’Elia (The Messengers) as Sabrina, Thomas Barbusca (The New Normal) as Chip, newcomer Jack Stanton as Ben, Carla Jimenez as Alba, Susan Park as Liz.
This new comedy follows three friends from two different centuries as they try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their present-day lives. “It’s about three friends who travel through time crashing important moments in history,” says Walden. So, I wonder, is it like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure meets Forrest Gump?!?
CAST: Adam Pally (The Mindy Project, Happy Endings) as Dan, Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) as Deborah, Yassir Lester (Girls, Key and Peele) as Chris.
Kicking & Screaming
This new reality competition series teams 10 expert survivalists with pampered partners to face the toughest challenges of their lives. From executive producer Matt Kunitz (Wipeout, Fear Factor), and hosted by New Girl’s Hannah Simone, the series drops these unlikely duos into a tropical jungle in Fiji, where they must overcome dangerous animals, raging rivers, hunger and extreme weather. To win the competition, and a cash prize of $500,000, the experts will have to drag their partners, to the finish line. “It’s The Simple Life meets The Amazing Race,” says FOX Exec Dana Walden.
More FOX News
Also, FOX talked about the success of Winter 2016 event series, The X-Files. Will there be more? FOX reveals that they’ve had conversations with the series’ three key players (David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Chris Carter) about doing another installment. They reveal since all three are currently working on other projects, it’s difficult to peg down an exact timeline and hints, “All parties want to do more.” When I interviewed Anderson and Duchovny, they echoed that sentiment. FOX also says they are hoping to have an announcement next year with new episodes premiering no earlier than the 2017-2018 season.
With the success of Grease: Live and the upcoming excitement about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, FOX reveals that they’re looking for new ways to be “Market Leaders” in the live TV sphere. They didn’t have anything new to reveal, but revealed that they’re working on future live, musical events.
The network revealed that after the uproar of the new direction of Sleepy Hollow, this season isn’t being written as its last, despite the death of main character Abbie (Nichole Beharie) in the Season 3 finale. “What we know is that Tom Mison is a big star. And the Ichabod Crane character has been so central to the series and the storytelling and he feels like an original, big FOX character. says Walden. “And while there was backlash, there was also a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from fans about the show coming back and about Tom having the ability to be the center of the series and discovering new dynamics and new relationships.”
All images ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co.