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Sunday, May 20, 2007

FOX Gets Real

As they have for the last two years, FOX presented two different schedules: the fall schedule and the January 2008 schedule.

But before you get upset about your favorite show moving around all over the place, remember that the schedule FOX presents in May is NEVER the schedule we get in January…

Here’s the breakdown…

8 PM—Prison Break
9 PM—K-Ville
“K-Ville” is a police drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans starring Anthony Anderson (“The Shield”) and Tawny Cypress (“Heroes”).

8 PM—New Amsterdam
9 PM—House
“New Amsterdam” is a drama about a New York homicide detective who is immortal, but will become mortal when he finds his true love.

8 PM—Back to You
8:30 PM—‘Til Death
9 PM—Bones
“Back to You” is a comedy starring Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer as reunited news anchors trying to recapture their on-screen chemistry. The show also stars Fred Willard.

8 PM—Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9 PM—Kitchen Nightmares
“Kitchen Nightmares” is a reality show starring Chef Gordon Ramsay of “Hell’s Kitchen.” Chef Ramsay will hit the road in each episode to fix a restaurant in crisis.

8 PM—The Search For the Next Great American Band (working title)
9 PM—Nashville (working title)
“Search” is the new show looking for the next great American band from the producers of “American Idol.” “Nashville” is a reality show that focuses on people trying to make it big in the music business in Nashville.

8 PM—Cops
8:30 PM—Cops
9 PM—America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back
11 PM—MADtv
12 AM—Talk Show with Spike Feresten

7 PM—The OT (NFL post-game)
8 PM—The Simpsons
8:30 PM—King of the Hill
9 PM—Family Guy
9:30 PM—American Dad

January 2008 Schedule

8 PM—K-Ville (January)/Prison Break (Spring)
9 PM—24

8 PM—American Idol
9 PM—House

8 PM—Back to You
8:30 PM—‘Til Death (January)/The Return of Jezebel James (Spring)
9 PM—American Idol (January)/American Idol Results Show (Spring)
9:30 PM—‘Til Death (Spring)
“The Return of Jezebel James” is a comedy about two sisters who are polar opposites who move in together when one (Lauren Ambrose, “Six Feet Under”) agrees to have the other’s (Parker Posey, “Superman Returns”) baby. Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) is the creator and executive producer.

8 PM—Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9 PM—Canterbury’s Law
“Canterbury’s Law” is a courtroom drama about a “rebellious female attorney” (Julianna Marguiles, “ER”) from executive producer Denis Leary.

8 PM—Bones
9 PM—New Amsterdam


7 PM—King of the Hill
7:30 PM—American Dad
8 PM—The Simpsons
8:30 PM—Family Guy
9 PM—The Sarah Connor Chronicles
“The Sarah Connor Chronicles” follows Sarah Connor (Lena Headey, “300”) and her son, John, after the events of “Terminator 2.”

FOX also picked up the comedy, “The Rules for Starting Over,” from the Farrelly Brothers about a group of newly single friends trying to start over. It stars Craig Bierko (who single-handedly ruined “Boston Legal” this season).

This summer, FOX has four reality shows planned: the returning “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” plus “On the Lot,” the moviemaking competition from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, and “Anchorwoman,” which follows former Miss New York and WWE diva Lauren Jones as she becomes an anchorwoman at a small Texas TV station.

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: The obvious choice is “Back To You,” but we’ve seen this kind of thing before—big stars but no writers to back them up. But since this has the pedigree of Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”), I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Best Shot at a Miss: I’m not sure we’re ready for a show about the troubles of post-Katrina New Orleans like “K-Ville.”

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: Since I know it will all change, I’m not even going to look at the crazy January schedule. The fall schedule looks pretty solid except I think that teaming the “The Search for the Next Great American Band” and “Nashville” may be too much music reality for one night.

Best Scheduling Move: If it sticks, leaving “House” in place Tuesdays at 9 for both schedules is a great move. And I like that “King of the Hill” is actually getting a real fall timeslot this year.

Biggest Disappointment: Last year, I said that FOX needed to come up with some short-run shows to fill the space until “Idol” and “24” returned in January, but reality shows wasn’t what I had in mind. I’m afraid it might all be too much.

Stay Tuned…