FOX Schedule Analysis

     FOX's schedule for Fall 2015 has a format quite similar to its Fall 2014 except with less reality shows after the epic bomb "Utopia" and the overexposure of "Hell's Kitchen". Mondays are still genre night with FOX's only freshman hit last fall, Gotham, which leads into a new sci-fi drama Minority Report, which is a continuation of the 2002 film of the same name. After the reality shows and female skewing comedies delivered not-so stellar ratings on Tuesdays, FOX has opted to go all new on the night with Grandfathered at 8, The Grinder at 8:30, and Scream Queens at 9. Grandfathered and The Grinder are single cam comedies starring John Stamos and Rob Lowe, respectively. Scream Queens is a new comedy horror anthology series from Ryan Murphy, creator of dramedy Glee and horror series American Horror Story. Scream Queens was ordered direct to series in October, and since then FOX has launched an extensive promotion campaign. On Wednesdays, FOX is trying to grow hit show Empire by having it stay in its same 9 pm slot. Preceding it is medical procedural, Rosewood. Like last Fall, Bones starts at 8, leading into another drama. What's different this time is that the third season of Sleepy Hollow will air after it. Fridays are all-reality with Gordon Ramsay's cooking competition show MasterChef Junior leading into Terry Crews-hosted World's Funniest Fails. Sundays follow the exact format of male-skewing animation and live action shows with The Last Man On Earth" at 9:30 after Family Guy.


The lineup gets a big boost from NFL in the Fall, so it should look much better than the Spring. Instead of Bordertown, FOX decided to premiere LMOE in the Fall, which is good IMO because long hiatuses can be damaging. Also, there are no other spots for the male-skewing live action comedies, so this is the best place to put them. Overall, the lineup is consistent and will look solid with the NFL boost.

Gotham/Minority Report was always the most obvious choice and most natural, but there were more possibilities with all the genre pilots ordered to series. The late season drop for Gotham is worrying, but that could be attributed to the general collapse of post-Empire FOX. Minority Report has built-in appeal, a very compatible leadin, so its chances at doing well are pretty good. Overall, Mondays are great, but Minority Report being limited weakens it some.

This is where I believe FOX made one of its two big mistakes of the schedule. Already, I think the comedies look shaky. Grandfathered is relying on John Stamos who honestly is not as relevant as before, and Parks and Recreation with Rob Lowe had not been setting the world on fire. FOX placed them in the most likely spot for ABC comedies whereas 9 pm is a drama filled hour. Scream Queens leads out of incompatible and shaky comedies. Scream Queens looks like it has a lot of potential, though Ryan Murphy shows' ability to sustain themselves are questionable. FOX really looks like it is trying with Scream Queens, and the scheduling shows this by placing it in a higher viewed hour away from The Voice. Overall, FOX is mainly trying to nurture Scream Queens which has a nice chance to be a hit, but it may come at the expense of the night as a whole.

The second mistake was on this night. Rosewood will have to self-start, and appeal seems middling. What it has going for it is the competition (Mysteries of Laura is also procedural, but...) and Empire pre-tune which seemed to benefit American Idol. I don't immediately see a hit, but I would not count it out. Empire at 9, the higher viewed spot, sets it up for higher numbers. Wasting that big of a leadin just does not seem worth it to me though. Overall, FOX made a big mistake because they were not thinking of the night overall.

This fall, Thursdays will become even more crowded. In addition to Thursday Night Football and TGIT, NBC is actually trying on the night with high profile Heroes: Reborn and The Blacklist compared to last years filler lineup. FOX is semi-trying with scripted, and they placed the better "filler" options. Bones is the reliable utility procedural with its loyal fans and Sleepy Hollow was bound to be demoted another night. FOX does not really have the depth to tackle this tough night, so going with this lineup is good enough for now. At the very least, it should be on par with this year's Thursday.

MasterChef Junior is very good filler, and World's Funniest Fails is okay to decent for Fridays. Only thing is, it could be squandering MasterChef Junior's potential by demoting it to Fridays. Overall, a good, cheap reality night that can perform decently.

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