What Does FOX's Future Look Like?

Hi! I'm Hunter, author of the summer renew/cancel predictions and this is my forth of five posts about the future of the major broadcast networks. This week I'm talking about FOX. How will FOX do in the 2015-16 season? How might the network do when its older shows end? Those are some of the questions that I will try to answer!

Everything seems to change on FOX frequently. This is evidenced by its amount of young shows. Only three of FOX's scripted shows have been around for more than five seasons (The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bones). Two of those are animated programs, as animation dominated FOX Sundays for a while. Last season, FOX broke up the animation block by throwing in live-action comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mulaney. By the end of the season, Mulaney had been replaced by The Last Man on Earth, and FOX's fall 2015 schedule on Sundays looks just like their schedule for the night in spring 2015, except for football games finishing up in the 7:00 hour in the fall. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be sticking around for a couple more years at least, and this fall we will see if The Last Man on Earth is going to really be a hit or a flop. Meanwhile on the animation side, Bob's Burgers will be entering its sixth season and is airing at 7:30 for the second season in a row. I have a feeling that this will be Bob's last season, at least on FOX. Long-running Family Guy is heading downward fast in the ratings, and if it isn't able to stop itself from falling soon, it will be gone in a few years. That leaves The Simpsons as the one animated program that is really successful. New show Bordertown will be joining the Sunday line-up in 2016, but at this point I am not very optimistic about its chances.

Elsewhere on the schedule in FOX comedy, returning comedy New Girl was held for mid-season, somewhat due to, though probably not totally due to, star Zooey Deschanel's pregnancy. The show will be entering its fifth season, and it is not at all strong in the ratings. I fully expect this to be its final season, though it may get one more. Also on Tuesday, Grandfathered and The Grinder will premiere in the fall, and while they boast a likely strong lead-out of Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens, and well-known lead actors of John Stamos and Rob Lowe respectfully, the competition is tough, and expectations are not too high. At mid-season, six episodes have been ordered for The Guide to Surviving Life. It is supposed to pair with New Girl, which it will probably do for six weeks while New Girl doubles up for eight. Its advantage is that it will target very young adults, similar to New Girl. Its disadvantage is the male lead, while New Girl is a very female oriented show. FOX might renew one of New Girl or The Guide to Surviving Life, try to start fresh on Tuesday comedy, or just completely ditch Tuesday comedy.

Of course, you cannot talk about FOX in 2015 without bringing up Empire, the network's new big hit. There is no questioning the fact that Empire will remain strong for a while, as its first season ratings were fantastic and they grew throughout the season. But will at some point a few years from now this Empire come crashing down? Take a look at Glee. Glee was a huge hit in its first two seasons. At the end of season five its ratings were terrible. I don't expect Empire to fall as fast as Glee, as teen shows tend to fall faster, and Glee's fifth season was strongly disliked by many critics, but I don't think that four years from now Empire will be huge, I think it will be slightly above average by then. But, for now, Empire is huge. Can Empire's hugeness now help other shows airing on the same night? American Idol did better when it aired before Empire, but this fall, I don't expect more than 13 episodes from Rosewood, the very incompatible and poorly reviewed show airing before Empire.

Talking about huge, you have to wonder if new series Scream Queens will be huge.  I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be. It's created by Ryan Murphy, and Ryan Murphy shows Glee and American Horror Story were very popular in early seasons. Plus, the show's cast includes many people that are popular with teens and young adults. Also, the genre of horror-comedy will likely be very appealing to many. Scream Queens won't be an Empire, but I do think that it will be big. However, I don't think that it will be big for long. Only four cast members from season one will be in season two, and shows with young audiences tend to fall fast. I think that by season four the show's ratings will be poor. Scream Queens will be a hit, but I don't think that will last for long.

Monday could be an interesting night for FOX. It could be a good night, or it could be a bad night. Gotham did pretty well in season one, so it should do well in season two, right? Gotham looks to be the best contender across the major networks for a sophomore slump. Its ratings declined near the end of the season, and many fans have expressed frustration for the show not living up to expectations. Also, if we look at past genre shows on FOX, what we will see is upsetting. For example, Sleepy Hollow fell drastically from the end of season one to the end of season two. Gotham might start out season two doing well, but I highly doubt it will end it that way. Minority Report will likely follow the trend of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow.  In season one it should do well, but after that, don't have high expectations.

Thursdays are probably going to be a very poor night for FOX. They decided to stick two dying shows, Bones and Sleepy Hollow, here. Most of the season they will probably be under 1.0, and I don't see Bones getting another season. Sleepy Hollow could get two more seasons to reach syndication, but it might not. Fridays will likely do better than Thursdays on FOX, with the unscripted programs MasterChef Junior and World's Funniest Fails, two cheep shows that will likely get decent ratings.

Four years from now, FOX will likely look drastically different than today. Empire will still be doing well, and The Simpsons will probably still be on Sundays at 8:00. Scream Queens will probably be on Friday, and any of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, Family Guy, and Minority Report might still be around, though really it's very possible that none are. MasterChef Junior will also probably still be around, and World's Funniest Fails might. Unless FOX finds a new hit between now and then, all of the network's shows expect for Empire and The Simpsons will likely be struggling. FOX's future is very depressing, and I wouldn't be surprised if soon most of FOX's programming got the same ratings and most CW programs.

What did you think of this article? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »