Fox Tinkers Slightly With Strong Lineup

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Fox, not wanting to mess with a good thing, unveiled a 2006-07 prime time schedule Thursday that leaves American Idol firmly planted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting in January, and introduces three new dramas and two new comedies this fall, along with a new 30-minute late-night Saturday series.

Terming its schedule one of the “most stable and balanced” in years, Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori greenlighted the new dramas Vanished and Standoff from 20th Century Fox Television and Justice from Warner Bros. Television and producer Jerry Bruckheimer—his only new entry in the midseason derby after some misfires last year.

The new comedies scheduled for fall debuts are the Brad Garrett series ‘Til Death from Sony Pictures Television and Happy Hour from writers Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That'70s Show) and WBTV.

Talk Show With Spike Feresten debuts at midnight Sept. 16 after MADtv, while Duets, a four-week unscripted series executive-produced by Simon Cowell, will air on Thursdays and Fridays prior to the Major League Baseball playoffs.

A fourth new drama, The Wedding Album from Fox Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television, will launch in January. 20th Century Fox Television’s The Winner, the first live-action comedy from Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane and Ricky Blitt, is also set to premiere midseason.

Also, On The Lot, an unscripted series from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, will debut next spring.

The network is expected to once again launch some series as early as August to get a jump on its competitors, a strategy that has worked in the past.

“We’ll kick off with early premieres to event-ize our launches and establish our series before baseball. We’ll also continue our strategy of extending the end of the current season, making for a truly year-round schedule,” Liguori said.

Gone from the schedule are The Bernie Mac Show, That '70s Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential, Free Ride, Reunion, Killer Instinct, Stacked and Head Cases.

Fox’s fall prime time schedule:

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8-9                        Prison Break

9-10                      Vanished

TUESDAY

8-9                      Standoff

9-10                      House

WEDNESDAY

8-9                       Bones

9-10                     Justice

THURSDAY

8-8:30                 'Til Death

8:30-9              Happy Hour

9-10                    The O.C.

FRIDAY

8-9                        Nanny 911

9-10                      Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy

SATURDAY

8-8:30                         Cops

8:30-9                         Cops

9-10 America's Most Wanted: America Strikes Back

11-Midnight          MADtv

Midnight-12:30 AM           Talk Show With Spike Feresten

SUNDAY

7-7:30                         Football overrun (comedy encores)

7:30-8                        Football overrun (comedy encores)

8-8:30                         The Simpsons

8:30-9                        American Dad

9-9:30                        Family Guy

9:30-10                      The War at Home

Fox’s January 2007 Schedule:

MONDAY

8-9                        Standoff

9-10                      24

TUESDAY

8-9                        American Idol Performance Show

9-10                      House

WEDNESDAY

8-9                        Justice

9-9:30                    American Idol Results Show

9:30-10                      The Loop

THURSDAY

8-8:30                        ‘Til Death

8:30-9                        Happy Hour

9-10                           The O.C.

FRIDAY

8-9                        Bones

9-10                      The Wedding Album

SATURDAY

8-8:30                        Cops

8:30-9                        Cops

9-10 America's Most Wanted: America Strikes Back

11-MIDNIGHT           MADtv

MIDNIGHT-12:30 AM           Talk Show With Spike Feresten

SUNDAY

7-7:30                        Comedy Repeats

7:30-8                        King of the Hill

8-8:30                        The Simpsons

8:30-9                        American Dad

9-9:30                         Family Guy

9:30-10                      The War at Home

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