STRIKE COVERAGE: Fox Benches 24 Rather than Running Partial Season

Jack Bauer Becomes the Latest Strike Casualty

Fox is benching 24 as part of its strike-induced scheduling realignment. The seventh-season premiere, which was scheduled for January, has been pushed back indefinitely.

The network has several episodes of the heavily serialized drama in the can but has chosen not to air a partial schedule that would end abruptly, especially after a modestly performing sixth season.

In its stead Mondays at 9 p.m., Fox plans to premiere its new The Sarah Connor Chroniclesdrama. The show will premiere over two nights -- Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. and, in its regular time period, Monday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. It will be preceded on the 14th by Prison Break at 8 p.m., which has its final November airing Nov. 12.

Aside from the network's Sunday-night animated shows, like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, and reality fare like American Idol and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?, Fox is holding most of its original fare back until late February, March and April. A mix of originals and repeats of House, Bones, Til Death and Back to You will air in the coming months.

That way, if writers return to work after a few months, they could conceivably catch up on producing those shows and air them uninterrupted. With the typical broadcast season ending in May, even if the network can't produce full runs of those shows, they could air from March until May without breaks.

The network will debut game show The Moment of Truth Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m.

Other new shows premiering in the spring include Farrelly Brothers comedy Unhitched, which debuts Sunday, March 2 at 9:30 p.m. for six weeks; dramas New Amsterdamand Canterbury's Law, which debut Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. and Friday, April 11 at 9 p.m., respectively; and comedy The Return of Jezebel James, which starts Friday, March 7 at 8:30 p.m.

Idol, a behemoth already, stands to see even more of a bump from the strike as other networks' competitive scripted shows stop production. The show returns to Tuesdays and Wednesdays Jan. 15 and 16 with two-hour episodes each night and then moves to hour-long episodes Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and half-hour episodes Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 22.

Fox's immediate Thursday lineup doesn't change with Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? at 8 p.m. and Don't Forget the Lyrics! at 9 p.m.

The network moves Bones and reruns of House to Fridays beginning Jan. 4. Those shows have been airing Tuesdays. House will premiere episodes after Idol Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 22 and repeat episodes Mondays at 9 p.m. beginning in March.

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