Updated 11:03 a.m. ET
As it wraps a mixed
2012-13, Fox is opening the wallet for next season, spending more than it
ever has on originals and welcoming five new comedies, four new
dramas and two significant event series.
The net's 2013-14
schedule, announced Monday, also includes
a revival of its legacy hit 24as a compressed,
12-hour "event series" featuring Kiefer Sutherland returning as Jack
Bauer. Another event series from M. Night Shyamalan called Wayward Pines stars
Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent unraveling a vexing mystery in an Idaho
Kevin Reilly, Fox
Broadcasting's entertainment chairman, noted the net "will play with order
patterns," citing the 15-episode order for The Following, which
broke out to become 2012-13 most-watched new show. "There's no magic
number. Shows will premiere and be staggered throughout the year. They will
premiere in the spring and arc into the summer. They will premiere in the
summer and continue into the fall."
viewing trends across platforms, Fox plans on continuing to push
experimentation. "We're really going to try to break out of the confines
of the traditional broadcast season," Reilly said. "Our goal as a
network is virtually year-round original programming and we're going to get
pretty close to that this year."
broadcast's turf, noting that The Following has reached 17 million
viewers a week when all platforms and airings are counted. He said that was
better than all but one series on all of basic cable, AMC's The Walking
"We live by a
different standard," Reilly said. "We cancel shows that most cable
networks would declare a success and would live with."
In 24, Sutherland
is set to return as Jack Bauer. No plot details were divulged, but Howard
Gordon will be back as executive producer. The series will unfold
chronologically, as with the initial run from 2001 to 2010, but skipping
certain hours depending on events and plot developments.
"The spine of
the 24 episodes was always about 12
hours, with twists and connective tissue in between," Reilly said.
Fox isn't ruling out the possibility of a regular recurrence of 24
beyond the upcoming revival, and Reilly noted the net's event
series strategy is designed to yield some renewable franchises.
with breakout The Following this season, will add the J.J.
Abrams-produced futuristic police drama Almost Human as well as
period mystery Sleepy Hollow, from Star Trek-Transformers
screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
comedy-focused, continuing last season's four-half-hour strategy. Freshmen
Dads, from Seth MacFarlane and his Ted collaborators, and Brooklyn
Nine-Nine, a single-camera show starring Andy Samberg and Andre
Braugher, will lead into returning vets New Girl and The Mindy
On Thursdays, Greg
Kinnear heads the cast of Rake, a character-driven drama based on an
award-winning Australian series. Its exec producers include Rescue Me's
Peter Tolan and Spider-Man's Sam Raimi.
Fridays will see
pint-size chefs compete in new reality series with the working title Junior
MasterChef as well as Enlisted, an Army-themed single-camera comedy
created by Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town, Scrubs).
Sundays remain intact as showcases for X Factor/American Idol and
a signature animated block, respectively. Reilly declined to comment on
reports that Idol, whose ratings have dropped by double digits, was set
to clear the decks and replace all of its judges for next season. He did say
the show will return to three judges, not the four it has featured in
recent seasons, adding that the net and showrunners would go to work Friday
morning, following its season finale, to retool its format. Reilly blamed the
ratings slump on format issues more than any other factor.
Announced series yet
to be scheduled for midseason include Gang Related, Surviving Jack,
Us & Them and Murder Police.
While there are a
few question marks for Fox heading into the season, it has the ultimate event
tentpole to build on in the form of Super Bowl XLVIII, the first cold-weather,
outdoor Super Bowl being played at the New York-area MetLife Stadium. Fox
said New Girl and one of its new comedies will get the heavily promoted
spot after the game.
Along with their
programming lineup, execs also touted the imminent arrival of dynamic ad
insertion to allow delayed viewing to deliver stronger value for advertisers.
Reilly will steer the
net's annual upfront presentation to advertisers late Monday
afternoon at New York's Beacon Theatre. More analysis and executive
comment to follow.
FOX 2013-14 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times Eastern)
Bones (fall) / ALMOST HUMAN (late fall)
SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall) / The Following (midseason)
The Mindy Project
The X Factor (fall)/American Idol (midseason)
The X Factor Results (fall)/American
7:00-10:30 PM Fox
Animation Domination High-Def
NFL Game (fall)
The OT (fall)