Upfronts 2016: ‘Lethal Weapon,’ ‘The Exorcist’ Liven Up New Fox Prime

UPDATED: Schedule debutants are 'unmistakably Fox,' says Walden and Newman
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Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2016

UPDATED: Fox will debut three fresh comedies and six new dramas for 2016-2017, including Son of ZornLethal Weapon and The Exorcist.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the network’s reimagining of the cult classic film, airs in October, while 24 spinoff 24: Legacy debuts out of the Super Bowl in February. 

“Next season, we’ll have more original programming across our schedule than ever before,” said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group. “We’ll use our strong established hits in the fall and Super Bowl LI in winter to launch a diverse slate of shows that are unmistakably Fox. We’re proud of our new series, directed and created by some of the most celebrated talent in the entertainment industry. And, we are pleased to be returning to our schedule many of our most beloved shows, including broadcast’s No. 1 series, Empire!”

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Son of Zorn is a mix of live action and animation with Jason Sudeikis.

Among the reimaginings of classic films, The Exorcist stars Alfonso Herrera and Lethal Weapon features Damon Wayans, Sr. Walden described Exorcist as "a scary, scary, cinematic-quality show," and praised the direction of Rupert Wyatt. Lethal Weapon, she said, "was incredibly high-testing." Pairing Lethal with Empire, she said, "felt like a great opportunity to create a great night of television."

Series joining the schedule also include dramas StarPitch and APB; event series Prison Break and Shots Fired; comedies The Mick and Making History; and reality series Kicking & Screaming and My Kitchen Rules.

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Fox holds its upfront presentation in New York May 16.

Mondays feature Gotham and Lucifer. Tuesdays are Brooklyn Nine-NineNew Girl and Scream Queens.

Wednesday is Lethal Weapon and Empire. Thursday offers Rosewood and Bones.

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Friday offers Hell’s Kitchen and The Exorcist. Saturday is college football, while Sunday features NFL on Fox, The OTBob’s BurgersThe Simpsons,Son of Zorn and Family Guy, then The Last Man On Earth. 

Turning to mid-season, Gotham takes on the Monday 8 p.m. slot in the spring, after 24: Legacy’s run, and Lucifer inherits 9 p.m. from APB in the spring.

Tuesdays, it’s New Girl and The Mick, then Kicking & Screaming, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Pitch inheriting slots come spring.  

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Wednesdays, it’s Lethal Weapon and Star, while Shots Fired and Empire move in for spring.

Thursday is Rosewood and Prison Break, while Friday is Masterchef Junior and Sleepy Hollow.

Saturday is Fox Sports Saturday and Sunday is animation encores, Bob’s BurgersThe SimpsonsMaking History, Family Guy and Last Man on Earth.  

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Addressing the press the morning of May 16, Walden and Newman were asked repeatedly about a possible return of The X-Files, and the Fox broadcast chiefs sounded confident the show would return, though not this coming season. "I believe everyone is on board to do another installment of the show," said Walden.

The pair also said the network remains bullish on live musicals, following the success of Grease Live! earlier this year. Newman called it "an enormous event" for Fox. "We're very interested in staying in this space," he added, saying there could be multiple announcements of new productions in the coming months.

Walden also defended the network's decision to not release live-plus-same-day ratings. "It just doesn't tell the whole story for us," she said, pointing to the network's younger skew, and increased delayed viewing numbers. "It would be a shame to present information on our shows that does not include a holistic vision of their performance."