FOX caused quite a stir during 2018 upfronts by reviving conservative ABC comedy Last Man Standing and cancelling fan favorites Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, and Lucifer. The move was made in anticipation of the Disney merger that would leave FOX as an independent network and signaled that they were going to make broader, less expensive scripted shows in the near future. The 2018-2019 season saw the network’s Sunday animated shows and Monday procedurals hold nicely in the ratings and new reality hit The Masked Singer blow the roof off of Wednesday nights, while comic drama The Gifted dropped a lot and found itself X-ed out of the schedule, Empire found itself shrouded in the Jussie Smollett controversy, and newbies Rel and Proven Innocent fail to break through. It was a mixed bag of a season for FOX, a transitional period where they were refining their brand and trying to prepare for their impending emphasis on reality, sports, and live events. This month, they will be unveiling their 2019-2020 schedule which will be a representation of many of those things.
Just as in past years, KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams are examining the state of each of the five broadcast networks. Meant to be an amalgamation of what we think could, should, and will happen next season, the fantasy schedules in each of the next five articles are not constructed with any insider information; they’re just a product of two guys who follow the Hollywood trades and love talking about the world of television.
SHILO: 7:00 FOX NFL & The OT; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Bless the Harts; 9:00 Family Guy; 9:30 Bob’s Burgers
CRAIG: 7:00 FOX NFL & The OT; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Bob’s Burgers; 9:00 Family Guy; 9:30 Bless The Harts
SHILO: With FOX already renewing its three animated series and ordering two more, I think that Sundays will go full animated for the first time since fall 2013, when the lineup was The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and American Dad!. Of the two animated series FOX has ordered, I think Bless the Harts gets the first call-up; its storyline following a blue-collar Southern family is in line with the New FOX brand, its more explicit family angle makes it a better fit in the lineup than Duncanville, and it’s something that could appeal to football viewers. Though it would be understandable if they premiered Bless the Harts at 9:30 since Family Guy is still solid and Bob’s Burgers has really taken advantage of the 8:30 slot this season, the fall football halo always peters out by the time 9:30 rolls around. If they want to give Bless the Harts the best chance at being sampled, it’ll premiere at 8:30.
CRAIG: My schedule is similar to yours, except I’ve got Bless The Harts taking the Family Guy lead-in and having Bob’s Burgers as the middle of a Simpsons/Family Guy sandwich. There was a temptation to think about putting a drama here, but then I remembered how cable likes to put big things on Sunday nights, so let’s not.