After an eventful couple of upfronts weeks, the five broadcast networks have put forth their fall 2018 schedules. There are some ingenious moves; there are some confounding moves. There are new shows hoping to be sampled and become the next big thing; there are relocated veterans hoping to improve their time slots and leg out a few more seasons. We won’t know whether each network put forth the right combination of shows until the fall, but that isn’t going to stop KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams from giving their annual first impressions on all five of the fall schedules.
Next up is FOX, which had a controversial upfronts after cancelling Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, The Mick, and Lucifer; reviving Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing; and firing Lethal Weapon co-lead Clayne Crawford. The network is preparing for the impending Disney merger that will leave it without a sister studio, something that should cut down on the network’s scripted presence within the next season or two. Until then, FOX has upped its multi-cam presence, broadened out its drama brand, and given itself a fall full of football.
But before you dig into what Craig and Shilo thought about each schedule, you can review their fantasy schedules below and rewatch the trailers for each of FOX’s four new series.
CRAIG: 7:00 The OT; 7:30 Bob’s Burgers; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Family Guy; 9:00 The Orville
SHILO: 7:00 The OT; 7:30 Bob’s Burgers; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine; 9:00 Family Guy; 9:30 Dan the Weatherman
ACTUAL SCHEDULE: 7:00 The OT; 7:30 The OT/FOX Encores; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Bob’s Burgers; 9:00 Family Guy; 9:30 Rel
CRAIG: Bob’s Burgers got an upgrade into the middle of an animated sandwich! You say it better than I do below. Rel, one of FOX’s few Fall offerings and one of them most overlooked publicity-wise, comes in at 9:30. There are worst places to land, I guess.
SHILO: In a sign of FOX’s impending retreat from scripted content, Sundays retracts half an hour as the 7:30 slot recently inhabited by Bob’s Burgers, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad! has now been given to the NFL. It should be a good thing for The Simpsons, getting the direct football lead-in, but the remainder of the night is curiously arranged. The best slot for a new FOX Sunday comedy is 8:30 given the closer proximity to the football halo, so opting to upgrade Bob’s Burgers instead of hammocking something between The Simpsons and Family Guy feels like a move meant to smother their new shows before they even premiere.
If FOX was retreating on Sundays and wanted Bob’s back at 8:30, keeping a veteran at 9:30 would make sense, especially something owned like Last Man on Earth which needed a final season to help its streaming afterlife anyway. Instead we get Rel, which immediately gives me Mulaney vibes in that it’s a multi-cam fronted by a respected comedian put after Family Guy that doesn’t share the animated show’s sense of humor. I get that this entire FOX schedule is cobbled together for the affiliates, and that FOX wants a multi-cam at 9:30 because it’s broader than the animated shows, but Rel isn’t structurally or tonally compatible with its lead-in and doesn’t seem like something that would pop on its own. So things could get rough.