FOX had quite an interesting season in 2017-18 as they found success with every new drama they launched, attained the rights to Thursday Night Football after outbidding NBC and CBS, and found themselves in a vulnerable position after Disney set about acquiring 20th Century Fox. The FOX network won’t be included in the impending merger due to federal regulations, meaning that FOX will be without a corresponding studio in 2018-19, a major blow for a broadcast network in today’s TV environment given the importance of content monetization. The network has already been talked up as a haven for reality, sports, and live programming in the wake of this news, so 2018-19 will be a transitional year where FOX doubles down on Live + Same Day ratings, wrapping up what shows it can while cutting underperformers taking up valuable schedule space. But how will the network’s final fall schedule of its current incarnation look?
That’s what KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams will be trying to figure out. For the 48th year in a row, the two have combed through the Hollywood trades and utilized their years of following TV news to put together a fantasy fall schedule for every network. Meant to be an amalgamation of what we think could, should, and will happen, the schedules are not constructed with any insider information; they’re just a product of two guys who love talking about the TV industry.
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
CRAIG: 7:00 The OT; 7:30 Bob’s Burgers; 8:00 The Simpsons; 8:30 Family Guy; 9:00 The Orville
SHILO: Even with FOX’s already limited schedule space thanks to Thursday Night Football and the impending merger, I can’t see them not premiering a new comedy next fall. So even though I understand the merits of putting The Orville here, and think there’s a chance that it does happen, I’m predicting the basic format of Sundays remains unchanged. With no comedies in development that seem compatible with The Simpsons, the past three new comedies they tried at 8:30 underperforming, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine doing solid enough business to validate its rescue from the Tuesday abyss, the 8:00 hour remains the same. The 9:00 hour sees the introduction of Dan the Weatherman, something decently on-brand for FOX that’s the most compatible live-action comedy that could go behind Family Guy. This way the hours mirror one another (family-based animated comedy -> workplace single cam) and FOX gets a marketable name in Weatherman star Thomas Lennon.
CRAIG: With FOX real estate that much more limited, and The Orville already renewed for a second season, I’ve kind of broken up the whole “Sunday half hours” thing by slotting The Orville at 9. It can get the Family Guy crowd that’s already watching and liking Seth MacFarlane’s humor, plus it would mean a pretty powerful hour in The Simpsons and Family Guy in the 8:00 hour.