Fox Reveals Fall Schedule at Upfront Presentation
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier salutes power of broadcast, mocks streaming paywalls
Fox shared its fall schedule as part of its remote virtual upfront presentation May 17. Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, said the lineup “builds upon Fox’s legacy of bold stories and truth-telling-characters; stories that meet and reflect the cultural moment.”
On Mondays, Fox will have 9-1-1, then new drama The Big Leap, which it calls “a modern tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours.” It’s about down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.”
Tuesdays, it’s The Resident and new show Our Kind of People. The latter, from Lee Daniels, is set in the Oak Bluffs section of Martha’s Vineyard, where Black people of power and influence spend their summers. It follows a single mother who sets out to “reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the beauty of Black women.”
“It’s fun, it’s soapy,” said Daniels.
Wednesdays, it’s The Masked Singer and new competition show Alter Ego, where singers from all walks of life try to become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. They create a “dream avatar” and perform as their alter ego.
Thursdays beginning Oct. 7, it’s Thursday Night Football, while Fridays offer WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown. Saturdays have sports in prime.
On Sundays, it’s NFL on Fox and The OT, then The Simpsons, The Great North, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy.
“Fox believes it’s a time for series that offer hope and to speak to American audiences with themes of reinvention and second chances,” said Collier. “Alongside our programming focus, we are forging ahead with a clear, 100% ad-supported vision. Fox’s acquisition of free, ad-focused Tubi has allowed us to expand our broadcast offering, bringing scale across both linear and streaming, all without any paywalls or subscriptions. This is a strategy that deepens Fox’s relationship with our audience and advertising partners, and it will continue to set Fox apart.”
Collier played up ad-supported TV in the presentation. “Broadcast remains unrivaled in its reach,” he said.
“Fox fuels Tubi, and Tubi fuels Fox,” he added. “Nothing happens at Fox that doesn’t drive Tubi.”
9-1-1: Lone Star premieres in January. It and 9-1-1 will be on the same night starting in March. 9-1-1 star Angela Bassett and 9-1-1: Lone Star star Rob Lowe spoke about how viewers appreciate first responders more based on the travails of the past year.
On in the mid-season are comedies Call Me Kat, Duncanville and Housebroken, and unscripted stuff including Beat Shazam, Crime Scene Kitchen and Don’t Forget the Lyrics.
The new midseason dramas are The Cleaning Lady, about a Cambodian doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her son, and ends up as the cleaning lady for an organized crime outfit when the health system fails her; and Monarch, a drama about the first family of country music.
Little Big Town described Monarch as “big drama, great music and wild characters.”
The midseason rookie comedies, introduced by Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik, are Jenny Bicks series Welcome to Flatch, which sees a documentary crew explore the lives of residents in a small midwestern town, and Pivoting, following three women on Long Island, coping with the death of a close friend.
Unscripted shows premiering in the midseason are Next Level Chef, Don’t Forget the Lyrics and Domino Masters, hosted by Eric Stonestreet.
Drama reboot Fantasy Island starts on Fox this August, Collier saying it will “supercharge” the fall season.
Collier described Fox as “doing fewer things better,” compared to other networks. “It’s pretty great to have a startup mentality and the Super Bowl and World Series,” he added.
He described Fox shows as “culture piercing,” and promised to not put them behind a paywall.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.