Fox Orders Five New Series, Including Mindy Kaling's Comedy

By Tim Surette

May 10, 2012

Fox has been making all kinds of big scheduling moves in advance of next week's Upfronts. Just hours before canceling Alcatraz and The Finder and renewing Touch, the network picked up three single-camera comedies and two dramas. Let's meet 'em, shall we?

It's Messy

What it is: Created by and starring The Office's Mindy Kaling, It's Messy is about an OB/GYN "trying to balance her personal and professional lives." It's being compared to Bridget Jones' Diary, which is odd because usually when you're promoting something you compare it to something good. Burned, Renee Zellweger! This means that Kaling will NOT return to The Office next season.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Kaling is a charmer, and is there anything funnier than one lady getting all up in another lady's lady parts? That said, I'm still cautious.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Honestly, I have no idea. This doesn't scream out "hit" to me, so I'm guessing it has a 50/50 shot at making it to a second season, which is actually better odds than most shows.

Where Fox might schedule it: Hmmm... what should could Fox pair a comedy about an eccentric—dare I say "quirky"—girl-centric comedy with?

Ben & Kate

What it is: Formerly titled Ben Fox Is My Manny, this comedy follows a slacker-ish guy (Ben) who moves in with his uptight sister (Kate) to be her "manny," which is a dumb made-up word that means "male nanny." It stars Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson.

Initial reaction based on description alone: This sounds like an idea that one of your friends came up with, the kind where you're forced to pretend that you like it. Odd couple, slacker vs. prude, etc. On paper, this doesn't sound like anything we're going to like.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Remember, I haven't seen a second of footage, so I have no idea. But I still think this show gets canceled before its 13 episodes air.

Where Fox might schedule it: Tuesday-night comedy block. Where else?

The Goodwin Games

What it is: Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) stars in this comedy about a father who leaves his fortune to his children if they agree to his terms. It comes from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, and Chris Harris.

Initial reaction based on description alone: This could be okay. Why does Fox have to stay so tight-lipped on its projects?

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Completely unknown at this time, but given its pedigree, we'll lean positive.

Where Fox might schedule it: Again, Tuesday-night comedy block. Although one of these comedies will probably be held for the midseason or get a boost after The X Factor.

The Following

What it is: Formerly untitled, this thriller from Kevin Williamson stars Kevin Bacon as a former FBI guy on the hunt for a serial killer (James Purefoy) who's created a cult of serial killers. Whoa.

Initial reaction based on description alone: So... are the cult members the cases of the week? Will it just be serialized? If this goes dark, like it needs to, then we could be looking at something good.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: This has the star power to stick around... at least for a season and a half.

Where Fox might schedule it: Monday seems to be Fox's favorite place for shows like this one. Maybe Touch moves to Mondays alongside The Following?

The Mob Doctor

What it is: This medical-ish drama stars Jordana Spiro (My Boys) as a doctor who just so happens to also work as a doctor for the mob because of a debt she owes.

Initial reaction based on description alone: I dunno, man. It just sounds too gimmicky to me.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: I don't think this one's going to make it.

Where Fox might schedule it: This will likely air on Mondays or Thursdays.

These pick-ups mean bad news for other Fox pilots (remember, the network doesn't schedule in the 10pm hour). Fox has passed on Rebounding, El Jefe, Prodigy Bully, Little Brother, Let It Go, Like Father, and Living Loaded. Bummer, I was looking forward to Rebounding and El Jefe.

Do you like the sound of Fox's new series so far?

Fox Officially Cancels Breaking In and I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Fox Cancels Alcatraz and The Finder, Renews Touch

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • gem-in-eye May 15, 2012

    The following could be good, though it should probably be on cable station, but who cares cause Fringe will at least be back for half a season.

  • kanniballl May 14, 2012

    "The Mob Doctor" might have had a better shot like 5-10 years ago, back when the public was still interested in the mafia via "The Sopranos" Now, I don't know. I just don't see much of a demand for it out there.

  • gdavis101 May 12, 2012

    Really? Those are the new shows ordered for next year?! I agree with Mcarson09...

  • Mcarson09 May 12, 2012

    Execs @ FOX really need to lay off the crack pipe...

  • bkyle2429 May 12, 2012

    big time pass on all of them

  • terminaltrip421 May 11, 2012

    (sorry mindy but,) skip, skip skip, try The Following (as you said, star power,) and skip.

    hope the following isn't anything like missing. *where star power equated to squat.*

  • sunnysfunny May 11, 2012

    I'll check out It's Messy and maybe The Following (however, it sounds like it should probably be on cable. Plus, It has to have plot continuity or I'm not watching).

  • JT_Kirk May 11, 2012

    It's Messy sounds not like a mis-step by giving Kaling both top creative and starring billing, she has a lot of charm and talent but I think it's asking too much to try to hang it all on her shoulders, and they'll fall into smutty jokes too fast (it's Fox and she's an OB/GYN, c'mon). Plus, Fox just ain't a girlie network, they simply wouldn't have anything to pair it with. Oh, wait, but then you said...

    Ben & Kate, which sounds exactly like that show with Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart, except on Fox, so it's quickly canceled.

    Goodwin Games sounds like Running Wilde v2, but we'll see more later.

    The Following... nobody will be following. Criminal Minds meets Kevin Bacon, sounds great. ly canceled. Sorry, that last part simply insisted it was the correct way to end that sentence, I couldn't come up with a good enough argument to counter.

    The Mob Doctor, sounds really gimmicky like you said. Oh but it's a girl doctor, that helps Fox cancel it faster.

    This article seems like buying a sixer of beer and just pouring it down the toilet as soon as you get it home.

  • docspector May 11, 2012

    How many new Seth MacFarlane animated shows will there be? And there aren't enough talent competition shows!

  • falastyr May 11, 2012

    The Following sounds really good, but it will probably be that "aaahh please get better" show. It has the idea, but it's never going to be serialized. It's going to be a procedural where, like you guessed Tim, there will be a new serial killer each week. I'd say 99% chance it's a case of the week show where the "big bad" serial killer shows up every 3-5 episodes,

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