Up Front About the Upfronts, Part 2: Where Does Fox Stand?

Next week, the major TV networks will announce their 2012-2013 schedules to a crowd of advertising executives in hopes that those executives will throw down a ton of money to run ads during the networks' programs. These sessions are known as the Upfronts, and they're where we'll all find out for good (mostly) what shows are renewed, what shows are canceled, and what new shows we can look forward to next year. It's, like, a really big deal you guys! So in preparation, we'll spend this week taking a look at each one of the five major networks by reviewing what they've done in the past year and predicting what's in store for 2012-2013. Today we're assessing Fox, which holds its presentation on Monday, May 14.


Where Fox stands now: Pretty tall, actually. Fox is on its way to another ratings victory in the 18-49 demographic (currently it's averaging a 3.2), even though its numbers are slightly down from last year. After CBS, Fox has the strongest core of shows (from a ratings and reliability standpoint), so it's a case of not needing to fix what isn't broken. Things are looking great for Fox moving forward.


What worked this year: Hey girl! Whatcha doin? Fox enjoyed a huge surprise with the early success of New Girl, adding another face to its arsenal with Zooey Deschanel and her bangs. But more importantly, New Girl is a successful live-action comedy! That's a department that Fox has been dying to establish, and now it has the chance to develop the comedy block it's always wanted. Ratings may be down for American Idol, but Fox should be happy that the singing competition is still one of TV's top shows and pulling in something like 16 million viewers a week. It's also been a good year for Fox PR thanks to a fan-friendly renewal for Fringe.


What failed this year: It's not often that a show that pulls in double-digit-millions of people is considered a flop, but The X Factor ate a plate of humble lasagna even though it ranked high in its time period(s). It's going to undergo a lot of changes during the off-season, but it's in danger of becoming irrelevant fast. Alcatraz and The Finder were duds, but they looked pretty good compared to Terra Nova and its Brontosaurus-sized budget. I think Fox also learned its lesson with multi-camera comedies, thanks to I Hate My Teenage Daughter.


What's ahead for Fox: Expect Fox to really push live-action comedies next season. It's got its foot in the door on the comedy front, but the network will need at least one of its 11 single-camera comedy pilots to develop nicely so it can finally join the rest of television with a comedy block of its own. With House on its way out and uncertainty surrounding Alcatraz and Touch, there's plenty of room for a new hour-long drama to step in and be the big cheese. Unfortunately, there isn't much in the works that sounds interesting.


What Fox should be careful with: Beware of doubling up on the over-produced singing competitions! All signs point to talent shows trending down, and though it might be tempting to throw lots of cash at The X Factor, the genre is getting way too crowded now that every network has its own version of American Idol.


Risky proposal that could pay off: Move Glee to Mondays where Fox has been weak for several seasons and blow out a four-show comedy block on Tuesdays, which are ripe for the picking. And maybe stay away from shows that cost a small fortune to make. But right now, it should be steady as she goes for Fox, which is looking like the network of the future.


What scheduling changes would YOU make if you were a Fox executive?


RELATED STORY: Up Front About the Upfronts: Where does NBC stand?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Really FOX 30 years of simpsons, and one of the best shows ive seen in a long time you guys got to FIND your self get your heads out of matt groenings ass, and those shit cartoons you play on sun. Lookin for the 18-49 demographic why dont you ask us! And let me guess the ceo is 82 thats who made the call!
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Don't get the Zooey Deschanel hype at all.
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They're keep Touch.. thats great! In a tv world filled with bad sitcoms and crime dramas, its nice to have something different!!
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Keep "Finder" we love it!
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Fox does not have the strongest core of shows ABC, CBS even the CW have better shows, FOX has a poor record of axing good shows big time, now I'm saying that the other networks are immune to this because their not, House is gone after this season, Kudos for Fox for giving Fringe (which I dont watch) another season, but overall not impressed with Foxes lineup , Bones and Touch are the two that I watched, AI is sucking this year for people have told me, Time for it to end, and to add to Foxes stupidity from what I'm hearing no results show on SYTYCD big mistake thier Fox take way Football, Baseball, and AI and they are nothing with a few extrra decent shows which include BONES, TOUCH, FRINGE HOUSE < AND SAYTYCD
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I'm tiring of some parts of Touch. Kiefer is a little too whisper-y for my taste. Sooner or later, the kid has to let his dad Touch him. He also has to talk at some point.



I was enjoying Alcatraz. It should come back if for no other reason than Sam Neil and his blonde helper. I'd like to see more of her!



No loss with The Finder.
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Boo! Fox cancelling Alcatraz and The Finder is terrible news to wake up to. I enjoy both shows. The Finder might have done with some tweaking but why give up on a show entirely? Will never understand the execs. At least Touch remains, but don't let it become another 'Lost' please, where it drags out just because it has good ratings. Tell the story then end the show.
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If I was FOX I would not air any reality shows, I am tired of reality shows, I don't know about all of you but I like to watch TV for entertainment and to relax and enjoy myself. I would love to see FOX do something like a non-animation domination comedy block.
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Maybe FOX will finally be able to put the bones of the Simpsons to rest. But they won't.
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The Finder is a great show just on the fact that it is one of those shows that you can enjoy

For me it is simple about fun characters good story line and their is sooo many places you can go with this show
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The Finder is great fun and I really look forward to it. Touch is interesting and has lots of potential for future episodes.
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I actually like the Finder, especially ogling Geoff Stults (rowr!), so I hope it gets renewed. Same with Alcatraz. I find the story kinda interesting and I like J.J. Abrams, so I'm backing it.
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House and Fringe are the only shows worth my time. reality shows stink! New Girl isn't funny at all.
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They should definitely renew Touch, it's awesome. And, both The Finder and Alcatraz are also worth getting a second season.
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I would hope for renewals for both The Finder and Alcatraz. Both are intelligently written and entertaining scripted shows. I never watch American Idol. Give Fringe the chance to wrap up its story in the way its creators intended. Extend beyond the 13 episode order if need be.
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bs'd

Keep Finder and Touch.
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dump touch, keep the finder and alcatraz... keep them at least for a 13 episode season with possibility of extension.. if not, at least keep finder, it's probably cheaper than both others and it definitely has more interesting characters and storyline.. I do wonder, how the average, procedural liking american who watches countless episodes of law&order or csi series, does not watch the finder.. and do people still watch glee? really?
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Once Fringe is gone, there isn't anything on FOX I would watch, besides the local news.
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theres nothing on fox worth watching fox and abc sucks

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I agree, Singing competitions are getting old. I haven't watched one since Carrie Underwood's season on American Idol, however I have to watch the X factor cuz one of my friends tried out, and she wont tell me if she made it because she signed a confidentiality waver. After that I'm done with singing shows.
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The X-Factor is cooked and done after next season, if Fox honestly thinks making Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato judges is going to increase the show's credibility.
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Keep Alcatraz, Touch AND The Finder. I am so tired of great shows getting the boot after only one season. This happened with The Good Guys too. Human Target and Doll House were axed and they were both great as well. There should be a law that all new shows get AT LEAST two seasons. C'mon FOX!

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n what universe would Alcatraz be called a great show?
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Terra nova could've worked but they picked the wrong actors and made it a family show.
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Why should anyone care about whether a comedy is single camera or multi-camera? What matters is good acting and good scripts. And whenever I watch a comedy, I'm not trying to figure out if they are using one camera or many. In fact, I can never figure it out by watching anyway. Oh well, it makes no difference as to whether a comedy is good or not.
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Still sucks they cancelled The Chicago Code and Lie To Me.
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I like the idea of a 4 comedy block on Tuesday. That's the weakest night of television for me as I don't watch anything on CBS and NBC usually has some crappy reality programming.
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As much as I like Glee and Bones, both shows are showing some serious decline in ratings (and quality). After next season, they are probably goners. I agree with someone who said that Fox has a decent clean slate coming up. And even though I like Xfactor better than AI, I agree there are too many singing shows in general, let alone two in one network. They should scrap one. Regardless of the popular notion of hating Fox, it seems that most shows I like are from Fox. (I may just have some bad taste). I can't wait for their new shows. It seems to be that Fox likes Sci Fi shows even though they tend to cancel them.
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Fox needs decent dramas. The only ones next season are going to be Bones, Fringe, Touch? and (probably not )Alcatraz. So it has a lot of empty slots. I would put a new drama after The X Factor, which I would use against NBC's The Voice. Glee would move after American Idol, it needs to get the ratings it used to get.
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Really?! I thought Fox was pretty weak this year. Their number one "comedy" in new girl isn't that good. Take away Zooey and you have a seriously below average sitcom with three forgettable guys and an annoying quirky girl. And they have American Idol. And that is it because Fringe, though great isn't a ratting boon as it should be. Mostly because it is stuck on Fridays at 9 and I imagine that it is popular on demand and online.



But everything else they have, and the stuff they brought forward this year has been a resounding failure. Terra Nova, Fail. The Finder (thought I like), Fail. Alcatraz, Hugh disappointing failure of epic proportions. Breaking in, Fail, twice. Teenage daughter, fail. Bones current level, Fail.



If I were them I would get back to good comedy and some sci fi. Which they have tried, but resoundingly failed this year. They could have had a huge success in Alcatraz but they ran that into the ground with stupidity. Same with Terra Nova.



They have had great ideas. Which could have been huge. But chose poorly with whom they tasked for writing and running these shows. There should have been no reason for their failures. In both Terra Nova and Alcatraz they had grew potential that was just run into the ground due to incompetence. Both could have been stand out especially with the potential story lines. but sadly failures the both of them.



If I was fox I would seek new writers and show runners. Which they have done with pilfering producers from Parks and Rec and Community.
More+
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I'd say to put Glee after American Idol for only this year, try to pump some more energy into it, don't let it die. Glee needs to be FOX's big success that it once was. The lack of good drama pilots this season (other than Kevin Williamson, perhaps, which will probably end up Mondays) makes this the perfect time to help save Glee.

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....I doubt Glee's in any danger of getting cancelled anytime soon. It would be a good idea to move GLee to mondays though.
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I do think that FOX has a pretty good slate going forward right now. I would definitely try and cement that comedy block, I fully agree with getting "Glee" on Mondays.



If anything, I'd say that FOX needs to kick it in the heavy drama. "Bones", "Glee" a bunch of reality shows hold up their hour long slots and "Fringe" is coming to a close, there's plenty of room there. I say get a serious drama show going and pair it with a doctor/lawyer show for some procedural action there.
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