A Gracepoint Community
FOX (ended 2014)

Welcome to the Upfronts! This is the week when the broadcast networks unveil their new fall schedules (which is why last week saw so many renewals and cancellations). They give us our first glimpse of what's to come in the fall, and in some cases, they validate our opinions of whatever pilots we've been enthusiastically anticipating or mocking and/or dreading for months. NBC kicked things off on Sunday with a brand-new 2014-2015 schedule, and on Monday, Fox got all dolled up, put on a fancy dress, and tried to woo us with all kinds of shiny new shows. But did it work? Let's break down the good, the bad, and the ugly from the network's new lineup.

First thing first: Here's Fox's 2014-2015 schedule.

And here are the first trailers for Fox's new shows, including Gotham, Gracepoint, Mulaney, Hieroglyph, Empire, Utopia, Backstrom, and Wayward Pines.

Now let's get to the good stuff... as well as the bad stuff and the ugly stuff, 'cause that's the whole point of this story!


THE GOOD


The supernatural buddy cop drama Sleepy Hollow, which was Fox's biggest hit of the 2013-2014 season, will be back for 18 episodes in Season 2. We can debate whether or not the increased episode order is a good thing or a bad thing until Ichabod and Abbie return in the fall, but for now, we have bigger Horsemen of the Apocalypse to fry. The network will be airing Sleepy Hollow almost without interruption, with new Batman prequel series Gotham as a lead-in. (Gotham currently has a 16-episode order.) By pairing these two shows, the network is hitting two very rabid, very vocal, and very young fanbases—comic book fans and Sleepyheads—which could make for a very successful Monday night. While I wish Fox had flipped the two shows, with Sleepy Hollow as a lead-in for Gotham to give the new series a boost, the network will be starting its work week strong either way. 


THE BAD


Fox is busting up its Sunday-night Animation Domination block by moving Andy Samberg and the rest of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine gang from Tuesdays at 9:30pm to Sundays at 8:30pm. The network is banking on NFL fans watching the post-game coverage until 7:30pm (the network airs football on Sunday afternoons), then sticking around around through Bob's Burgers and The Simpsons to catch B99 at 8:30pm. And then it's hoping that Family Guy fans will linger after the animated series' 9pm broadcast to check out the new live-action comedy Mulaney at 9:30pm. 

For one thing, I'm not so sure that fans of the network's familiar animated franchises will take kindly to the live-action interruptions, especially since the live-action comedies themselves are split by the not-so-family friendly Family Guy. And for another thing, I suspect that New Girl and The Mindy Project—neither of which draws huge ratings—will suffer on Tuesdays without being part of a larger comedy block. During a conference call with reporters on Monday, Fox boss Kevin Reilly said that he was worried about "protecting" the network's new comedies with strong lead-ins, and sure, maybe the DVR is king, but Fox's mash-ups of different genres and show types are still a bit worrisome. 


THE UGLY


Fox has 12 new series in its hopper, and yet the network is holding most of them until the midseason or later in its ambition to program year-round. This is tied to an announcement that Reilly made in January about his plans to do away with pilot season altogether—which is actually a pretty bold and exciting decision. The problem is that this new direction makes for a rather dull-looking—not to mention very mismatched—fall schedule. 

Gotham and Sleepy Hollow seem like a good match on Mondays, as do Bones and new miniseries Gracepoint on Thursdays. But as I mentioned above, Fox's new Sunday-night comedy plans are all over the map. And call me crazy, but I don't think the people who'll be interested in the unscripted "civilization-building" Utopiawhich is now scheduled to air on Tuesdays from 8pm to 9pm—are the same people who want to follow the hijinks of Jessica Day and Mindy Lahiri from 9pm to 10pm. Ditto for Fox's Wednesday-night lineup: The mix of scripted coming-of-age drama Red Band Society with the unscripted Hell's Kitchen just doesn't translate.

Now that the network no longer has three hours of The X Factor to contend with, it makes sense that it needs to fill its schedule somehow, but with so many new series to work with, I expected better for the fall.


THE PROMISING-SOUNDING VAGUE STRATEGIES 


Reilly is making a lot of bold claims about "eventizing" his programming slate—and while it all sounds peachy, we don't really have a sense of whether that decision will pay off. Fox is the first broadcast network to really embrace the limited event series, as well as the cable model of shorter seasons, but will that approach actually work in the long run? For example, Sleepy Hollow performed well with its limited episode order in Season 1, but the same formula hasn't been as successful for The Following. Meanwhile, the network has new miniseries Wayward Pines, as well as new series Empire, HieroglyphBackstromLast Man on EarthWeird Loners, and Bordertown, waiting in the wings, and until we see how Reilly plans to schedule them, it's hard to make a call on the viability of a year-round approach. However, I do like that the network is actively attempting to have fewer breaks and reruns, which tend to be problematic for viewer retention.

Plus, don't forget that Fox still has the sixth and final season of Glee, as well as a new season of American Idol to contend with. Reilly said the Ryan Murphy musical—which currently has a 22-episode order for Season 6, although that may change—will be airing uninterrupted, while American Idol, which has struggled in recent years, is looking at a format switch and only 37 hours of programming, as opposed to the 50-plus it's aired in the past. My guess is that it'll end up going the Dancing With the Stars route, and airing a single two-hour show on one night. This is all potentially good news, but it's still kind of "wait and see" at this point.


Best-looking New Fox Series: Gotham


When Fox first announced it was going to make a Jim Gordon-centered Batman prequel series, I mocked the idea. An entire show about Gotham City's police commissioner? He's a good sidekick, but is he compelling enough to lead a series? After seeing the trailer for Gotham, however, I'm fully on-board with the look and the tone of the series. Ben McKenzie stunned me with his work on Southland, and I'm excited to see what he can do with this material. Plus, Donal Logue, guys. That man is everywhere and in everything and I am not mad about it. Finally, Jada Pinkett Smith plays a villain named Fish Mooney. How can you hate that?


Worst-looking New Fox Show: Hieroglyph


"Let's put people in inaccurate period costumes, add weird mythology, possibly add a vampire because those are popular, and then make everything really shiny and hope no one notices when it doesn't make any sense!"


Most WTF But in a Cool Way Series: Wayward Pines


This 10-episode limited-event thriller from M. Night Shyamalan is creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky. Wait, that's The Addams Family. But no matter, because Wayward Pines could find success in the same way that Sleepy Hollow did: by going balls to the wall and embracing its lofty nature.


The Show Most Likely to Make You Upset That Fox Canceled EnlistedMulaney


Fox took away the hilarious Hill brothers and replaced them with this multi-camera sitcom with zero personality? Oh but it's from Lorne Michaels, they say! John Mulaney's won an Emmy, they say! It has Martin Short and a dog on a skateboard, they say! Well, guess what I say? This sitcom might have worked once upon a time, but that time has come and gone. 


Most Obvious Argument Against American Adaptations of British Shows: Gracepoint


David Tennant and Anna Gunn are both phenomenal actors, and Gracepoint looks well-made, but this American adaptation of the U.K. series Broadchurch should never have happened—at least not like this. Not only is Gracepoint a near-exact recreation of the original—albeit with a new ending—but David Tennant's American accent, while definitely better now than what it was in that Rex Is Not Your Lawyer pilot from several years ago, just makes me sad. He's Scottish, let him use his Scottish accent, dammit! 



Upfronts 2014 HQ:
New Shows, Network Schedules, Video Previews, and More


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/11/2014

Season 1 : Episode 10

48 Comments
Comments (48)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I'll avoid Gotham which sounds ridiculous. Another comic book series. How many do we need? Movie theaters are full of spidermen, supermen, batmen, reboots, restarts. Comics is all over the place. Are we really that simplistic?
Reply
Flag
I'm not even giving Wayward Pines a shot. Anything with M Night Shamalan attached to it I will avoid!!!!!
Reply
Flag
Somewhat excited for Gotham and I agree, Hieroglyphs trailer looks pretty bad...and that says a lot since most of em generally look pretty good even if they turned out to be lame. Still upset about Almost Human's cancellation but at least Sleepy Hollow got a second season.
Reply
Flag
My question for Hieroglyphs... why are all the people in power white and the servants black/middle eastern? This is Ancient Egypt, a country in Northern Africa. The BLACK people were in control and the WHITE people were the slaves, historically.
1
Reply
Flag
"Fox is the first broadcast network to really embrace the limited event series, as well as the cable model of shorter seasons, - However, I do like that the network is actively attempting to have fewer breaks and reruns, which tend to be problematic for viewer retention."
Ok,so this so called year round programming approach sucks. The fact that its supposed to retain viewers is even more laughable. Falling Skies starts in June,the whole season is over by August. I now have to wait 10,yes 10 months until the show is on again.That is what is problematic!!!! DaVinci's Demons,same f-ing thing,starts in April done in June. That is what they call year round programming,that is viewer retention. When the show does come back 10 months later,I have to re watch the last 3 episodes because I have forgot everything that happened. Thats if I even care anymore. And this style is supposed to be better then having a show on from September to April and then reruns in the summer??? No f-ing way!!!! And dont tell me the quality of the show will suffer. Even if that is a risk, I would rather have 24 episodes of say Spartacus and risk that MAYBE a few MIGHT not be great,then 10 episodes and have to wait 10 months for more. What should happen in this "year round " programming is,a shows season should consist of 20-24 episodes,split into two parts. You have Walking Dead show 12 episodes in the fall,it goes away for break and Hell on Wheels comes in for winter with their 12 or 10. Then in the spring Walking Dead comes back for the final 10-12 and is gone for the summer. Hell on Wheels comes back for the summer with their final 10-12 episodes. Bada bing bada boom,done.
More+
Reply
Flag
But none of those shows you mentioned are broadcast shows, so they don't apply at all..
Cable had always had short seasons at all times of the year....

Reply
Flag
Gracepoint ... This show is probably the best worst idea Fox has had in a long time. "The end will be different than in Boradchurch" ; ok, I'll check the last 10 minutes of the show then. Why David Tennant ? Why ?
Reply
Flag
I pretty much stated the same thoughts on the schedule page, Gotham and Sleepy Hollow definitely are a great pairing, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine's move to Sunday is definitely a questionable decision (although it does have the potential to work).

I'm very excited about the prospect of the network doing away with the traditional pilot season and having year-round development, as well as adapting to the length of cable run series, regardless of whether or not it ends being successful for them or not - at least they're making an effort to really try something new.

The only real problem I can see with this strategy is that with so many series waiting to air I can see the network quickly discarding under-performing series more quickly than usual because there will always be something else to replace it. It undoubtedly has the potential to start a really negative cycle in which even more and more series are churned out only to be cancelled after a handful of episodes and replaced by another similarly underrated series. I hope that it doesn't happen, it just sounds like it could.
1
Reply
Flag
Here's an idea. How long has FOX been a network programming two hours a night, not including Sundays? Why not go to three hours a night now? You could likely take 5 of those extra shows to fill in the time let alone find better slots / schedules for existing programs, no? What about something like New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sleepy Hollow, and Gotham on a Monday night for example?. My local FOX affiliate carries our CBS affiliates news following FOX shows. I am sure they could bump that back an hour, which would also meaning bumping Arsenio Hall, as well, but I don't see the real downside to this idea overall.
3
Reply
Flag
Completely agree about these American remakes... firstly, it's usually a bad idea to begin with but then trying to make people use American accents isn't always necessary. As seen in Sleepy Hollow for example, having a different accent is perfectly fine. Rebel Wilson should've just used her regular accent in Super Fun Night instead of putting on the American one also. I don't see the point of Broadchurch/Gracepoint at all, basically redoing the series but having the UK actors doing American accents, that's literally so ridiculous haha. Why not just import these UK/Australian series to America as they were originally made instead of continuously attempting to Americanize them. I just find this Broadchurch/Gracepoint to be the height of absurdity in an absurd trend that needs to end sooner rather than later.

Reply
Flag
Are you crazy?!? I'm gonna watch the shit out of Hieroglyph. Maybe it will suck, but everything you said and that trailer were totally hypnotizing. It looks like Da Vinci's Demons, which I liked at first and then got tired of. Plus, The Professor from Quantum Leap, y'all! I am such a dork. Which is why I am also obviously watching Gotham.
Reply
Flag
He is the professor from Sliders. Or Gimli from Lord of the Rings. Or Sallah from Indiana Jones. Take your pick, lol.
1
Reply
Flag
And Panis Rahl in legend of the seeker..
He was in that silly comedy central show Krod Mandoon as well
Reply
Flag
Oh, you're right, Sliders, not Quantum Leap. Arrggghh!!!! How could I make such a rookie mistake?
Reply
Flag
So excited about Gotham with the fab Sleepy Hollow (I hope the additional eps do not dilute the insane pace of the show but hopefully the writers have enough time to come up with more insanity)... Also great to see

I have to disagree that moving to BB99's move to Sunday is going to be such bad news for New Girl or The Mindy Project. HOnestly the ratings they have been getting are in the low 1s so doubtful they will go lower because the lose the lacklustre BB99 (in terms of ratings, not sure about quality as I do not watch it). Not even New Girl is anchoring The Mindy Project anymore and in fact TMS got better ratings or at least the same ratings as New Girl the past few episodes. True, the lead will now be some awful sounding reality show called UTOPIA so that is not promising ...
1
Reply
Flag
I am so disappointed about Hieroglyph. My favorite field of history and my dynasty of ancient Egypt. When I first heard of it I was so excited that the media would begin taking advantage of the wealth of creative opportunities there are in ancient egypt, but no. Maybe somebody else will some day.
2
Reply
Flag
Yeah, it doesn't look good. :(
1
Reply
Flag
'Hieroglyph' does look truly awful, I imagine it'll last 4 episodes before being given the quick boot if it beforehand. 'Gotham' I'm not a batman fan and I've never watched 'Southland' but I may give it a go. 'Gracepoint' does look good but I agree having such a known actor perform with an american accent when one of the things people love about him is his Scottish brogue might make viewing a little distracting and lastly I have to put my hand up proudly, possibly the only one and say I like M Night Shyamalan films so I'll be watching 'Wayward Pines' the rest, well we will see...
Reply
Flag
WoW i was not even able to finish the trailer for Hiroglyph. That trailer was just awful and unbearable to watch, UGH
1
Reply
Flag
WoW = World of Warcraft? [grin] Yeah, the trailer didn't impress me. FOX better fix it up!
1
Reply
Flag
None of the new shows sound terribly interesting, though Gotham has piqued my interest purely because of Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue. I am very glad that Sleepy Hollow is coming back! Just when I was starting to consider giving FOX an iota of kudos for knowing a good thing when they had one FOR ONCE then they go and cancel Almost Human and completely ruin everything in typical FOX style.
2
Reply
Flag
I am not sure how they are going to promote Hollow Pines without letting viewers know that M. Night is involved and thus removing a significant part of their potential viewers. Because there is no way in hell I am ever wasting another nanosecond of my time watching one more thing he has a hand in. In fact I regret writing about it already. I even have to break my watch everything Carla Gugino is in rule.

Also, if Gracepoint is even remotely like Broadchurch then it is a bad idea to put it with Bones. You have a well done and well acted show in Gracepoint teamed up with a show that past it's sell date by about 4 seasons.

Hieroglyph looks like someone took parts of DaVinci's demons, Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, and a number of other shows. Mixed those up and slapped Egypt on it and called it good. Almost Human was better.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't think Hieroglyph looks that bad actually. Ridiculous? Yes. Historically and culturally laughable? Very much so. But that doesn't make for a bad tv show at all, see: Reign and Sleepy Hollow. I have issues with the choice of characters and casting but I'm not worried about how entertaining it could become.
3
Reply
Flag
Sleepy Hollow is doing an adequate job with its historical and cultural references...
1
Reply
Flag
Well I know its basic structure of American history is mostly right, but I was referring to the more crazy aspects of its mythology like Zombie George Washington and the four horsemen of the apocalypse
1
Reply
Flag
I thought Hieroglyph looked like a fairly easy to watch hour of mindless stupidity, which isn't really a bad thing. I'd definitely say that Mulaney looks like the worst new show, it'll probably be fighting it out with ABC's Cristela for worst new sitcom of the season. So far Gotham looks like the frontrunner for best new drama of the season, whilst State of Affairs could quite possibly be the worst.
6
Reply
Flag
Sorry Tim, your "ugly" on New Girl wasn't up to the standards of yesterday's NBC article. It's his work again, right Kaitlin?

I think Fox's moving of Brooklyn Nine Nine to Sunday isn't a terrible choice, it's better than forcing another animated show to fill the needs and ending up with another Allen Gregory. Nothing will save Mulaney from failure though, that multi-cam teaser video looked so bad. Brooklyn Nine Nine isn't family friendly, nor is Mulaney judging by the clip shown. I think tonally the buildup starts more family friendly and gets more adult as the evening progresses, as it should. Fox Tuesday can suck it though.

Yeah, the rest of Fox's schedule is like watching a manure truck stuck on a railroad crossing as a train approaches.

I can't follow you on Gotham, and I suspect this will end up burning you. Honestly though, you named Hieroglyph the worst and that looked no worse than Sleepy Hollow did last season, silly but maybe workable.

John Mulaney is a very funny stand up and writer, but holy shit that sitcom looked atrocious.

Gracepoint looked terrible, that accent was awful too.
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
Ha. Yes. All of the headers will be from the magical mind of Tim.
1
Reply
Flag
I can't wait for Hieroglyph, personally. I'm a sucker for fantasy shows with non-Medieval setting. I honestly don't care how historically inaccurate it is, I just want a campy show. But if its anything like the Scorpion King movie, then I'm out, because I didn't like that film, considering the first The Mummy movie is one of my favourites.
6
Reply
Flag
Why can't they just make The Mummy: The Series. That would be good.
Reply
Flag
Hieroglyph = Community's "Mr. Egypt" (from "Depends on what fails.")
3
Reply
Flag
OmG!!

3
Reply
Flag
Though what I REALLY wouid like to watch is "Intensive Karen." That seems intensive!
1
Reply
Flag
Tennant without his accent? Now I'm disappointed.
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
It's very upsetting, to be honest.
2
Reply
Flag
Staff

It just won't be the same...


6
Reply
Flag
Aye. All those years in England have watered his accent something terrible.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
Really annoyed at them cutting Mindy's episode count to 15. Considering it's quality has been consistent, if not improving, throughout S2, it seems a shame, especially since New Girl has been so underwhelming this past year. To be honest, New Girl probably could benefit from fewer episodes until it works out what it's doing.
1
Reply
Flag
Yeah, it was stupid to see both Glee and The Mindy Project getting their episode-order cutted down in a wrong speed.

Glee's 24 to 13 and The Mindy Project's 22 to 15.

We have been revealed that FOX had a current financial collapse recently, but everything will get solved by next season.
Reply
Flag
Yes it's very annoying.
The funny thing is that it's not just in terms of quality that it's out performing New Girl and Glee. In the last few weeks, it's ratings matched and then actually rose above New Girl's, and it's matched/out rated Glee all year.
I really don't get it. This also reduces the chances of a possible season 4 largely. With the cancellation of Enlisted and Surviving Jack, and this dodgy slate of new shows, Fox should be clinging on to one of its very few remaining quality comedies.
2
Reply
Flag
Mindy's order is only 15?
1
Reply
Flag
I don't think Hieroglyph looks that bad. Or maybe I really want to like it because an ancient Egyptian show is so long overdue. I do wish HBO was making it though.
7
Reply
Flag
I'm glad they are moving Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Sunday nights because it is getting too independently successful in a fast speed.

I didn't like the way they cutting down the episode-order on both Glee and The Mindy Project at all and Glee should be put on Friday Nights immediately:

Glee's 24 to 13 and The Mindy Project's 22 to 15.

I have found out that FOX was under a current network financial collapse after spending too much money on Super Bowl and put into a forceful hiatus during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Reply
Flag
Staff
Was wonder why Wayward Pines was familiar to me and now I know why: I read the book and didn't really like it. However, it's something that needs toend and end quickly (i.e., 10 episodes and done, fin), or else the entire thing is going to become a massive slog.
Reply
Flag
Staff
This makes me sad. Because after watching the trailer I was in to it. But it's definitely a 10 episodes and out kind of thing.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
And now I'm seeing that Wayward Pines actually is three books long (I didn't keep up with it). WELL OKAY THEN.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
Well, that's something at least. Otherwise it would've become Under the Dome levels of badness and pointlessness instead of the weird thriller it's intended as.

It's a novel that's felt very intended to do exactly this: Be a property to sell as a TV film/miniseries or a feature film, so its relentless pacing (and it's a very brisk read) is a substitute for any real character stuff. This might be better, but I'm not super excited about it either way.
1
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
1,069