Fox has revealed its schedule for early 2014, slapping premiere dates on the returns of American Idol and The Following, and the series debuts of Rake and Enlisted. The network also added some new details to its plan for a pair of straggler comedies, Us & Them and Surviving Jack, both of which will get the short-season treatment later in the spring.
American Idol will return with (what else?) a two-night super premiere on January 15 and 16. I hope you like strangers singing at you, because both episodes will be two-hour whoppers. The following week, the Thursday edition will slim down to just an hour. Kevin Bacon and his band of merry and possibly less-incompetent-than-they-used-to-be-but-come-on-do-you-really-believe-that FBI agents return for more Joe Carroll-hunting in The Following on Monday, January 20 at 9pm, following a special time-period switcheroo for the Season 1 finale of Sleepy Hollow. I assume Almost Human will take a break that week to see Sleepy Hollow off.
Fox's midseason begins January 10 with new comedy Enlisted, which stars Geoff Stults as one of three brothers working at an army base in Florida. The show was previously scheduled to debut in November, but the network changed its mind on that last month and decided it to hold the comedy it for 2014 instead. Though the pilot wasn't the strongest, I think the setting and misfit characters gives it a chance to be one of the better new comedies of the season. And Fox is giving its new hour-long series Rake every possible chance to succeed. The legal drama's debut will follow the NFL's NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 19, before settling into its permanent time slot behind American Idol on Thursdays later that week. Rake stars Greg Kinnear as a self-destructive but brilliant (obviously) criminal defense attorney whose personal and professional lives clash (obviously).
It also looks like Fox has cut down the Season 1 order of new comedy Surviving Jack, which will now run for eight episodes. The series is set in Southern California in the '90s and stars Chris Meloni as the father in a central father-son relationship. Surviving Jack joins its fellow new comedy Us & Them on the short bus; the Jason Ritter and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledal) sitcom was trimmed to just six episodes earlier this month. Both comedies are still awaiting premiere dates, which are expected to be sometime in the spring.
Here's Fox midseason schedule, straight from the network:
FOX 2014 MIDSEASON PREMIERE DATES
(New shows in bold and ALL CAPS)
Friday, Jan. 10:
9:30-10pm – ENLISTED (series premiere)
Saturday, Jan. 11:
11pm-midnight – Animation Domination High-Def
Wednesday, Jan. 15:
8-10pm – American Idol (Season premiere, part one)
Thursday, Jan. 16:
8-10pm – American Idol (Season premiere, part two)
Sunday, Jan. 19:
6-10pm Eastern – NFC Championship Game (Live)
10-11pm Eastern/7-8pm Pacific – RAKE (Series premiere, night one)
Monday, Jan. 20:
8-9pm – Sleepy Hollow
(Season finale; special time)
9-10pm – The Following (Season premiere)
Thursday, Jan. 23:
8-9pm – American Idol (Time period premiere)
9-10pm – RAKE (Series premiere, night two/time period premiere)
SURVIVING JACK and US & THEM will premiere sometime in the spring, dates TBD.