Fox Fall Schedule: 'Empire' Shifts, 'X-Files' and Many Others Hold for Midseason

Taraji P Henson Terrence Howard Empire March 22 - Publicity - H 2017
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox is finally moving Empire in an effort to better serve another show. After three years at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, the hit musical drama heads to the top of the night come fall — a tweak made to better serve sister series Star, which will now air in Empire's former hour.

It's one of several adjustments the network is making for its fall schedule. The new lineup, however, lacks one particularly anticipated project in The X-Files — as well as Ryan Murphy drama 9-1-1 and a slew of other buzzy new entries that the network is saving for midseason. Instead, the fall slate includes only a few strategic additions — namely Marvel show The Gifted and Seth MacFarlane's long-gestating space dramedy The Orville. As has become the norm at Fox, Tuesday and Sunday are the only venues for comedy. The latter night will launch live-action sci-fi half-hour Ghosted. The sitcom, starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson, will air between The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Fox brass have been adamant about not moving Empire since its hugely successful launch. But as the top-rated drama has aged, it has become evident that the show's ratings are not dependent on the time slot. More and more Empire viewers are watching the drama on their own time. 

The Orville faces an incredibly daunting lineup in its Thursday time slot. Not only do the first few weeks of the season feature NFL games on CBS, but NBC announced Sunday that it was moving freshman juggernaut This Is Us to Thursday at 9 p.m. As a lead-in, The Orville will have Batman prequel Gotham. Monday sees some minor changes in Gotham's absence but no shift in genre. Lucifer, in its move to 8 p.m., will be the launch pad for X-Men-ish drama The Gifted. Also opening a night is Lethal Weapon. Fox's bona fide breakout of the previous season uncouples from Empire to lead into comedies The Mick and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The latter will face off against The Good Place on NBC — with both shows executive produced by Mike Schur. The final season of New Girl, like Fox-favored L.A. to Vegas, is on the bench for midseason.

Friday is a something of a no-brainer. The night will start the season with Hell's Kitchen, followed by The Exorcist.

The biggest midseason entry is The X-Files. The veteran drama, which soared to ratings highs during its limited return in 2016, starts filming another 10 episodes this summer. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's Angela Bassett vehicle, 9-1-1, will also arrive after the fall — as will medical drama The Resident. (Fox has been missing a true medical drama, a favorite among the Big Four, since House.)

On the specials front, the live staging of A Christmas Story will bow in December (naturally) with Rent following at some point down the line.

Fox's full fall schedule

8 p.m. ET/PT — Lucifer
10 p.m. — The Gifted

8 p.m. — Lethal Weapon
9 p.m. — The Mick
9:30 p.m. — Brooklyn Nine-Nine

8 p.m.— Empire
9 p.m. — Star

8 p.m. — Gotham
9 p.m. — The Orville

8 p.m. — Hell's Kitchen
9 p.m. — The Exorcist

8 p.m. — Fox Sports Saturday: College Football

7 p.m. — NFL on Fox
7:30 p.m. — The OT/Bob's Burgers
8 p.m. — The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. — Ghosted
9 p.m. — Family Guy
9:30 p.m. — The Last Man on Earth