6:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox's Fall Schedule Snubs Live-Action Comedy, Bets on 'Masked Singer'
The newly independent Fox network put out the first schedule of its own making on Monday morning, one that seems to rely equally on its future (sports and reality) and its past (see: even more Sunday night cartoons).
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier again emphasized the “start-up mentality” for the network in rolling out the new lineup. And while Fox has been aggressive in its orders for new scripted programming, doubling last year's tally, most of those new series will wait for midseason and later in 2020. The only newcomers to make the fall schedule are the dramas Prodigal Son and Not Just Me and the previously-ordered animated comedy Bless the Harts.
In fact, there’s not a single scripted half-hour on Fox’s fall schedule, a not-unexpected but still bold decision.
Night by night, 911 is staying put on Mondays to pair with the Michael Sheen- and Tom Payne-starring procedural Prodigal Son. Tuesdays has the now-final season of Empire airing at 9 p.m. after airing on Wednesdays for its entire run. The Resident will air at the top of the night.
Fox is doubling down on The Masked Singer, with plans for two cycles of the No. 1 new show of 2018-19 on deck for fall and spring, and it will air on Wednesdays before the new Jason Katims drama Not Just Me, a decidedly more sensitive project than the procedurals dotting the schedule.
The network then segues into three consecutive nights of sports with Thursday Night Football; WWE SmackDown, finally arriving on Fridays more than a year after that rights deal; and Fox College Football on Saturdays.
Sunday is largely the same, with animated comedies airing after football, though the placement has been tweaked some to accommodate the new effort Bless the Harts. That will air at 8:30 p.m., in between The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers — with Family Guy shifting to 9:30.
That leaves the rookies 911: Lone Star, Deputy, Filthy Rich, Next, Duncanville, Outmatched and The Great North for midseason alongside the returning series The Orville and Last Man Standing.
Fox’s 2019 Fall Schedule
8-9 p.m. ET/PT — 911
9-10 p.m. — Prodigal Son
8-9 p.m. — The Resident
9-10 p.m. — Empire
8-9 p.m. — The Masked Singer
9-10 p.m. — Not Just Me
8 p.m. — Thursday Night Football
8-10 p.m. — WWE Smackdown
7-10:30 p.m. — Fox College Football
7-7:30 p.m. — NFL on Fox
7:30-8 p.m. The OT
8-8:30 p.m. — The Simpsons
8:30-9 p.m. — Bless the Harts
9-9:30 p.m. — Bob's Burgers
9:30-10 p.m. — Family Guy