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Fox has gotten an early jump on its pickups for the 2016-17 broadcast season.
The network has handed out early series orders to two of its most high-profile pilots this season, both hailing from its sibling studio 20th Century Fox TV: 24: Legacy and Lee Daniels’ Star. Legacy, which now counts former 24 star Kiefer Sutherland as an executive producer, is picked up for 12 episodes, while Star has scored the traditional 13.
24: Legacy is a new take on the franchise that features an all-new cast of characters and is structured in the same style of the original series. Legacy revolves around a military hero’s (Corey Hawkins, Straight Outta Compton, The Walking Dead) return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him back — compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil. Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits and Dan Bucatinsky co-star in the drama that hails from the show’s original producing team of showrunners Manny Coto and Evan Katz, with Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer on board as exec producers on the project from Imagine TV and Gordon’s Teakwood Lane. Stephen Hopkins directed the pilot. Sutherland will exec produce and will not have an onscreen role as he stars in ABC’s straight-to-series drama Designated Survivor.
Star, meanwhile, hails from Empire co-creator Daniels, who co-wrote the pilot alongside Tom Donaghy. The Atlanta-set drama revolves around three girls (newcomers Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady, discovered after a nationwide casting call) who come together to form a band. Star details their rise to the top in a challenging business. While Empire is told from the point of view of music executives, Star will be told from the perspective of the artist. Benjamin Bratt and Queen Latifah headline the series, which gives Fox a potential companion for ratings juggernaut Empire after the network previously attempted a reboot of Urban Cowboy to fill that slot. Lenny Kravitz guest stars.
Legacy and Star were two of the network’s buzziest pilots heading into next month’s upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers. Star, picked up to pilot off-cycle in August and, like Legacy, originally announced at TCA, were both considered can’t-miss pickups. They join fellow rookies on Fox’s 2016-17 broadcast schedule including the Prison Break revival (ordered straight-to-series), limited series Shots Fired and live-action/animated comedy Son of Zorn — all of which are produced in-house by 20th TV as networks continue to make a concerted push for vertically integrated ownership amid an increasingly competitive landscape.
Overall, Fox is expected to be aggressive in its new series pickups as the network has an American Idol-sized hole in its schedule to fill next season — its first without the iconic franchise that took its final call this year. Fox has already renewed the bulk of its scripted lineup, handing out early pickups to Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth and New Girl as well as rookies Lucifer, Rosewood and Scream Queens joining animated entries The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers. Still on the bubble are Sleepy Hollow, with renewal talks already underway, and freshman comedies Grandfathered and The Grinder.
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