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The new Fox Entertainment is beginning to take shape.
The Charlie Collier-run network has handed out its first series orders since becoming an independent broadcaster after seeing its sibling TV studio move to Disney as part of the $71.3 billion asset sale.
Picked up to series are four dramas — the Stephen Dorff-led Deputy; the thriller Next (a favorite of Collier’s, sources say); the Greg Berlanti-produced Prodigal Son; and the untitled Annie Weisman and Jason Katims drama formerly known as Sisters. Those join the animated comedy The Great North, from the creative team behind Bob’s Burgers, and the multicamera comedy Outmatched, starring Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson.
Of the six, three (Next and both comedies) are from now Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Television as the network keeps its word to pick up half from its former studio and half from outside outlets. The new Fox Entertainment is a co-producer on all six series, teaming with 20th TV on both comedies and with Entertainment One on Deputy; Warner Bros. TV on Prodigal Son; and Universal TV/Endemol Shine on the untitled Weisman and Katims entry. Additional series orders are expected to come.
The six new orders join the previously announced animated series pickups Bless the Harts and Duncanville on the network’s 2019-20 broadcast schedule. Sources say Fox may still pickup the Southern Gothic dramedy Filthy Rich starring Kim Cattrall and possibly the comedy Patty’s Auto, which has been heating up. The comedy Richard Lovely is considered a long shot, and Adam & Eve has already been passed over. The drama Lovestruck, starring Rachel Bilson, is also considered unlikely to move forward.
Sources note that Fox is likely making a big bet on midseason with its animation block, Thursday Night Football, wrestling and postseason baseball taking up a big chunk of its fall slate.
Here’s a look at the new series:
Deputy features one of pilot season’s biggest talent deals for True Detective grad Dorff, who stars in the modern cop drama with a classic Western spirit. Will Beall (Aquaman) penned the script and executive produces alongside director David Ayer and his Cedar Park partner (and former Audience Network chief) Chris Long.
Next, which has been an internal favorite of new Fox Entertainment CEO Collier, is a fact-based thriller about the emergence of a rogue AI that combines action with an examination of how tech transforms culture in a way that isn’t always understandable. Manny Coto (24) penned the script and exec produces alongside John Requa and Glenn Ficarra. Mad Men grad John Slattery reunites with former AMC president Collier and stars in the drama.
Prodigal Son, which generated rave reviews for stars Michael Sheen and Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), is a fresh take on the crime franchise and follows a notorious serial killer and his criminal psychologist son. Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver reunite with Deception exec producer Berlanti on the series, which co-stars Lou Diamond Phillips and Scandal favorite Bellamy Young.
The untitled Weisman and Katims drama is based on Endemol Shine Australia’s series Sisters. Weisman penned the script about an only child whose life is turned upside down when her famous father reveals he used his own sperm to conceive upward of a hundred children, including two new sisters. Brittany Snow, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Emily Osment and Timothy Hutton star in the drama.
The animated comedy The Great North — put into development last fall — is from the Bob’s Burgers team of creator Loren Bouchard, Wendy Molyneux, Lizzie Molyneux and Minty Lewis. Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Megan Mullally, Paul Rust, Aparna Nancherla, Will Forte and Dulce Sloan comprise the voice cast. The series follows the Alaskan adventures of the Tobin family as a single dad does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close as the artistic dreams of his only daughter lead her away from the family fishing boat and into the glamorous world of the local mall. This is Bouchard’s second animated comedy and joins Apple’s Central Park.
Outmatched is a multicamera comedy from Lon Zimmet (who did L.A. to Vegas for Fox) that revolves around a blue-collar couple in South Jersey trying to get by and raise four kids — three of whom are certified geniuses. Tisha Campbell-Martin co-stars.
The six new series join the returning dramas 911, Empire and The Resident and the comedies Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and Last Man Standing at the network. Fox still needs to make decisions on the bubble series The Orville, Lethal Weapon, Star, The Passage, The Cool Kids and Proven Innocent. The Gifted and Rel have both been canceled, and Gotham wrapped its fifth and final season. Sources say Collier wants the so-called “New Fox” to be a “scrappy” network. His first pickups were for the summer series BH90210 — a show-with-a-show revival — and the aftershow spoof What Just Happened.
Keep track of all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders with THR‘s scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW and with all the latest pilot pickups and passes with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.
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