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Fox mixes things up with new fall schedule (and tries to plan with weakened 'Idol')

First Published May 12 2014 10:10AM      Last Updated May 12 2014 04:30 pm

Antony Bunsee, Condola Rashad, Kelsey Chow (sitting) Reece Ritchie, Max Brown, Caroline Ford and John Rhyse-Davies star in “Hieroglyph.” CR: Jacob Lewis/FOX.

Here's a couple of things we learned from Fox's fall schedule announcement:

First, the days of "American Idol" dominating the second half the season are over.

And, second, after years of struggling to establish live-action comedies, Fox is going back to its roots. It will intersperse live-action and animated comedies on Sunday nights.

"We're returning back to our roots," said Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who pointed to the success of shows like "Married ... With Children," "Malcolm In the Middle" and "That'70s Show" shared Sunday nights with animated series.

The network is also giving up on its four-comedy Tuesdays, putting "Utopia" — a "Big Brother"-ish show — in front of the returning "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project."

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p class="TEXT_w_Indent">Oh, and the network has that Batman prequel, "Gotham."

Fox is adding five new dramas, four new comedies, two "event series" and one unscripted drama, but only five of those shows will begin airing in the fall, with the rest being held for midseason. And, for the first time in many years, Fox did not announce a midseason schedule - because it isn't quite sure what's going to happen with "American Idol."

"We've always built our [midseason] schedule around 'Idol,' knowing that it was a fixture and knowing pretty much exactly what the format was going to be. The format will be different."

He didn't have specifics on that, but he did say it will be "streamlined," airing a total of 37 hours (instead of 50-something, as has been the case for years.

And, while Reilly anticipates airing "Idol" twice a week early in its season, he thinks it's "quite likely it will end up being a two-hour show on one night through most of its run."

FOX FALL 2014 SCHEDULE (New shows in UPPER CASE; returning shows are in italics)

Monday

7 p.m. - "GOTHAM"

8 p.m. - "Sleepy Hollow"

 

 

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