Via Variety, word has broken that FOX is shuffling its fall schedule to, well, I don’t really know why they’re doing it. On the one hand, their new schedule certainly seems like it will be more competitive. However, at the same time, I don’t believe that the switch from new programming to reality programming is going to do much good for the network’s pedigree.
New Amsterdam, FOX’s crime procedural about a 400+ year old man who will only be able to age when he finds his true love, has been shelved until midseason. It will likely debut in the Fridays at 9pm timeslot that it would have been moving to in January anyways thanks to American Idol.
Why is it moving? My guess is a combination of retooling (The show isn’t shutting down production, but certainly they’ll be slowing down a bit) and perhaps it just isn’t coming together very well. It should be interesting to see whether more news breaks about this in the coming days.
Bones, meanwhile, is moving to find itself a new timeslot away from a rather tough Wednesday 9pm lineup (Private Practice, Criminal Minds, Bionic Woman). The FOX forensic crime procedural will be moving to New Amsterdam’s timeslot of 8pm on Tuesdays (Starting on September 25th) before itself likely moving to Fridays at 8 in January.
Why is it moving? Well, it’s more because of what else is moving, but more importantly it gives the show its own timeslot in its chosen genre (The only competition being NCIS, which skews older). So, considering they want it to survive on Fridays in the Spring, they need to give it a boost.
The other news deals with two reality shows.
First, Don’t Forget the Lyrics will be staying on Thursday nights in the Fall when its 13-episode order kicks in. The show ends its summer run next week, and will be returning on September 6th at 9pm to start that run.
That move has forced Kitchen Nightmares, the new reality import from Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen), to move into the Wednesday 9pm slot originally occupied by Bones. This should be a decent fit, considering it will be the only reality series in the timeslot.
I’m apprehensive about all of this because it means that FOX is leaning heavily on reality programming. Its own new scripted entries are K-Ville, airing on Mondays at 9 after Prison Break, and Back to You, the comedy series starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.
I wasn’t particularly excited about New Amsterdam or anything, but at the very least it seemed like FOX was attempting to build a new series instead of just bringing in a derivative (if entertaining) reality series. If FOX isn’t capable of building new series on a large scale, when the reality bubble bursts (And it eventually will), they’re going to be in a heap of trouble.
FOX, unlike the lead character of New Amsterdam, is not immortal, and I think they need to keep that in mind. Still, good news for Bones fans, and fans of FOX’s summer hit. FOX always struggles to perform without Idol in the Fall, and I guess that reality (including “American Band,” the Idol spinoff to debut in October) is their answer to the problems they will face.
Related Articles at Cultural Learnings:
- 2007-2008 Fall Premiere Dates – All Networks
- Karaoke Wars: FOX’s ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’
- 2007-2008 FOX Fall Preview [May 2007]