With more and more broadcast series ending their seasons earlier and earlier, Fox is delaying the season finales of four series this year. The network today amended the list of season finale dates it issued two weeks ago with new dates for New Girl, The Mindy Project, Kitchen Nightmares and Touch. Comedies New Girl and Mindy Project, originally slated to wrap their seasons May 7, will now air their finales May 14. Kitchen Nightmares and Touch will finish their seasons May 10. In Fox’s previous plan, Kitchen Nightmares was to end its original run April 6, followed by Touch‘s closer April 26. The reason for the tweaks is that Fox brass decided to have more originals on in May. The rest of the network’s season-finale dates remain unchanged. Here is the full list of Fox’s season finales/summer premieres: Read More »
The second season of Fox‘s Touch, originally slated for a fall launch and then pushed to February 1, will have to wait another week. The series starring Kiefer Sutherland will kick off its sophomore season with a two-hour premiere on Friday, February 8. Starting the following week, the drama will settle into its regular Friday 9 PM slot, likely following Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, which currently airs in the time period.
Meanwhile, Fox is still not confirming that Mob Doctor has been cancelled, though the struggling freshman is not getting a back order beyond the original 13 episodes, making cancellation a foregone conclusion. All of them will air — Fox has set the airing pattern for the remaining four episodes of Mob Doctor‘s 13-episode order, which includes a mix of broadcasts in its regular Monday time slot and outings on the dead-as-a-doornail Saturday night: Saturday, December 29; New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31; Saturday, January 5; and Monday, January 7.
Fox has made the first lineup change since the start of the season. No, it’s not that one, Mob Doctor is still on the schedule. The network will delay the second season of Touch until January. The drama starring Kiefer Sutherland was scheduled to begin its second season on Oct. 26 in the Friday 8 PM slot. It will now be replaced by Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, originally slated to warm up the Friday 8 PM slot for a month before Touch launches. Fox last month opted to hold Kitchen Nightmares in favor of airing X Factor reruns on Friday early in the season. No time slot is being assigned to Touch, meaning that it won’t necessarily air in the Friday 8 PM time period. Fox will have drama holes in midseason, a result from the pending end of Fringe, which is airing its final 13-episode season, and the expected short run of low-rated freshman Mob Doctor. The network has one new midseason drama addition, the Kevin Bacon series The Following.
Lukas Haas (Inception) and Saxon Sharbino have joined Fox’s drama series Touch as new regulars as the series reboots with moving the action (and leading duo Martin, Kiefer Sutherland, and his son Jake, David Mazouz) from New York to Los Angeles. In the first season finale, Martin and Jake met Lucy (Maria Bello), a distraught mother whose gifted daughter (Sharbino) is missing. The casting keeps 13-year-old Sharbino at Fox where she was discovered last pilot season when she beat out a score of young actresses to land the lead in the Karyn Usher pilot. Despite the fact that the pilot didn’t make it to series, Fox brass loved Sharbino’s performance. Haas will play a genius working for the mysterious Aster Corps that is after Jake. Joining Touch as a recurring is Greg Ellis (24), playing a journalist and an old friend of Martin’s.
Fox will follow NBC in presenting its fall lineup tomorrow. But unlike the peacock network, which is overhauling its schedule with four nights of comedies, Fox is not expected to make drastic changes. The network would not comment, but I hear that it will stick to its plan to launch an all-comedy Tuesday night with Raising Hope, Ben & Kate, New Girl and Mindy Kaling’s It’s Messy. Glee, which anchored the Tuesday comedy block for the last two years, is rumored to be relocating to Thursday after X Factor. In its sophomore season, Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch may join Fringe on Fridays for a sci-fi-themed night, while new medical drama The Mob Doc drama looks Monday-bound, inheriting the night of Fox’s veteran medical drama House and possibly airing with Bones. As expected, given its 15-episode-a-season order, I hear Fox is holding back its highest-profile new series, the Kevin Bacon-starring The Following for midseason, along with new comedy The Goodwin Games.
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Amidst its slew of new series pickups, I’ve learned that Fox also has renewed midseason drama Touch for a second season. The news comes on the heels of a ratings rebound for Tim Kring’s series starring Kiefer Sutherland following a post-premiere slide. 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment are producing. The jury is still out on fellow freshman drama series The Finder, which had shown some signs of life on Friday, but its chances don’t look good. UPDATE: The Finder is indeed now a goner. Alcatraz is out of the picture, especially after Fox renewed J.J. Abrams’ other bubble drama series, Fringe. It has been a great afternoon for Chernin Entertainment, whose Fox comedy pilot Ben & Kate (formerly Ben Fox Is My Manny) received a series pickup an hour and a half ago. Joining The Finder and Alcatraz on the cancellation pile are comedies Breaking In and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.
EXCLUSIVE: Kiefer Sutherland’s new Fox drama series Touch is amping up the star power. Maria Bello is joining the show for a multi-episode arc this season with an option to become a series regular if the drama, as expected, is picked up for Season 2. Bello will play an earth-mother type whose daughter shared a gift similar to that of Martin’s (Sutherland) son Jake (David Mazouz). Bello is coming off a starring turn on NBC’s praised but short-lived drama Prime Suspect. She is with CAA and John Carrabino.
Related: RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Touch’ OK In Official Debut