The launch strategy for new drama The Finder was probably the most puzzling element in Fox’s midseason announcement last week (that and seeing flash-mob series Mobbed on the schedule, after American Idol no less). Fox had originally scheduled the Bones spinoff, which premieres January 12, to follow a Bones rerun. Now the network has switched the repeat with an original Bones, which will no doubt boost the Finder debut. But the move will disrupt the run of Bones as the January 12 episode is the fall finale, originally scheduled for December 15. A repeat of Bones’ Finder spinoff episode will air next week instead. Starting January 19, The Finder will run behind American Idol on Thursday while Bones goes on hiatus.
Fox Announces Midseason Sched: ‘Touch’ Gets Monday 9 PM Slot, ‘American Idol’ Paired With ‘Mobbed’ On Wednesdays
Fox today was the last broadcast network to reveal its midseason plans. There were no major surprises. The J.J. Abrams-produced time-travel drama Alcatraz will air in the Monday 9 PM slot as announced at Fox’s upfront in May. As expected, it will share the slot — once occupied by real-time drama 24 – with 24 star Kiefer Sutherland’s new drama series Touch. Alcatraz launches on January 16, Touch on March 19 after a preview on January 25 behind American Idol.
Resurrected comedy Breaking In officially joins Fox’s new two-hour, four-show Tuesday comedy block that will launch March 6, when Glee goes on hiatus before returning with all-original episodes. With pilots Family Album and Little In Common dead, Fox is short a show for the block, so it will air New Girl reruns along with new episodes of New Girl, Raising Hope and Breaking In. The multi-camera I Hate My Teenage Daughter, which premiered after The X Factor last night, is not on the schedule, but Fox says that it will return as originally planned in spring, airing behind a 90-minute Idol performance show. Idol‘s premiere date has been tweaked. The reality competition series was originally going to launch its 11th season behind the NFC Championship game on Jan. 22. Idol will still air after the big game, but as a special. The new season will now start on Jan. 18 with a Wednesday-Thursday premiere. Fox also kept its original scheduling plan for Bones spinoff The Finder intact. It will premiere on January 12 behind a Bones rerun and will air after the Idol results show starting the following week. Bones will return in the spring. New animated series Napoleon Dynamite has been assigned the Sunday 8:30 PM slot currently occupied by Allen Gregory, also per Fox’s original plans. Here is Fox’s midseason schedule with premiere dates:
ABC’s November 18 order of one additional episode to freshman drama Pan Am stands. Back then, the network opted for a one-episode back order to the 1960s drama, bringing the first-season run of Pan Am to 14 episodes, but …
FX Announces Midseason Schedule
USA Network has firmed up its midseason schedule, which will feature the return of White Collar on January 17 and Royal Pains on January 18 and the premiere of new drama Common Law on January 26. White Collar and Royal Pains will air on the same nights they did in the summer — Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively — but will slide from 9 PM to 10 PM. Common Law, which stars Michael Ealy and Warren Kole as a pair of detectives forced to attend couples counseling, will air Thursdays at 10 PM. For the first time in awhile for a rookie USA series, Common Law will launch with no original lead-in from an established show. This past midseason, Fairly Legal launched on Thursdays 10 PM behind Royal Pains.
HBO’s off-beat comedy series Eastbound & Down will return for a third season on February 19, followed by the debut of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s latest series Life’s Too Short. The comedies will air in the 10 PM hour, following new drama Luck, which launches January 29 following a preview after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11. Life’s Too Short is a faux documentary starring actor Warwick Davis as a fictionalized version of himself: a down-and-out little person desperately trying to hustle and connive his way back into the spotlight. Gervais will be able to promote Life’s Too Short with his stint as host of the Golden Globes in January.
TNT Greenlights ‘Hornet’s Nest’ To Extend Mystery Movie Series; Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen To Star
While original TV movies continue to struggle on broadcast TV as evident by the underwhelming ratings for the Hallmark Hall Of Fame film on ABC last night, the …
Broadcast networks’ infatuation with lower-license-fee internationally produced drama series, which began during the run-up to the 2007 writers strike, is entering a major new phase with NBC’s midseason scheduling of the Entertainment One-produced 22-episode drama The Firm, based on John Grisham’s novel and the Tom Cruise-starring movie. Back in 2007, two of the acquired series stockpiled by the U.S. networks as strike contingency, Flashpoint by CBS and Crusoe by NBC, aired in-season on Fridays and Saturdays, and Flashpoint even got a brief turn in the Thursday 10 PM slot when the broadcast nets ran out of originals at the height of the labor dispute. But since then, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox have largely limited lower-license-fee drama series acquisitions to summer runs. (Fox’s attempt to extend the run of such a series, The Good Guys, into the regular season backfired.) Then in April, NBC picked up The Firm based on a spec script by Lucas Reiter. Two weeks later, at NBC’s upfront presentation, the network announced The Firm as a midseason replacement to air on Sundays. And today, the straight-to-series drama was upgraded to the Thursday 10 PM slot, which for years had been considered NBC’s top drama slot, home of such iconic series as Hill Street Blues, LA Law and ER.
Harry’s Law is featured on NBC’s just-released midseason schedule, so this seams like a foregone conclusion, but word is that NBC is giving a full-season to David E. Kelley’s sophomore series. Also looking good to get a back order …
NBC’s Midseason Schedule: ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’, ‘Rock Center’, ‘Harry’s Law’ Move; ‘Community’ Benched; ‘Suspect’ Pulled
After a pretty dismal fall, NBC is shaking things up in midseason with several scheduling changes. Gone from the lineup is struggling freshman Prime Suspect (NBC says it hasn’t made a final decision on its cancellation), while four series — Whitney, Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Rock Center With Brian Williams — are on the move. NBC is creating a multi-camera comedy block in the 8-9 PM Wednesday hour with Whitney and midseason comedy Are You There, Chelsea (formerly Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea; No alcohol-flavored title in the family hour.) The block, which will debut January 11, brings together two female comedians with similar sensibility in Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, on whose books Chelsea is based. A month later, the two comedies will be followed by low-rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams. It will take over the Wednesday 9 PM slot from Harry’s Law, which is moving to Sundays. Rock Center had to move out of the Monday 10 PM slot to make room for NBC’s highest-profile new series this season, Broadway drama Smash, which will premiere on February 6 and run in the post-The Voice slot as originally scheduled. NBC’s other changes for midseason include new comedy Up All Night moving to Whitney‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot; 30 Rock replacing Community on Thursdays at 8 PM; and the John Grisham adaptation The Firm, originally slated for a Sunday midseason run, sliding into Prime Suspect‘s Thursday 10 PM slot. The order for Community has not been reduced, so it’s unclear what NBC will do with the remaining episodes of the college-set comedy. Missing from the midseason lineup is NBC’s ambitious new drama series Awake, which recently took an unplanned break to work on scripts. Here is NBC’s midseason schedule (with premiere dates) that also includes new reality series Fashion Star on Tuesdays at 10 PM and the return of Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays:
I hear that NBC is about to make some scheduling moves. The network is keeping mum, but there is speculation that rookie comedies Up All Night and Whitney, both with full-season orders, may be swapping places. Up All Night is getting murdered in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, so it will probably benefit from a protected run behind The Office. It also is single-camera and has a workplace element like the rest of NBC’s Thursday’s lineup. Up All Night will likely move to the Thursday 9:30 PM spot, but Whitney may be a bit too racy for the Wednesday family hour. Also possibly on the move is NBC’s new fairytale drama Grimm, which started off strong in the Friday 9 PM slot but has been slipping since. While the series’ long-term potential is still unclear, given the dearth of strong prospects at NBC this fall — especially on the drama side — the network probably should give the newbie a shot.