Thursday, May 18, 2006
For the last 3 years FOX has had a brutal bashing in the ratings in the Fall, only to beat the crap out of the competition in the Spring with the arrival of AMERICAN IDOL. ...Things shouldnt change this coming year either.....Lets look at the Fall lineup first: Mondays start with buzz-worthy PRISON BREAK and end with VANISHED, a new drama. PRISON started out with a bang last summer, then cooled in its recent spring run. I predict the public won't be as into the series in season 2 as it was last year. Thus giving VANISHED a short-lived run...Tuesdays start with STANDOFF and finish with HOUSE. HOUSE has shown it has legs when AMERICAN IDOL preceded it. But on its own, it doesnt have the same ratings impact, and STANDOFF won't even provide a third of the ratings magic of AMERICAN IDOL...BONES kicks things off on Wednesdays, with the newbie JUSTICE following it. Sorry, but JUSTICE will be an early candidate for cancellation, and BONES won't pick up speed until the Spring...Thursday nights see two possible sleeper hit comedies in the form of 'TIL DEATH starring former RAYMOND brother Brad Garrett and HAPPY HOUR, a comedy revolving around friends in a Chicago bar (FRIENDS meets CHEERS must have been the pitch). Unfortunately, THE O.C. follows, and given the harsh competition at this hour (GREY'S ANATOMY, CSI and STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP), don't expect any ratings miracles for THE O.C. in season 4....Fridays serve NANNY 911 and TRADING SPOUSES (ugh)...Saturdays continue with the Fox staples COPS and AMERICA'S MOST WANTED...On Sundays, Fox has had ratings success with its comedy block of THE SIMPSONS, AMERICAN DAD and FAMILY GUY, with THE WAR AT HOME returning for (WHY????) second season....OKAY, so that is the bland Fox Fall. But in the Spring, things come to life for Fox when AMERICAN IDOL returns. This past year was IDOL's most popular, and I see no reason why the ratings won't be near the same next year. Fox will jumble its schedule, assuming the new shows last it this long: On MOndays, STANDOFF moves to this night taking over PRISON BREAK's slot, and the return of 24 follows. Something tells me that 24 won't seem as fresh anymore when it finally returns....AMERICAN IDOL returns on Tuesdays, giving HOUSE after it a HUGE ratings jolt...JUSTICE will move up an hour on Wednesdays, followed by the AMERICAN IDOL results show, then the surprise return of THE LOOP, which was a critical hit last season. THE LOOP should post some better numbers next year with having AI as a lead-in...The Thursday hour stays the same (again, assuming there are no series casualties...and NEVER ASSUME in this business)...Fridays jetison the reality block of NANNY 911 and TRADING SPOUSES in favor of BONES and newcomer THE WEDDING ALBUM...Saturdays remain the same, and the only addition to Sundays is the return of KING OF THE HILL....Looking over the Fox schedule, nothing really excites me. I burned out on AMERICAN IDOL after the Carrie Underwood/Bo Bice season, so I doubt I will be around to see the next year, and none of the new comedies or dramas appeal to me. The only show I may check out is HAPPY HOUR, and if that show doesn't make me happy for its half an hour, then FOX won't be on my TiVo at all next year.