Yesterday (Monday, the 19th) Fox announced it’s upcoming Fall lineup today and we will be seeing some of Screen Rant’s favorites like House, Lie To Me, Bones, Fringe & Dollhouse return this fall.  These are the shows we here at Screen Rant are more focused on.

The news in and about the industry this last weekend was swirling in a dance on what was being renewed and canceled.  Specifically, some were focused on the fates of Dollhouse and The Sarah Connor Chronicles and why one show was given the axe, and the other given a reprieve.

For the upcoming Fall season House and Lie To Me will be on Mondays.  Bones leads into Fringe on Thursday nights.  Dollhouse stays on Friday with two 30-minute comedies as lead-ins.

At the mid-season point in the schedule, 24 will show up on Mondays following House.

Human Target starts in January on Wednesdays.

PS:  I’ve picked up some noise that 24 will take place in New York City next season.

Fringe Moving To Thursday Nights


Olivia?  Are we really moving to Thursdays?

If you don’t look at the other network schedules, I’m thinking that Fox is pitching two popular shows on one night.  Seems good, but if you dwell on the issue at hand, it seems that they might as well put Fringe on Friday nights with Dollhouse.

I say that because as it currently stands Thursday nights are dominated on other networks by The Office, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy and CSI.

If you look at these shows on the other networks, in regards to viewers there is some serious competition on these other networks for Bones and Fringe.  Numbers from last weeks ratings:

  • The Office had 7.8 milion viewers;
  • 30 Rock – 6.1 mil;
  • Grey’s Anatomy – 15.5 mil;
  • CSI – 14.9 mil.

Meanwhile, Bones brought in 8.8 mil and Fringe 9.2 million viewers.

What happens when you pitch Fringe and Bones up against Grey’s and CSI?  To me it sounds like a bit of a slaughter and possibly an excuse to cancel one or the other.  Fox may be trying to compete for Thursday nights, but I’m not sure this is their best way of doing it.  It almost seems like they’re setting up some shows to be the fall guy.

The guys at Fox seem to think that CSI had a decline in ratings and, I presume, they are thinking it is vulnerable to a new competing show.  Of course, last week Grey’s Anatomy was 6th and CSI was 7th in the top 10 of all shows, and 3rd and 4th respectively amongst scripted dramas.

Who is this “decline” statement aimed at?  Mutants from a planet with no TV?  Despite this “toe the company line” stance, Reilly still managed, with a straight face, to toss out statements like “Thursday night, … the door’s more open on this night than it’s been in a long, long time.”

Regardless, this placement to Thursdays for Fringe concerns this writer.  The only potential saving grace is that we don’t know for sure if the regular line up from Thursdays will still exist on the other networks this fall. We only have to wait a day or two to find out.

On The Dollhouse Renewal


I have to kick butt next season.  You with me?

Despite fan-polls on the internet showing a massive popularity draw to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fox renewed Dollhouse.

(continued…)

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

We were reporting on Friday that the show sounded like it was being renewed, but also warned our readers to not hold your breath until it’s announced Monday… which was yesterday.

But folks had questions and those questions were lobbed at Fox’s president of entertainment, Kevin Reilly.

Reilly said that with Dollhouse, they are betting on the creativity of Joss Whedon.  One of the other factors that helped them make their decision are the DVR numbers.  They see the DVR numbers as an indication of the show’s “hidden” popularity and anticipate the show will grow in ratings next year.

Besides, if they terminated Dollhouse, Reilly felt he would have received another 110 million emails.

Yet echoing in the background of this pandering to the fans, Fox’s entertainment chairman Peter Rice was saying that they can grow the show on Fridays – but Fox will not tolerate low numbers on Friday nights.  So it will still have to not only perform, but draw in more viewers.

They feel confident that can happen.  My favorite quote from Rice about the growth was that “The show became much stronger creatively during the course of the season.” Crickets.  In fact, as I reported on Friday, “the Fox execs really liked the show.  Particularly the 2nd half.”  This writer is thinking that once the studio stopped meddling with the delivery of the content, yes, it did get better.

Why Shelve The Sarah Connor Chronicles?


We’ll be bauck!  Well, it sounded good anyway.

Despite their faith in Dollhouse, Fox has looked at The Sarah Connor Chronicles differently.

Reilly flat out said that TSCC has completed its run.  They saw it tailing off and it wasn’t a cheap show to produce.

Reilly said they looked at the ratings track for its Monday run, and then its ratings on Friday night and the trend line was not pointing in the right direction.  And then he said they gave the show support and “some consistent scheduling” but it was time to move on.

And what, replace it with two comedies?  I don’t understand how someone can say that after they’ve moved the show to Friday nights and then quote ratings as the reason to dump a show.  Never mind the fact that TSCC was slaughtering everyone in various “save-the-show” polls.

In Closing

So as it stands, we’re going to be getting Dollhouse on a shoestring budget, but I’m not worried about that.  Whedon as proven he can crank out quality an a spool of thread.  But he has an uphill battle with two comedies as lead-ins to the show doesn’t seem to be a great combination that will work as far as developing viewers across the different shows.  They’re different demographics.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles from the look of things, was going to be doomed…  Regardless of the fan support.

Moving Fringe to Thursdays on a night dominated by the other networks, just seems to fill out the pattern I think I’m seeing from how Fox is handling our favorite shows.

Am I losing it?  Is there a pattern of noise and subterfuge in the works, or is there some genuine plan to make our favorite shows winners?  It’s still a long way to the Fall and as we’ve learned from last season, things can still get mixed up and shuffled around.  We can only hope.  Right?

Here’s the list of shows Fox has lined up for us:

24
‘Til Death
America’s Most Wanted
American Dad
American Idol
Bones
Brothers
COPS
Dollhouse
Family Guy
Fringe
Glee
House
Human Target (January)
Lie to Me
Past Life
So You Think You Can Dance
Sons of Tuscon
The Cleveland Show
The Simpsons
The Wanda Sykes Show (working title)

Sources:  Hollywood Insider, Sci Fi Wire

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