After a largely dismal season that saw the third steep decline of American Idol and the cancellation of The X Factor, Fox is aiming for a remake.
The network unveiled a slate of new series including Gotham, a DC Comics-based Batman origin story centered on Commissioner Gordon (Southland's Ben McKenzie) that also features Jada Pinkett Smith, that will air Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT; Red Band Society, a teen soap set in a hospital wing that stars Octavia Spencer as a nurse; and Utopia, a "social experiment" reality series that isolates 15 strangers in "an isolated, undeveloped location" for a year.
Also due are Mulaney, a sitcom starring former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney as a rising stand-up comedian and Martin Short as his boss. That series will join returning Brooklyn Nine-Nine as male-driven, live-action companions for The Simpsons and Family Guy, breaking up Fox's all-animation Sunday block on a night that delivers NFL audiences. But it means last season's two-hour block of Tuesday comedies will be condensed to one.
Gracepoint, Fox's 10-episode remake of BBC America's murder mystery Broadchurch, starring the original's David Tennant, will air Thursdays at 9 ET/PT in the fall. And with X Factor gone, other reality series including twice-weekly episodes of Utopia will fill four hours of its 15-hour schedule. Sleepy Hollow, last year's successful newcomer, returns on Mondays as a companion to Gotham, and stalwart Bones will lead off yet another new night — Thursdays.
Glee is absent from the fall schedule; the show will return for a final season later. And troubled Idol will change its format next year, says Fox chairman Kevin Reilly: Fewer hours (37 next year, down from the mid-50s), and though it will air over two nights during auditions, "it will be a two-hour show on one night through most of its run."
Among new shows not returning are Almost Human, Dads and Enlisted.
Fox is up this year, due entirely to its record-setting coverage of the Super Bowl, but will finish fourth in total viewers and third among young adults. (Counting only regular programming, it's down sharply and ranks fourth among that audience, after a long Idol-driven run in first place that ended last year).
Fox's fall schedule (all times ET/PT, new shows in bold; new time slots in italics):
Monday: 8, Gotham; 9, Sleepy Hollow
Tuesday: 8, Utopia; 9, New Girl; 9:30, The Mindy Project
Wednesday: 8, Hell's Kitchen; 9, Red Band Society
Thursday: 8, Bones; 9, Gracepoint
Friday: 8, Masterchef Junior; 9, Utopia
Saturday: 8, Fox Sports Saturday
Sunday: 7, NFL overrun; 7:30, Bob's Burgers; 8, The Simpsons; 8:30, Broooklyn Nine-Nine; 9, Family Guy; 9:30, Mulaney