Upfronts are always the best time of the TV year (before you realize how many shows you want to watch and just how much your DVR won’t hold).
Fox’s recently released lineup clearly doesn’t want to make it easy on the DVRs of anyone who loves nerdy television, with the returns of Lucifer, Gotham, The Exorcist, The X-Files, plus the addition of three more geeky shows.
But take note, Fox’s returning shows are moving around, the better to create strong nights of TV for the network. For a rundown of what’s moving, what’s new, and what’s coming soon, keep reading.
DC and Marvel Go Head-To-Head on Fox Mondays
Sticking to Mondays but moving forward an hour, Lucifer has been a solid ratings earner for Fox for two years now. The show was one of only a few Fox shows to get early renewals, a move that usually signals how confident the network is in the show.
Indeed, Fox’s entertainment president, David Madden, said, “Lucifer is one of those rare shows that starts strong out of the gate and just keeps getting better and better.”
Fox has paired Lucifer with its new Marvel show, The Gifted. Placed at the beginning of the week, the show looks to be in a good position to avoid conflicts with pretty much every other superhero show on TV.
Billed as a family-friendly show, The Gifted is likely designed for pre-teens and older and their parents because of its late timeslot and its plot: a family with kids who have mutant powers goes on the run from a government agency that’s trying to hunt them down. A good comparison might be Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has seen its fair share of families watching in spite of its often dark material.
With an exciting, emotional, and intriguing trailer, the X-Men-derived show reminds most of Heroes – though hopefully, it fares much better than the later seasons of that show.
“It’s big, it’s cinematic and it’s commercial,” said Fox Television Group chief Dana Walden of The Gifted.
Fox Seeks Young Male Demo with Thursday Shows
If you’re looking to get your fix of the nerdiest shows on TV, you can skip from Monday to Thursday on Fox when Gotham and a new Star Trek-esque parody have been scheduled.
Returning for its fourth season, Gotham is changing things up with the move to Thursdays, a night that has been notorious in the TV industry as a high-quality night. Think of blocks like ABC’s T.G.I.T. – and all its Shondaland shows – and NBC’s Thursday night comedies.
Gotham got renewed just recently – and only after newer shows like Lucifer and Lethal Weapon were renewed – but by placing the show on a contentious night, Fox still seems to be showing its confidence in the Batman-prequel, likely aided by the fact young Bruce Wayne may finally become the Caped Crusader in season 4.
Paired on the schedule with Gotham is the new Seth MacFarlane comedy The Orville, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Star Trek.
In the style of loving parody – à la Galaxy Quest – The Orville stars MacFarlane as a spaceship captain and showcases “workplace antics” of a staff with a mix of humans and aliens. Also, MacFarlane’s character has to deal with his ex-wife all the time because she’s his first officer.
If that description makes it sound boring, watch the trailer because it’s actually pretty funny, especially if you’re a not-too-serious Star Trek fan.
“I’ve wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right,” MacFarlane said.
Walden says The Orville will be “a big, broad, funny accessible hour.” The show has a 13-episode order.
With Gotham and The Orville, Fox says they are looking to tap into the young, male demographic. Though it should definitely be noted that these shows are not and will not be watched only by young men.
The Paranormal Haunts Fox Sundays
Finding a spot on Sunday nights where Fox mixes its animated and live-action comedies is the new paranormal comedy Ghosted.
The show pairs a skeptic and true believer, not unlike fellow Fox show The X-Files, in a quest to save the human race from aliens. It stars Craig Robinson (The Office, Mr. Robot) as the skeptic and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Big Little Lies) as the believer, which is a solid comedic pairing judging by the trailer.
Fox’s live-action comedies have often not fared well on its Sunday schedule – with The Last Man on Earth as a notable exception – because Sunday TV, especially early Sunday night, tends to conflict with sports broadcasts. But maybe Ghosted will be able to overcome its timeslot difficulties.
Fox has stacked its schedule with nerd-friendly TV shows, often a good fit for the network when it doesn’t immediately cancel them.
Not only will these five shows make their television and timeslot debuts, but The Exorcist is returning to its Friday night timeslot and The X-Files is coming back at midseason – with 10 episodes this time!
So, save room on your DVR because it looks like Fox has got some must-see TV coming your way. Which show are you most excited about?