FOX tends to be more innovative than its three network counterparts, except for this year when the vast majority of new series seem to be relatively conventional. One even has a laugh track. For the most part, I am not planning on mentioning mid-season shows.
8-9 p.m. TERRA NOVA
9-10 p.m. House
Abandoning its usual time slot, FOX moves procedural flagship House to 9 pm on Mondays to give a shot to Terra Nova . Originally set to premiere during this year’s midseason, FOX held back the series for effects work. The show’s producer is Steven Spielberg who seems desperate to regain some sort of prestige this year as the producer of Super 8, Cowboys & Aliens, Real Steel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Falling Skies (TBS series about aliens). He’s also returning to the role of director with the anticipated 2011 motion-captured film The Adventures of Tin-Tin (a franchise based on the French book series, and a movie he worked on with The Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson) and an Abraham Lincoln biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis and several other respectable names.
Terra Nova is about a family and a bunch of colonists from 2149 who go back to prehistoric times to save humanity after we’ve ruined everything. Not everything is at it appears and the group must face hidden dangers. I’m sure I’m not the first one to make this comment but: Land of the Lost in Space. However, the show probably has ridiculously high production values and serves as the year’s big action series.
One of those two shows (probably Terra Nova) will get dumped midseason to make room for J.J. Abrams’ (Star Trek, Alias, Lost) new mystery drama Alcatraz. Another massive conspiracy show, Alcatraz features the infamous California prison island and stars Sarah Jones (Sons of Anarchy, Big Love), Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost), and veterans Sam Neill and Robert Forster.
8-9 p.m. Glee
9-9:30 p.m. NEW GIRL
9:30-10 p.m. Raising Hope
Glee is Glee. I’ve never seen an episode but, from my understanding, if you hate it you’re some sort of –ist or -phobe.
A single camera sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer, Almost Famous, Elf), New Girl is described as “a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationship.” See my comments on NBC’s line-up for my thoughts on using “modern” in a series description. Additionally, calling something “outrageous” tends to mean it isn’t. From the writer of this year’s No Strings Attached, it’s easy to imagine the path this show will take and its nutty ideas about life as a 20-something in today’s crazy world, but Zooey Deschanel has an appeal and a string of relatively decent choices behind her. However, young relationship comedies seem to lack a charm (as seen with the cancellation of FOX’s Traffic Light and NBC’s Perfect Couples, although ABC’s Happy Endings received a reprieve), and this one seems to focus on hipsters. Although FOX has a tendency not to show patience for the half hour live action sitcom, Raising Hope got a second season and the cancellation announcement for Breaking In might have been premature.
8-9:30 p.m. THE X FACTOR (performances)
9:30-10 p.m. I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER
The X Factor is Simon Cowell’s new show that’s like American Idol but also not like American Idol. If you’re into talent/singing competitions, you’ll probably watch it. If you’re not, you won’t. Unless there’s some sort of intense talent/singing competition show loyalty of which I am unaware .
I Hate My Teenage Daughter is about two single mothers (Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran)- one advocating independence and the other a pageant mom- unintentionally raising their teenage daughters to become over privileged mean girls. There’s a laugh track too. I haven’t decided if putting it on after The X Factor means that FOX believes in the show or doesn’t believe in the show, but from the synopsis, I don’t see any sort of novelty about the series. Though I assume the title will be changed by September.
8-9 p.m. THE X FACTOR (results show)
9-10 p.m. THE FINDER/ Bones
See above regarding The X Factor.
During mid-season, FOX plans to replace one of its biggest hits, Bones, with The Finder. In The Finder (which is such a mockable title), an IED puts Army Military Police Office (Geoff Stults (7th Heaven)) into a coma. When he awakens, he can tell people’s futures by touching them. I mean he can discover the location of anything using his mind with what I guess is a form of astral projection. The show sounds typical of the procedural genre, despite its supernatural twist). I don’t know if it’s a spinoff of Bones or if it’s just a joint trailer between the shows.
8-9 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares
9-10 p.m. Fringe
Same as this season.
8-8:30 p.m. Cops
8:30-9 p.m. Cops
9-10 p.m. Encores / America’s Most Wanted (specials)
Same as every season for the past God knows how many years.
7-7:30 p.m. Animation Domination (encores)
7:30-8 p.m. The Cleveland Show
8-8:30 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30-9 p.m. ALLEN GREGORY
9-9:30 p.m. Family Guy
9:30-10 p.m. American Dad
Same basic shows as the past few years with the exception of Allen Gregory.
Thankfully not another Seth MacFarlane show, Allen Gregory was created by Jonah Hill (Superbad, Get Him To The Greek) and Jarrad Paul (the writer of Beverly Hills Gun Club). It’s about a seven year old (Allen Gregory, voiced by Jonah Hill) who imagines himself as a sophisticate and is kind of a douche forced to attend public high school. It’s hard to get a read on any animated series based solely on the plot description or a quick promo and without a proven creator. This show seems like it could get real annoying, real quick or it might find its feet and be somewhat amusing. Bob’s Burgers, which returns in midseason, actually turned out passable.
As for the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to his take on The Flintstones. “Hey Wilma, remember the time we met BaROCK Obama?” Oh how they’ll fart and poop their way through storylines. So much poop.
Although Seth MacFarlane’s The Flintstones is not expected for several years, coming mid-season is the Napoleon Dynamite animated series. Talk about striking while the iron is hot.