Fox Unveiled Its Midseason Lineup
Fox unveiled its midseason lineup Tuesday, giving homes to new entries "Our Little Genius," "Human Target," "Past Life" and "Sons of Tucson."
Given its limited shelf space and the need to accommodate the return of "American Idol," Fox is forced to do a bit of scheduling musical chairs in midseason -- although less so this year, as "Idol" will follow the scheduling pattern of "So You Think You Can Dance" in the fall.
That also means that unlike past years, much of Fox's midseason schedule looks like the lineup the net announced at the May upfronts (save Tuesday and Friday nights).
Meanwhile, with several new shows waiting in the wings, a handful of incumbents will take a hiatus -- most notably, "Glee," which will go dark between Dec. 9 and April 13. (On the bright side, net execs note that "Glee" originally wasn't even on the midseason sked that Fox unveiled in May.)
The net's midseason kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 12 with the two-hour premiere of "American Idol," now Paula Abdul-free. The show also airs the following night, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m.
That leads into new reality skein "Our Little Genius," the show from Mark Burnett and Zoo Prods. that tests tykes on their knowledge of certain topics. Reality czar Mike Darnell had promised that the show would get a post-"American Idol" boost, and this indeed will be the case.
"Genius" will shift to Tuesdays behind "Idol" on Jan. 19, when "Idol" pares down to an hour. (Expect frequent pre-emptions of "Genius," however, as "Idol" frequently expands to two hours.)
Then, on April 13, "Glee," which takes a break after Dec. 9, will assume that post-"Idol" slot Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
New drama "Human Target," based on the comic book franchise, will get a special preview on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m., behind the NFC Divisional Playoff game.
That same night, "24" returns at 9 p.m. for the first half of its two-night, four-hour season premiere. (Making for a rare instance of Fox programming extending into the 10 p.m. hour for a night.)
"24" will also air for two hours on Monday, Jan. 18, before settling into its normal 9 p.m. slot the following week, on Jan. 25.
"Human Target" will then take over the Wednesday 9 p.m. slot behind "Idol" starting Jan. 20.
In February, "Fringe" will take a hiatus after its Feb. 4 episode, leaving room for "Past Life," which will debut with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m., before settling into its 9 p.m. slot on Feb. 18. (As announced last May, "Past Life" was originally slated for Tuesdays at 9 p.m.)
"Fringe" will return on Thursday, April 1, after "Past Life" completes its run.
Live-action comedy "Sons of Tucson" will invade Fox's "Animation Domination" Sunday lineup on March 4, airing at 8:30 p.m. in the plum spot between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy."
"Sons of Tucson" pushes "The Cleveland Show" to 9:30; that means "American Dad" will be temporarily without a timeslot.
Also returning to the net in January is Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares," which will air Fridays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 29. That's the slot formerly held by "Dollhouse," which airs its series finale on Jan. 22.
Fox will air drama repeats (first, "Bones," and later, "House") on Fridays at 8 p.m. -- rather than comedies "Brothers" and "'TIl Death," as had originally been announced.
Shows on the bench include "Lie to Me," which will return later in the season, as well as "'Til Death," which the net would only say "will return to the schedule at a later date."
Fox also said its one-hour special "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D! On Ice!" will now air on Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m., behind the 450th episode of "The Simpsons."
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