The Good: Much to our chagrin, it has not been a good Fall for the Network that will always hold a special place
in our heart on our couch, having fuelled our early addiction to television with the original BEVERLY HILLS 90210. But, before we dig into the negative, there were a few bright spots on the schedule for Fox this Fall. Not so much ratings wise (again, we’ll get to that in a moment), but rather creatively. A revamped GLEE deftly handled a major cast overhaul by finding creatively interesting ways to keep many of the fan favorites in the fold, Sunday’s “Animation Domination” lineup continued to be an ideal way for many to unwind before the start of another busy work week (Editor’s Note: How did it take us this long to discover the hilarity that is AMERICAN DAD!?), while Tuesday’s live-action roster of RAISING HOPE, BEN & KATE, NEW GIRL and THE MINDY PROJECT made good on Entertainment President Kevin Reilly’s long-promised goal of getting Fox back in the non-animated laughter business. Which brings us to…
The Bad: Just because he built it, didn’t guarantee that anyone would come. Which is our polite way of saying that Reilly and Co. cannot be pleased with the lacklustre [live] ratings for Fox on Tuesday. Equally disturbing, albeit on a slightly different scale are the 7-10 million viewers tuning into THE X FACTOR. And while those kind of live viewers in particular are nothing to sneeze about across this increasingly DVR-dominated television landscape, betting on Simon Cowell may, in the long run, do more harm than good. Not only has THE X FACTOR contributed to an over-saturation of music competition series that has undeniably hurt Fox’s once unstoppable juggernaut that is the AMERICAN IDOL franchise, it has damaged the Networks image. Case in point, knowing full well that one can fill their schedule with 3-4 hours of THE X FACTOR on any given week seems, coupled with recent failure of under performing high concept shows such as ALCATRAZ and TERRA NOVA seems to have resulted in a somewhat subdued Fall filled with generic procedurals (Paging: THE MOB DOCTOR) and clichéd comedies (THE MINDY PROJECT). The latter of which, while illustrating the occasional spark of brilliance, still has a long way to go before we’re willing to call Mindy Kaling Tina Fey’s heir apparent.
The Future: Is one of uncertainty. On the one hand, we can barely contain our excitement for the January 21st premiere of THE FOLLOWING, a new spine-tingling edge-of-your-seat thriller from Kevin Williamson starring Kevin Bacon. On the other, if history is any indication, Fox’s aging AMERICAN IDOL franchise more than likely won’t be the mid-season shot in the arm the Network is used to getting in an effort to remedy a faltering Fall schedule.