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    Fox Looks To Mutants And The Sky This Fall

    From a new Marvel series to another Ryan Murphy series.


    You can only rest on Cookie Lyon for so long. Fox is heading into the 2017–2018 TV season in second place behind NBC in the coveted audience demographic, but last place in total viewers. Despite its standing, the network is making few changes to its slate: It has 17 returning series — Empire's still at the top — which is the most it's had in a decade, and it's adding four new dramas and two new comedies.

    Its strategy, as per usual, is to pair existing hits with the new shows it's putting a lot of stock in for fall: The Gifted, Fox's first foray into the Marvel universe; The Orville, a spaceship-set live-action series from Seth MacFarlane; and Ghosted, a supernatural comedy starring Craig Robinson and Adam Scott.

    On Mondays, Lucifer will lead off the night, followed by The Gifted. In a conference call with press on Monday, Dana Walden, the co-chair and CEO of Fox Television Group, said Fox is sticking with dramas that "have benefitted from the promotional opportunity of Sunday football." She said The Gifted is something they see doing just that — it's "big, cinematic, and commercial," she said.


    Fox is moving its second-biggest hit, Lethal Weapon, to Tuesdays to kick off a new night of "action and comedy," Walden said. It will be followed by The Mick, a show Walden said they're "putting everything [they] can behind," and then Brooklyn Nine-Nine will close out the night.

    On Wednesdays, the network is reuniting Empire and Star, which aired together in December. According to Walden, Star is another "young show [they] believe in," despite its poor showing in the ratings.

    Fox is targeting young men on Thursdays, moving Gotham to lead off the night, which Walden said has held its own against football and The Big Bang Theory. MacFarlane's The Orville will launch after two NFL doubleheaders and then will settle in after Gotham.

    Nothing changes for Friday and Saturday, but on Sundays, Ghosted gets sandwiched into the longstanding comedy lineup, taking the place of last season's ill-fated Son of Zorn.


    Midseason will see the second second coming of The X-Files (this time it'll be 10 episodes), New Girl's final season, and the other half of Fox's new series. The Resident, a medical procedural that follows doctors at different stages of their careers, is hopefully Fox's "next hit medical drama since House," Gary Newman, the co-chair and CEO of Fox Television Group, said in the conference call with press. Then there's the comedic LA to Vegas, which stars Dylan McDermott in a performance that Newman called "the surprise of the season," and 9-1-1, starring Angela Bassett from producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

    There are also some new shows whose fates are yet to be determined, including the comedy pilot Linda From HR, starring Lauren Graham. Newman said they had a lot of promising TV pilots this season and "choosing between them was difficult."

    Limited series Prison Break could be back for more, even with its weak ratings. Walden said "we would definitely consider doing more episodes ... but there's nothing in the works right now," as it was designed as a one-and-done event series. There could also be more 24: Legacy. Newman said they were "so happy with the creative on that show. We think Corey Hawkins did a great job." But Hawkins is currently starring on Broadway in Six Degrees of Separation, so 24: Legacy is "very much still in the mix," but not for fall.

    20th Century Fox

    Along those lines, Variety reporter Cynthia Littleton noted during the conference call that it seems these days, no show is ever dead dead. "I would say, look, there are so many factors that go into whether you can bring a show back," Walden said. "What we have viewed as sort of a guiding light of which shows to bring back, which great creators have come in to us with great new stories to tell about those characters."

    Walden joked that "there are some shows that I would say RIP, they're probably gone forever." With others, "they've had the opportunity through streaming services to be introduced to an entirely new generation of viewers — that does feel like an event" and reason for a reboot. "It's not every show, but a beloved show that is still being consumed all over the world, that's an interesting opportunity for us," she noted.

    Walden cited How I Met Your Mother, which was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, as a show she could see coming back. "At some point, I would hope we would have the opportunity to reunite those characters and tell new stories if [creators] Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays] have the desire to do that," she said. Perhaps next season?

    Here’s what Fox has coming to TV in the 2017–2018 season:

    The Gifted (Mondays at 9 p.m.)


    Who's in it? Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind, Percy Hynes White

    Who created it? Matt Nix, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory

    What's it about? An ordinary couple discovers their children are secretly superpowered mutants. The family teams up with an underground mutant community to fight off the insidious government agents who mean to do them harm.

    When does it premiere? Monday, Oct. 2

    First impression? If you've ever liked an X-Men movie, you have the people behind this show to thank. And if you've ever liked a Marvel TV series, you have the people behind this show to thank. But can their powers combined result in the first proper X-Men TV series? Based on the trailer, that answer is yes. The action looks top-notch, the actors seem perfectly cast, and the story appears to be both topical and entertaining. An excellent start...for a trailer. We've been burned before by genre shows that haven't lived up to the potential of their premise, but those of us who love good geeky television are pretty willing to give every show a chance — sometimes too many chances. Here's hoping this entry deserves our loyalty. —Jarett Wieselman

    The Orville (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)


    Who's in it? Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Chad Coleman

    Who created it? Seth MacFarlane

    What's it about? A futuristic dramedy set aboard the Orville, a spaceship designed to explore the galaxy beyond Earth.

    When does it premiere? Sunday, Sept. 10 and Sept. 17, before it moves to its Thursday time period on Thursday, Sept. 28.

    First impression? I have never liked a Seth MacFarlane show or film, nor do I care for the ones this series clearly spoofs, so there's a very good chance my opinion here is irrelevant. That said, if you enjoy misogynistic jokes about fights over leaving the toilet seat up and nagging ex-wives, here's a show for you. Oh, and Max Burkholder — who won our hearts on Parenthood and crops up at the minute mark — I am sorry. —Jaimie Etkin

    Ghosted (Sundays at 8:30 p.m.)


    Who's in it? Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Ally Walker, Adeel Akhtar

    Who created it? Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Jonathan Krisel

    What's it about? A skeptic (Robinson) and a believer (Scott) work for a clandestine government entity that investigates paranormal activity.

    When does it premiere? Sunday, Oct. 1

    First impression? In Ghosted, Robinson and Scott's characters — ordinary guys with going-nowhere jobs — are recruited to work for the Bureau Undergound, which is headed up by Walker's character. I laughed once in this trailer: when Robinson sees a guy pull his own head off, and he screams a high-pitched scream. I was mocked by colleagues for laughing, but I have every right! It was one more time than I laughed at any of the other Fox comedies. —Kate Aurthur

    9-1-1 (Midseason)


    Who's in it? Angela Bassett, Peter Krause

    Who created it? Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Tim Minear

    What's it about? Because of the Fox stalwarts attached, 9-1-1 was picked up right to series. Not much is known besides the fact that it follows the lives (both at work and outside of it) of first responders (cops, paramedics, firefighters, etc.).

    LA to Vegas (Midseason)


    Who's in it? Dylan McDermott, Kim Matula, Ed Weeks, Nathan Lee Graham, Olivia Macklin, Peter Stormare

    Who created it? Lon Zimmet, Steve Levitan

    What's it about? A workplace comedy about the passengers and in-flight crew members who fly, every weekend, from Burbank to Las Vegas in hopes of winning big.

    First impression? A workplace TV show set on an airplane didn't work out for Pan Am (RIP), but this comedy starring McDermott as the definitive douchey, boozing, mustachioed pilot seems like, tonally, a much better attempt. And I really appreciated the joke acknowledging how gross joining the mile-high club is. —J.E.

    The Resident (Midseason)

    Guy D'Alema / FOX

    Who's in it? Emily VanCamp, Matt Czuchry, Bruce Greenwood, Manish Dayal, Shaunette Wilson

    Who created it? Phillip Noyce, Amy Holden Jones, Oly Obst, Antoine Fuqua, David Boorstein, Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi

    What's it about? A smart, seasoned resident helps a new doctor navigate the highs and lows of working at a hospital.

    First impression? I've never thought of Czuchry, so Waspy and proper on both The Good Wife and Gilmore Girls, as a rebellious character, but...that's what he's playing here? He stars as Conrad Hawkins, a young resident who appears to be fearless and full of speeches about medicine. He takes an intern (Dayal) under his wing and delivers those speeches ("Come on, be a doctor! Or go be something else!"). He also stands up to Dr. Randolph Bell (Greenwood), the corrupt head of surgery. VanCamp is going to need to have more to do than just be Conrad's love interest, because after her years of being held hostage on ABC's Revenge, she deserves a great role! As a fan of both Czuchry and VanCamp, I am rooting for this show. And Fox executives said they hope it will be the next House — but we will see about that. —K.A.

    Here's Fox's fall 2017 schedule:


    Lucifer, 8 p.m. (Returns Oct. 2)

    *The Gifted, 9 p.m. (Premieres Oct. 2)


    Lethal Weapon, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 26)

    The Mick, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 26)

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 9:30 p.m. (Returns Sept. 26)


    Empire, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 27)

    Star, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 27)


    Gotham, 8 pm. (Returns Sept. 28)

    *The Orville, 9 p.m. (Time period premiere on Sept. 28, having premiered Sept. 10 and Sept. 17)


    Hell's Kitchen, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 29)

    The Exorcist, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 29)


    Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football, 7 p.m.


    NFL on Fox, 7 p.m.

    The OT/Bob's Burgers, 7:30 p.m. (Returns Oct. 1)

    The Simpsons, 8 p.m. (Returns Oct. 1)

    *Ghosted, 8:30 p.m. (Premieres Oct. 1)

    Family Guy, 9 p.m. (Returns Oct. 1)

    The Last Man on Earth, 9:30 p.m. (Returns Oct. 1)

    Note: An asterisk (*) indicates a new show for the 2017–2018 season.

    Note: In mid-May every year, the five television broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW — present their new shows and upcoming schedules to advertisers at events called “the upfronts.” That’s why you see an onslaught of new programming in May, as well as the cancellation of current shows. This post will be continually updated.