Fox has announced its lineup for next season, with separate Fall 2008 and Winter 2009 lineups. The sked includes only two new shows, but one of them is getting a big push: Fox is expected to heavily push Fringe, a new drama from Lost creator J.J. Abrams. Fox plans to launch its new slate the week of August 25. However, this is the same week the Democratic National convention is held, with the nominee chosen on August 28.
The schedule also features the landmark 20th season of The Simpsons, tying Gunsmoke for the longest running prime-time scripted show in history.
To see the schedule, click here (all times Eastern, the programs air one hour earlier in Chicago and the rest of the Central and Mountain time zones.)
Fringe gets the coveted slot out of House and premieres August 26. Monday in the fall features Terminator and Prison Break, but come January, is expected to be replaced by new drama Dollhouse from Joss Whedon and the returning 24. Tuesdays has House and Fringe, with American Idol taking over House’s time slot in January. Wednesdays has Bones and comedies ‘Til Death and Do Not Disturb (formerly The Inn), but Idol replaces the comedies in January and they are expected to relocate to Friday.
Thursday is reality night with The Moment of Truth and Kitchen Nightmares, but the latter is being replaced by Secret Millionaire. Friday has 5th Grader and Don’t Forget The Lyrics, but the latter is being replaced in January with the relocated Wednesday comedies. Sundays remains unchanged until the spring, when Sit Down, Shut Up and Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show arrive.
Analysis: Look to Fox to maintain its ratings lead in the money demo, thanks to American Idol and the NFL. 24 is likely to be down a bit because of the long layoff. Secret Millionaire looks to be a very interesting concept (a millionaire who goes undercover working for minimum wage, befriending his fellow working-class co-workers), and may be worth tuning in. As for Fringe, this series may become a breakout hit – but it sounds more sizzle than steak. The actors who portrayed the young married couple on ‘Til Death have exited, and Do Not Disturb sounds dumb (a blatant rip-off of The Jamie Foxx Show), and hopefully be put out of their misery quickly. But if According to Jim can somehow manage to stay on the air… If you’ve read this blog the last couple of days, you know this phrase by now: Dumb comedies are always in fashion.