Fox Shuffles Schedule, Postpones '24'

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

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With the writers strike under way, Fox is switching up its 2008 schedule.

The major moves include indefinitely postponing the premiere of "24," moving up the launch of "Hell's Kitchen" into spring and setting premiere dates for several new shows.

Overall, Fox plans a mix of reality and repeats, along with running off its remaining stock of scripted originals.

Even with an ongoing strike expected to dry up scripted episodes, a few freshman projects are being dropped into airless Friday nights.

There's a large number of changes here, so let's get to it:

  • Mondays: Fox had originally scheduled "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "24." With only a modest number of "24" episodes reportedly complete, the season-seven premiere is being postponed "to ensure that 'Day 7' can air uninterrupted, in its entirety," Fox says. Now "Prison Break" will launch the night, followed by "Connor" starting Jan. 14 ("Connor" will have a special premiere on Sunday, Jan. 13). Factoring in the limited number of completed shows available, the reality project "When Women Rule the World" will fill in at 8 p.m. starting March 3 and "House" repeats will take over at 9 p.m. on March 10.

  • Tuesdays: "American Idol" has its two-hour season premiere as planned Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. Starting Jan. 22, "Idol" will scale back to one hour and "House" will fall into the 9 p.m. slot. "Hell's Kitchen" will take over for "House" April 1.

  • Wednesdays: Some modest shuffling here, with a planned 8 p.m. sitcom block replaced by reality. After a two-hour "Idol" on Jan. 16, "Moment of Truth" falls into the 9 p.m. hour. Starting March 12, "Truth" moves to 8 p.m., with a half-hour "Idol" results show at 9 p.m., then "Back to You" repeats at 9:30 p.m.

  • Thursdays: "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" and "Don't Forget the Lyrics" return Jan. 10.

  • Fridays: Traditionally a dead night for Fox, but several freshman scripted projects are being dropped into the night. Repeats of "Bones" and "House" start Jan. 4. "New Amsterdam" takes the 9 p.m. slot starting Feb. 22. In the same boat: Comedy "The Return of Jezebel James," originally scheduled for Wednesdays, will be paired with "Til Death" repeats on Fridays starting March 7. Starting April 11, "New Amsterdam" will be replaced by another freshman drama, "Canterbury's Law," which was once slotted for Thursdays.

  • Sundays: No changes to the lineup when it launches Jan. 6. On Feb. 3, Fox has the Super Bowl followed by an original of "House" with guest star Mira Sorvino. There's the "Connor" premiere Jan. 13. On March 2, the comedy "Unhitched" gets a run at 9:30 p.m.

Click here for complete coverage of the strike.
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