Fox shifts some summer programming to fall to offset pandemic production delays
Fox is the latest network to talk about stability and certainty heading into a 2020-2021 season marred by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday morning the company released its schedule for next season, shifting some its programming that was originally slated for the spring and summer into the fall to offset any issues with production delays due to social distancing and quarantines. (Scroll down for daily primetime schedule.)
“The effects of this global health crisis leave no business unaffected. As a media company that prides itself on an entrepreneurial spirit and the focus that comes with doing fewer things better, we mobilized, swiftly creating an entirely new, original-programming lineup for the fall to share with our partners this upfront,” Charlie Collier, CEO, Fox Entertainment, said in a statement.
“In remote meetings with advertising and marketing partners over recent weeks, we sought to listen first and understand each partner’s unique concerns,” Collier added. “Our primary goal is to help them back to business, so in turn, the message we’ve shared is one of relative stability on Fox, combining the best of primetime sports and entertainment with which to help our partners and their customers back to market.”
“The Masked Singer” is expected to return to Wednesday nights in the fall, though the company did not provide details on how it plans to shoot the reality-based singing competition amid social distancing.
Fox’s Sunday night animation block remains intact, with “The Simpsons,” “Bless the Harts,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy.”
Fox shifted some of its planned summer programming that has already been shot, into the fall, including psychological thriller “Next,” starring John Slattery; the southern gothic soap “Filthy Rich,” starring Kim Cattrall; and “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” which originally was scheduled to air as counter-programming to the Summer Olympics (the games, of course, have moved to 2021).
The company created new programming like “Celebrity Watch Party,” “TMZ Investigates: Tiger King–What Really Went Down?” and “iHeart Living Room Concert,” to fill in any gaps as a result of moving programming later in the year.
The police drama, “L.A.’s Finest,” which originally aired on Spectrum and stars Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, will kick off Monday night at 8 p.m. It’s followed by “Next,” a thriller about the emergency of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence.
The third installment of “Cosmos” will anchor Tuesday at 8 p.m. and is followed by “Filthy Rich.”
“The Masked Singer” returns to Wednesday night, followed by “MasterChef Junior.”
Fox will air “Thursday Night Football” in the first half of the season.
The NFL released its fall schedule last week, with plans to kick off the season on Sept. 10. But even though the league is planning to move along in the fall, media buyers still remain skittish on the fate of the season.
Midseason programming includes “9-1-1” and “9-1-1: Lone Star”; the new comedy “Call Me Kat,” starring “The Big Bang Theory’s” Mayim Bialik and executive-produced by Bialik and her former co-star Jim Parsons; and the new animated comedies “The Great North” and “Housebroken.” “Duncanville” and “Hell’s Kitchen” will also return.
“Now, more than ever, consistency, results and stability take on an all new emphasis,” Marianne Gambelli, president, ad sales, Fox, said in a statement. “Fox is primed and ready for the fall with a great deal of stability across our entire programming lineup, featuring premium content that continually resonates with viewers, and the necessary scale that builds demand and produces results. During these uncertain times, we remain focused on the individual business needs of our partners and will continue to work with them to develop custom solutions with our unmatched offerings of assets to help drive their businesses forward.”
Fox is on track to end the season No. 1 among adults 18-49, even excluding sports, which would make it the first time it would win the broadcast season in eight years.
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FOX FALL 2020 SCHEDULE
(All Times EDT/PDT)
8:00-9:00 p.m. L.A.’s Finest
9:00-10:00 p.m. Next
8:00-9:00 p.m. Cosmos: Possible Worlds
9:00-10:00 p.m. Filthy Rich
8:00-9:00 p.m. The Masked Singer
9:00-10:00 p.m. MasterChef Junior
7:30-8:00 p.m. Fox NFL Thursday
8:00 p.m. Thursday Night Football
8:00-10:00 p.m. WWE’S Friday Night Smackdown
7:00-10:30 p.m. Fox Sports Saturday
7:00-7:30 p.m. NFL on Fox
7:30-8:00 p.m. The OT/ Fox Encores
8:00-8:30 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 p.m. Bless The Harts
9:00-9:30 p.m. Bob's Burgers
9:30-10:00 p.m. Family Guy