Fox is bucking the trend of franchise lineups. On the heels of NBC unveiling One Chicago Wednesday and Law & Order Thursday on their fall schedule and following the success of ABC’s pairing of Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 and CBS’ block of FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, Fox has opted to (temporarily) split its 9-1-1 series.
Flagship 9-1-1 will remain the Monday 8 PM anchor but offshoot 9-1-1: Lone Star, which has followed it this season, will not be part of Fox’s fall schedule; it will fill in for the mothership in midseason. Here is the lineup, followed by a brief analysis and description of Fox’s new scripted and unscripted series for next season.
FOX FALL 2021 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-9 PM — 9-1-1
9-10 PM — THE BIG LEAP
8-9 PM — The Resident
9-10 PM — OUR KIND OF PEOPLE
8-9 PM — The Masked Singer
9-10 PM — ALTER EGO
THURSDAY, Beginning Oct. 7
8 PM-CC ET/ — Thursday Night Football on Fox
5 PM-CC PT
8-10 PM — WWE’S Friday Night Smackdown
7-10:30 PM — FOX Sports Saturday
7-7:30 PM — NFL on Fox
7:30-8 PM — The OT / FOX Encores
8:-8:30 PM — The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM — The Great North
9-9:30 PM — Bob’s Burgers
9:30-10 PM — Family Guy
Fox is employing the traditional broadcast strategy of using its strongest series as launching pads for new shows on the fall schedule.
The buzzy new ballet dramedy The Big Leap, which has been drawing parallels to Glee, has landed the cushy post-9-1-1 slot on Monday. Our Kind Of People, from Karin Gist and Lee Daniels, will launch behind The Resident on Tuesday, while Wednesday tentpole The Masked Singer will serve as a lead-in for a new unscripted series, Alter Ego.
Morris Chestnut, who was a series regular on The Resident for the past two seasons, will continue to recur on the medical drama next season while also taking on the male lead in Our Kind Of People. Fox’s head of scheduling Dan Harrison during a press called today said the network was “thrilled” to have Chestnut on both shows airing back-to-back, calling it “a nice benefit.” Here is a branding idea for the night: “Tuesday with Morris,” a take on the Mitch Albom classic Tuesday wit Morrie and its Emmy-winning small-screen adaptation.
As for 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star, which each produces 18 episodes a year, it was important to deploy them to help grow potential “long-term assets for the network like The Big Leap,” Harrison said but promised that the two Ryan Murphy series will be reunited on Monday night in March for some crossover opportunities.
Ever since Fox added WWE Smackdown on Friday, the network dropped its live-action comedy block in the fall. With NBC doing the same for the first time in three decades, we will have at least two major broadcast networks with no live-action comedies on the schedule this coming fall.
Next fall, Fox will be losing TNF to Amazon. The network brass would not discuss their programming plans but noted that they are “very much working to bring urgency and spectacle to the night.”
NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
WELCOME TO FLATCH (Midseason)
Inspired by BBC Studios’ BAFTA-winning format “This Country,” WELCOME TO FLATCH is a half-hour comedy written and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Jenny Bicks (“Sex and the City,” “The Greatest Showman”) and directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Paul Feig (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”). When a documentary crew sets out to explore the lives of residents in a small American town – their concerns, their dreams, their lives – they stumble upon the midwestern town of Flatch, a place you want to visit and maybe even stay. If there was a decent motel. Which there is not. Flatch is made up of many eccentric personalities, including two cousins who don’t have much, but they do have each other. Twenty-year-old KELLY MALLET (newcomer Chelsea Holmes) has never left her hometown and doesn’t want to. Outwardly tough, she’s really a softie with dreams of being an entrepreneur, and the wardrobe of an aging male sports fan. SHRUB MALLET (newcomer Sam Straley) is Kelly’s 21-year-old cousin and best friend. He has the soul of an artist and the body of an artist with a mineral deficiency. Hoping to guide Kelly and Shrub is FATHER JOE (Seann William Scott, “Lethal Weapon,” “American Pie” franchise), the town’s new pastor and a recent transplant from Minneapolis. He loves his adopted town and its odd inhabitants and always believes things can be made better with a good chat and a hug, even though he’s not sure it’s okay to hug anymore. Actually, Joe arrived in Flatch with his girlfriend, CHERYL (Aya Cash, “The Boys,” “You’re The Worst”), but they broke up soon after they moved. A reporter back in Minneapolis, Cheryl is surprised to find that she is blossoming here as editor of the town’s newspaper (circulation 751). Other residents of the town are NADINE PETERSON (Taylor Ortega, “Succession”), who went to high school with Shrub and Kelly and is everything they are not – beautiful, married, successful; BIG MANDY (newcomer Krystal Smith), Kelly’s neighbor and a magnetic force of nature; and MICKEY (newcomer Justin Linville), an old classmate of Shrub and Kelly’s who works at the fireworks store.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lionsgate, BBC Studio’s Los Angeles production arm, FOX Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Jenny Bicks
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Angie Stephenson (BBC Studios), Charlie Cooper (creator of the original BBC series “This Country”), Daisy May Cooper (creator of the original BBC series “This Country”),
CAST: Chelsea Holmes as Kelly Mallet, Sam Straley as Shrub Mallet, Seann William Scott as Father Joe, Aya Cash as Cheryl, Taylor Ortega as Nadine Peterson, Krystal Smith as Big Mandy, Justin Linville as Mickey
PIVOTING is a single-camera comedy about how we deal with life, death and all the crazy things that happen in between. Set in a small, middle-class town in Long Island, NY, the series follows three women – and close-knit childhood friends – as they cope with the death of the fourth member of their group. When faced with the reality that life is short, these women pivot, and alter their current paths, by way of a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions. These pivots will strengthen their bond and prove it’s never too late to screw up your life in the pursuit of happiness. For AMY (Eliza Coupe, “Happy Endings”), the fearless producer of a local cooking show, managing a hundred employees comes easily. Yet, when it comes to caring for her own children – seven-year-old LUKE (Marcello Reyes, “Modern Family”) and 18-month-old JULIA – she’s absolutely terrified. Despite her lack of maternal instincts, her husband, HENRY (Tommy Dewey, “Casual”), a contractor who never loses his cool, perfectly counter-balances Amy in all of her flaws. Her pivot is to be a more active, present mother. JODIE (Ginnifer Goodwin, “Once Upon a Time”) is a stay-at-home mom of three in a loveless marriage. Her husband is a controlling, finance-obsessed jerk, but Jodie has never even considered that the grass might be greener anywhere else. When she does, her pivot means getting in shape…and maybe more with her hot 25-year-old trainer, MATT (JT Neal, “Bless This Mess”), who gives her the attention, affection and excitement she didn’t realize she had been craving for years. SARAH (Maggie Q, “Designated Survivor”) is a successful doctor — an MD and PhD, as she will readily let anyone know. For Sarah, the loss of their friend is compounded by the recent divorce from her wife. After a life filled with stress, Sarah is sent into a tailspin, that launches her pivot to a simpler, and thus happier life — working as a grocery store employee. Written by Liz Astrof (“The Conners,” “2 Broke Girls”), PIVOTING takes a real look at three intelligent, empowered and seemingly enlightened women who decide to stop and hit the reset button. For all three of these women, the untimely and heartbreaking death of their friend was the wake-up call they didn’t know they needed, but might be just the thing that helps them live their best lives.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, FOX Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Liz Astrof
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Tristram Shapeero
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor
CAST: Eliza Coupe as Amy, Ginnifer Goodwin as Jodie, Maggie Q as Sarah, Tommy Dewey as Henry, JT Neal as Matt, Marcello Reyes as Luke
THE BIG LEAP (Fall)
THE BIG LEAP is a modern tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours. From creator/executive producer Liz Heldens (“The Passage,” “Friday Night Lights”), director/executive producer Jason Winer (“Modern Family”) and executive producer Sue Naegle (“The Plot Against America”), the show revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.” On the heels of his latest show failure and a stressful divorce, producer NICK BLACKBURN (Scott Foley, “Scandal”) reluctantly signs on to produce “The Big Leap,” a brand-new contest series filming in Motor City. The show, which brings together dancers from every age, background and body type, is the brainchild of aging dancer WAYNE FONTAINE (Kevin Daniels, “Modern Family”). With choreographer MONICA SULLIVAN (Mallory Jansen, “Galavant”) on board to help Nick mount the production, he begins his search for not only the best dancers, but also the ones that could stir up the most drama. GABBY LEWIS (newcomer Simone Recasner), once dreamt of becoming a professional dancer, but her dreams were sidelined when she got pregnant right out of high school. In the midst of the monotony that is her 9-to-5 office job, she stumbles upon “The Big Leap,” reigniting her passion for dance. Auditioning alongside Gabby is JUSTIN REYES (Raymond Cham Jr., “Five Points”), Gabby’s former dance partner and high school boyfriend…that is, until he came out of the closet (to the surprise of no one, except Gabby). Their fellow contestants include REGGIE SADLER (Ser’Darius Blain, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), a famous pro football champ whom Nick believes could give the show the star power and controversy it needs to break through; BRITTNEY LOVEWELL (Anna Grace Barlow, “The Goldbergs”), a born-and-bred hyper-competitive ballroom dancer paired with her twin brother; unemployed autoworker MIKE DEVRIES (Jon Rudnitsky, “Catch-22”), whose gradual unraveling recently led his wife, to leave him; PAULA CLARK (Piper Perabo, “Covert Affairs,” “Coyote Ugly”), a high-powered corporate executive; and former ballerina JULIA PERKINS (Teri Polo, “Meet the Parents” franchise), now a social-media-obsessed mom who focuses more on her Instagram than on her teenage girls or husband; Inspired by a U.K. reality format, THE BIG LEAP is an innovative show-within-a-show that takes viewers on a journey of self-acceptance, body-positivity and empowerment at any age.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Television, FOX Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Liz Heldens
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Jason Winer
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sue Naegle
CAST: Scott Foley as Nick Blackburn, Simone Recasner as Gabby Lewis, Ser’Darius Blain as Reggie Sadler, Jon Rudnitsky as Mike Devries, Raymond Cham Jr. as Justin Reyes, Mallory Jansen as Monica Sullivan, Kevin Daniels as Wayne Fontaine, Anna Grace Barlow as Brittney Lovewell, with Piper Perabo as Paula Clark, and Teri Polo as Julia Perkins
OUR KIND OF PEOPLE (Fall)
Inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book, “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” the series takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for over 50 years. OUR KIND OF PEOPLE follows strong-willed, single mom ANGELA VAUGHN (Yaya DaCosta, “Chicago Med,” “Whitney”) as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of black resilience and achievement. OUR KIND OF PEOPLE is produced by 20th Television and FOX Entertainment. The project is written and executive-produced by Karin Gist. Lee Daniels and Marc Velez (Lee Daniels Entertainment); Pam Williams and Claire Brown (The Gist Of It Productions); Ben Silverman and Drew Buckley (Propagate); and Montrel McKay also serve as executive producers.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Television, FOX Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Karin Gist
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Lee Daniels, Marc Velez, Pam Williams, Claire Brown, Ben Silverman, Howard Owens, Drew Buckley, Montrel McKay
CAST: Yaya DaCosta as Angela Vaughn, Morris Chestnut as Raymond DuPont
THE CLEANING LADY (Midseason)
From executive producer/writer Miranda Kwok (“The 100”), executive producer/showrunner Melissa Carter (“Queen Sugar”), executive producer/director Michael Offer (“Homeland,” “How To Get Away With Murder”) and executive producers Shay Mitchell (“You,” “Pretty Little Liars”), Rose Marie Vega and Paola Suarez, THE CLEANING LADY is a thrilling and emotionally driven character drama about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for the organized crime, using her cunning and intelligence to forge her own path in the criminal underworld. THONY (Elodie Yung, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”) had it all – a successful career, a handsome husband and a child on the way. But when their son, LUCA (newcomers Valentino and Sebastien LaSalle), was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening immunodeficiency disorder, her husband’s own secrets begin to emerge, leaving Thony to save the boy on her own. Now in Las Vegas with her sister-in-law, FIONA (Martha Millan “The OA”), Thony waits for a matching bone marrow donor for Luca, while struggling to make ends meet as an undocumented worker. Then, through an unexpected connection with the mobster ARMAN MORALES (Adan Canto, “Designated Survivor”), Thony learns she can now save Luca – even if it means sacrificing her own soul in the process. Crossing into a world of moral greys, Thony begins to live a double life, keeping secrets from her family, while cleaning crime scenes for Arman and dodging the law. Based on the original Argentine series, THE CLEANING LADY is a story of empowerment, resilience and the human spirit that asks us all if the ends justify the means.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, FOX Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Miranda Kwok
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SHOWRUNNER: Melissa Carter
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Michael Offer
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Shay Mitchell, Rose Marie Vega, Paola Suarez
CAST: Elodie Yung as Thony, Adan Canto as Arman Morales, Martha Millan as Fiona, Sebastien and Valentino LaSalle as Luca
MONARCH is an epic, multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. The Romans are passionate and fiercely talented, but while their name is synonymous with honesty, the very foundation of this family’s success is a lie. When dangerous truths bubble to the surface, the Romans’ reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy. Nicky Roman, the brilliant and fierce heir to the crown, already battling an industry and world stacked against her, will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy. It’s finally her turn. But is it too late? MONARCH is produced by FOX Entertainment. Melissa London Hilfers (“Instinct”) serves as creator, writer and executive producer. Michael Rauch (“Royal Pains”) is an executive producer and showrunner. Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady (The Jackal Group) and Jason Owen (Sandbox Entertainment) also serve as executive producers.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: FOX Entertainment
CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Melissa London Hilfers
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SHOWRUNNER: Michael Rauch
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gail Berman, Hend Baghdady, Jason Owen
ALTER EGO (Fall)
In this all-new original singing competition, lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves and perform like never before.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: FOX Alternative Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Matilda Zoltowski
NEXT LEVEL CHEF (Midseason)
Gordon Ramsay is back with NEXT LEVEL CHEF, the next evolution in cooking competitions. The series features a one-of-a-kind culinary gauntlet – which Ramsay designed — set on an iconic stage like you’ve never seen. Over three stories high, each floor contains a stunningly different kitchen. From the glistening top floor to the challenging bottom of the basement, the ingredients will match the environment, because Ramsay believes the true test of a great chef is not only what they can do in the best of circumstances, but what kind of magic they can create in the worst! With a level playing field, Ramsay has opened up the competition and scoured the country for the very best line cooks, home chefs, social media stars, food truck owners and everything in between, all competing against one another with the goal of finding the food world’s newest superstar. Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Gino D’Acampo, Ramsay and his co-mentors will leave no stone unturned, as they each recruit a group of the talented young chefs, and take them under their wings. Ramsay and his friends will attempt to bring out the very best in their cooks, as they all try to find “the one.”
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Studio Ramsay, FOX Alternative Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gordon Ramsay, Lisa Edwards, Matt Cahoon
MENTORS: Gordon Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington, Gino D’Acampo
DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! (Midseason)
Emmy Award nominee Niecy Nash hosts the all-new version of the popular game show DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, challenging contestants’ musical memory, as they get one song closer to winning $1 million if they DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! Contestants will choose songs from different genres, decades and musical artists, then they’ll take center stage to sing alongside the studio band as the lyrics are projected on screen – but suddenly the music will stop, and the words will disappear. Will the contestants belt out the correct missing lyrics, or freeze under pressure? If they sing nine songs correctly, they are presented with a No. 1 hit and sing the final missing lyrics for the top prize of $1 million. It’s that simple: 10 songs, some missing lyrics, $1 million.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Apploff Entertainment, Bunim/Murray Productions
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jeff Apploff, Rupert Dobson, Niecy Nash
HOST: Niecy Nash
DOMINO MASTERS (Midseason)
Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) hosts new unscripted competition series DOMINO MASTERS, featuring teams of domino enthusiasts facing off in an unbelievable domino toppling and chain reaction tournament. Throughout the competition, Stonestreet, alongside the judges, will encourage the domino aficionados, introduce incredible challenges and put the creations to the test until one team is crowned the DOMINO MASTERS. DOMINO MASTERS brings imagination and creative ingenuity to life when teams of domino enthusiasts go head-to-head in a toppling tournament to create mind-blowing masterpieces, with infinite possibilities and thousands of tiles and unique kinetic devices. Sixteen skilled teams will compete against each other in ambitious dominoes building challenges to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur domino topplers. In each episode, the teams will be given a bold theme and exciting custom elements to incorporate into their topple. The competing pairs who most impress the judges will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a cash prize, the ultimate trophy and the grand title of DOMINO MASTERS.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: FOX Alternative Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gail Berman, Danny Schrader, Hend Baghdady
HOST: Eric Stonestreet
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