TV Upfronts

Fox Renews Universal Basic Guys Ahead of Fall Premiere

Family Guy will return midseason following the launch of the newest Animation Domination series

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Looks like Fox’s famous Animation Domination lineup is about to get a little more universal.

Universal Basic Guys—the latest addition to the network’s Sunday night cartoon fare—has been gifted with an early Season 2 renewal ahead of its fall debut. That’s a big vote of confidence in the series, which hails from sibling creators Adam and Craig Malamut and focuses on two newly unemployed brothers who put their new $3,000-a-month basic income paycheck to use by exploring what life has to offer outside of the rat race.

Because Universal Basic Guys is the new kid on the Animation Domination block, one legacy series has to take a seat on the proverbial bench until midseason. And that series is Seth MacFarlane’s Sunday institution Family Guy—a decision that caught some by surprise. But Michael Thorn, president of Fox Television Network, said the decision to give the Griffin family a breather was basic, really.

“Our goal is to keep the strength of our longtime-running legacy series while launching our new Fox-owned animated series,” Thorn remarked in a conference call at the start of TV upfront week, pointing to Dan Harmon’s Krapopolis as an example of how that strategy paid off for Fox last season. “We’re going to be launching Universal Basic Guys this year, which we want to give a very specific, impactful launch.

“At the same time, our long-running series like Family Guy are still of crucial importance to use and our audience,” Thorn continued. “So bringing it back midseason with a full order is absolutely our plan. We’ll give it a great relaunch along with our lineup for that part of the season. We know when it comes back on Sunday, it will resonate with our audience just like it always has.”

Joining Universal Basic Guys on Fox’s fall schedule are a pair of new dramas, with the John Wells-produced Rescue: HI-Surf diving into Monday night waters in the wake of returning favorite 9-1-1: Lonestar. Set along the dangerously picturesque North Shore of Oahu, the series features an ensemble that includes Robbie Magasiva, Arielle Kebbel and Adam Demos as heavy-water lifeguards who won’t let those in danger out of their sight.

The cast of Rescue: HI Surf (from left) Zoe Cipres, Kekoa Kekumano, Arielle Kebbel, Robbie Magasiva, Adam Demos and Alex Aiono.
The cast of Rescue: HI Surf (from left) Zoe Cipres, Kekoa Kekumano, Arielle Kebbel, Robbie Magasiva, Adam Demos and Alex Aiono.Fox Media

Meanwhile, Tuesday night sees the premiere of Murder in a Small Town, based on L.R. Wright’s bestselling mystery series. Rossif Sutherland stars as a weary big-city cop who moves to a tiny coastal community hoping for a quieter life. But those hopes are quickly upended when he finds himself once again solving various misdeeds, up to and including murder. The show’s supporting cast includes a murderer’s row of familiar faces, including Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk and Paula Patton from Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol.

Murder in a Small Town will follow the second season of Fox’s anthology series, Accused. This sophomore year will include an episode featuring William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, one of the first times they’ve appeared together onscreen since Huffman’s 2019 involvement in the college admissions scandal.

Fox’s midseason offerings include Doc, an English-language adaptation of a popular Italian medical drama. House of Cards star Molly Parker plays a Minneapolis-based doctor who loses eight years’ worth of personal and professional memories following a brain injury, but continues to treat patients. And Denis Leary is one of the producers behind the new comedy Going Dutch, which follows a U.S. Army colonel whose penchant for saying whatever’s on his mind—no matter how ill-advised—gets him exiled to a remote base in the Netherlands.

Fox Fall 2024-25 schedule

(New programs in ALL CAPS; times are ET)

8 p.m. — 9-1-1: Lonestar 
9 p.m. — RESCUE: HI-SURF    

8 p.m. — Accused  

8 p.m. — The Masked Singer 
9 p.m. — The Floor

8 p.m. — Hell’s Kitchen
9 p.m. — Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test

8 p.m. — FOX College Football Friday/FOX College Hoops/FOX UFL

7 p.m. — Fox Sports Saturday

7 p.m. — NFL On Fox
7:30 p.m. — The OT / Fox Animation Encores
8 p.m. — The Simpsons
9 p.m. — Bob’s Burgers
9:30 p.m. — Krapopolis  

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