Fox Sets Fall Premiere Dates, Using NFL Doubleheaders to Launch Its Seth MacFarlane Series

Its first Marvel show, The Gifted, debuts on Oct. 2

Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi series, The Orville, will premiere on Sept. 10, after an NFL doubleheader.
Noah Schutz/Fox

After premiering all of its fall shows in a single week last year, Fox is taking the same approach this year—with one big exception.

The network is debuting The Orville, a sci-fi series created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, after a pair of Sunday NFL doubleheaders on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17—ahead of the 2017-18 season’s official start on Thursday, Sept. 21. The show,which is set 400 years in the future and is about the crew on an exploratory spaceship, moves to its regular Thursday time slot on Sept. 28.

Aside from The Orville, Fox will roll out its entire fall schedule in a seven-day window, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 26. Its broadcast rivals CBS and NBC are beginning their premieres on Monday, Sept. 25.

Tuesdays, which for several years have started with comedies, will instead kick off with freshman hit Lethal Weapon, followed by returning comedies The Mick and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All will debut on Sept. 26.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Fox is pairing its two music dramas from Lee Daniels: Empire, which moves up to 8 p.m., and Star.

The relocated Gotham kicks off Thursday, Sept. 28, followed by the time slot premiere of The Orville. Hell’s Kitchen and The Exorcist return a day later on Friday, Sept. 29.

Sunday’s NFL post-game comedy block will debut on Oct. 1: Bob’s Burgers at 7:30 p.m., then The Simpsons and new comedy Ghosted, which stars The Office’s Craig Robinson and Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott as an X-Files-like duo—one is a skeptic, one believes in the paranormal—investigating strange phenomena in L.A. Family Guy and Last Man on Earth finish the night.

The network’s first Marvel series, The Gifted, will premiere Monday, Oct. 2. The show, which is set in the X-Men world, stars True Blood’s Stephen Moyer and is about a suburban family on the run because the kids have mutant powers. The Gifted’s lead-in, Lucifer, will also debut Oct. 2.

At midseason, Fox will have a 10-episode season of The X-Files and New Girl’s seventh and final season.

Last year, Fox opted to premiere all 16 of its fall series during a one-week blitz. The network jumped to second place last season in the 18-49 demo on the strength of the Super Bowl and a seven-game World Series, but it doesn’t get the Super Bowl back until 2020.

Fox is the fourth broadcast network to lock in its fall premieres. CBS was first out of the gate on June 1, with The CW following a week later. NBC announced its premiere dates on Monday.

Trailers for all of Fox’s fall shows can be found here.

Here is the entire premiere schedule for Fox’s fall shows (new programs are in all caps):

8-9 p.m. — Lucifer (Oct. 2)
9-10 p.m. — THE GIFTED (Oct. 2)

8-9 p.m. — Lethal Weapon (Sept. 26)
9-9:30 p.m. —  The Mick (Sept. 26)
9:30-10 p.m. — Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Sept. 26)

8-9 p.m. — Empire (Sept. 27)
9-10 p.m. — Star (Sept. 27)

8-9 p.m. — Gotham (Sept. 28)
9-10 p.m. — THE ORVILLE (Sunday post-NFL premiere: Sept. 10; time slot premier: Sept. 28)

8-9 p.m. — Hell’s Kitchen (Sept. 29)
9-10 p.m. — The Exorcist (Sept. 29)

7:30-8 p.m. — Bob’s Burgers (Oct. 1)
8-8:30 p.m. — The Simpsons (Oct. 1)
8:30-9 p.m. — GHOSTED (Oct. 1)
9-9:30 p.m. — Family Guy (Oct. 1)
9:30-10 p.m. — The Last Man on Earth (Oct. 1)