Sci-Fi, Comedy Dominate Fox’s Fall Schedule

Network rolls out Sleepy Hollow, new Tuesday sitcoms

The boys are crashing Fox’s Tuesday night comedy block, as Seth MacFarlane’s first live-action comedy, Dads, and the Andy Samberg cop caper Brooklyn Nine-Nine will set the table for the female-friendly franchise New Girl and sophomore series The Mindy Project.

Created and written by the people who brought you the feature film Ted and Fox’s Family Guy (MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild), Dads stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as two successful gaming entrepreneurs who have their lives disrupted when their respective fathers (Peter Riegert, Martin Mull) decide to move in with them.

Taking over the 8:30 p.m. slot vacated by the canceled Ben and Kate, Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars SNL vet Samberg and Andre Braugher (Last Resort, Men of a Certain Age) in a single-camera comedy about a loose-cannon cop and his by-the-book new boss. B99 is written and produced by Dan Goor and Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation).

Pairing the two testosterone-fueled newcomers with Liz Meriwether’s female-skewing comedy is an interesting gambit. On the one hand, New Girl certainly wasn’t being served by last year’s Raising Hope-Ben and Kate battery, and its ratings often reflected that weak lead-in. Then again, in trying to force the demos to interact with one another, Fox could be setting up a middle school dance scenario, with the rowdy boys skulking around on one side of the gym while Zooey and Mindy hold court opposite them.

Much of Fox’s fall schedule carries over from the 2012-13 campaign, with The X Factor taking up a big chunk of airtime in midweek and the Sunday “Animation Domination” lineup tightened by the removal of The Cleveland Show. Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly is once again using the post-Bones hour as a proving ground for a new drama, only this time he’s taking a big swing with the apocalyptic fable Sleepy Hollow. Based on the Washington Irving tale about Ichabod Crane and the pumpkin-lobbing Headless Horseman of Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow appears to share some genetic material with the network’s dark midseason hit, The Following.

Should Sleepy Hollow stumble out of the gate as did last year’s unambiguously titled The Mob Doctor, Reilly has a face card up his sleeve in Gang Related. The gritty drama pairs Lost’s Terry O’Quinn with Wu-Tang Clan founder and multihyphenate RZA as members of a special LAPD task force created to choke out gang activity at the roots. At press time, no premiere date has been set for Gang Related.

In late fall, J.J. Abrams’ android procedural Almost Human sends Bones to its new Friday night time slot, turning Monday night into a two-hour block of supernatural/sci-fi adventure.

At around the same time the robots and ghostly Hessians start mixing it up, Fox will take the wraps off the new Greg Kinnear vehicle Rake, a Thursday night legal drama that will succeed Glee for approximately three months.

Premiere dates for the new comedies Surviving Jack, Us & Them and Murder Police have not been announced although it is likely that the three freshman series will debut sometime in 2014.

Fox will present its upfront slate to media buyers and advertisers at 4 p.m. today (May 13) at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Its complete fall and midseason schedule is as follows. New series are in bold:



8-9 p.m. — Bones

9-10 p.m. — Sleepy Hollow


8-8:30 p.m. — Dads

8:30-9 p.m. — Brooklyn Nine-Nine

9-9:30 p.m. — New Girl

9:30-10 p.m. — The Mindy Project


8-10 p.m. — The X Factor


8-9 p.m. — The X Factor (results)