May 15, 2017


See our commentary on the NBC fall schedule here.

FOX had a terrible 2016-17 season (blurred a bit by airing the Super Bowl and a historic World Series).  The closest thing it had to a new hit was Lethal Weapon, and it watched in horror as Empire plunged in the ratings with unprecedented speed.  The network’s fall schedule carries with it an air of doing the best it can, with changes on virtually every night.


Updated Fall 2017 prime time schedule below, with FOX added.

Network Schedule Fall 2017 NBC FOX


MONDAY:  It’s a sign of where FOX stands these days that the best lead-in it could find for its new Marvel series THE GIFTED is LUCIFER, which had a 0.9 rating last week.  As for THE GIFTED itself, its trailer indicates a much more conventional X-Men spin-off than FX’s Legion.  The interesting scheduling question to be answered later this week is whether CW will leave Jane the Virgin in the Monday 9PM slot, or if it will put one of its many superhero shows there, setting up a Marvel vs. DC collision.  In any case, Gifted looks like it has the goods for moderate success.

TUESDAY:  LETHAL WEAPON is moving to shore up shaky returning sitcoms THE MICK and BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, two shows that wouldn’t have been renewed at their current ratings level even 2 or 3 years ago. LETHAL should give them a decent lead-in, likely airing against two reality shows and action-adventures that aim older (NCIS) or younger (The Flash), but the sitcoms may face comedy competition on both ABC and NBC, and that could lead to more bloodshed than laughs.

WEDNESDAY:  Flipping EMPIRE and STAR makes a lot of sense (once you buy in to the idea that STAR needed to be renewed at all), since even in its reduced state, EMPIRE will provide a mighty lead-in for the weaker show.

THURSDAY:  GOTHAM moves to Thursday as lead-in for Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi dramedy THE ORVILLE. GOTHAM scored only 1.0 last week, so that won’t help very much, and ORVILLE will be airing against Thursday Night Football, This Is Us and presumably Scandal.  Pencil it in on the short list of new series least likely to survive.

FRIDAY:  The network is basically throwing up its hands, returning to last fall’s low-rated line-up of HELL’S KITCHEN and THE EXORCIST.  The major question is how wretched the numbers would have to get before FOX had to cry uncle.

SUNDAY:  The Adam Scott/Craig Robinson comedy GHOSTED is getting the marquee slot after THE SIMPSONS–but high-level Sunday lead-ins didn’t save Son of Zorn or Making History this season.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."