October 25, 2013

THE SKED: FOX Midseason Schedule – “Idol” Gets Shorter and More


FOX announced most of its midseason decisions today, and there were a few surprises.  Biggest was the reduction of AMERICAN IDOL‘s Thursday night results show to 30 minutes, with the new sitcom SURVIVING JACK at 8:30PM, and the Greg Kinnear vehicle RAKE following at 9PM.  We’ve come a long way from the days when FOX could barely cram enough hours of Idol into its schedule; now it’s just trying to conserve what’s left.  Jack will have a solid lead-in from Idol, of course, but this move is probably good news for THE MILLERS, which would otherwise be facing Idol directly.  (And for Parks & Recreation as well, although at this point only true believers are watching that show, and they probably would remain loyal whether Idol was there or not.)  The cost to Jack for its plum spot is that its order has been reduced from 13 to 8 episodes, because those are the number of weeks the Thursday half-hour will be available–the network hasn’t yet announced the show’s premiere date.

The decision to slot Jack on Thursdays, and to keep to the previously-announced plan of putting the new ENLISTED on Fridays, probably means the painful DADS is going to keep its Tuesday 8PM berth–and there have been unconfirmed stories it’s just been announced that Dads is soon getting has gotten its back 9 order.  With US AND THEM already shut down by the network, its 6 episodes to air at some unknown time in the future, the only other Tuesday possibility would be FOX’s straight-to-series order of the sitcom MULLANEY, which in theory could be ready for air in the Spring if FOX needed it to fill a hole.

Key FOX midseason dates:

Friday January 10:  ENLISTED debuts at 9:30PM after RAISING HOPE.

Wed Jan 15/Thurs Jan 16:  The AMERICAN IDOL season premieres, including a 2-hour Thursday episode.

Sun Jan 19:  Preview of RAKE after the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, giving Rake a sure-thing big sampling.

Mon Jan 20:  Season premiere of THE FOLLOWING after the season finale of SLEEPY HOLLOW, which will air at 8PM that night.

Thurs Jan 23:  RAKE starts in its regular Thursday 9PM time slot, with a 1-hour Idol as lead-in.  (GLEE returns later in the Spring.)


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."