May 11, 2012



The broadcast networks will officially announce their schedules next week at the Upfronts in New York, but before that happens, Mitch Metcalf and I, along with veteran network executive Ted Frank, have put together our own versions–reflecting the needs and possibilities of each network, as we’d previously detailed.



We’ve posted our recommended schedules for NBC, ABC and CBS.  FOX is the 2d network to make its announcements on Monday afternoon, so here’s our analysis of what FOX should do, and why:

MONDAY:  BONES hasn’t been setting Nielsen boxes on fire with its Monday numbers, but leading off the House-less night with some stability isn’t a bad idea.  THE MOB DOCTOR is a new 1-hour that combines medical stories with an underworld crime tale, so it seems like a logical successor to House‘s slot.

TUESDAY:  We believe in the idea of a FOX 4-sitcom Tuesday, even though the network’s experiment with it this Spring wasn’t very impressive (it didn’t help that the shows included one moderate success–RAISING HOPE–and 2 that were already flops–I Hate My Teenage Daughter and Breaking In).  With stronger shows, this line-up can work, and it also permits the fading GLEE (which should generate some interest due to post-graduation cliffhangers involving some of the main characters) to air without interruption later in the season.  We’re starting off the night with the new BEN & KATE, a comedy about a single mom taking care of her baby with the help of her brother, and that’s a natural fit with Raising Hope.  Also a seemingly natural fit is IT’S MESSY aka THE MINDY PROJECT, the Mindy Kaling comedy about a single young doctor, with NEW GIRL as its lead-in.

WEDNESDAY:  THE X FACTOR wasn’t the powerhouse FOX hoped it would be this season (and there’s an argument to be made that it weakened the “event” status of American Idol), but it was still a sturdy success and should return to its Wednesday home.

THURSDAY:  X FACTOR again at 8PM, leading into the network’s highest-profile new 1-hour, THE FOLLOWING, a serial killer thriller that stars Kevin Bacon in his TV-series debut and hails from producer/writer Kevin Williamson.  (There’s some buzz that because of Bacon’s availability for a limited number of episodes, Following might not be able to air a full order and need to be held till spring.  That’s unconfirmed as of this writing.)

FRIDAY:  On a low-rated night, KITCHEN NIGHTMARES has done fine at 8PM.  FRINGE is coming back for 13 final episodes, and there’s no reason (or place) to move it.

SATURDAY:  Mostly sports, now that FOX has largely gotten rid of its low-budget reality shows that used to air on this night.

SUNDAY:  The network hasn’t announced any new animation development, a la last year’s Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite, and truthfully THE CLEVELAND SHOW, AMERICAN DAD and BOB’S BURGERS can air in just about any combination around 8PM and 9PM anchors THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY.

MIDSEASON BENCH:  Apart from Glee, there’s THE GOODWIN GIRLS, a sibling comedy from the producers of How I Met Your Mother, and starring Becki Newton and Scott Foley, which could easily slide into the 4-sitcom Tuesday if any of the entries falter or need a break.  Also, since the network has decided to renew TOUCH despite its shaky ratings, that will be available as needed (possibly starting the Fall in its current Thursday 9PM slot if The Following is being held).


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."