Fox shakes up their TV line-up with sci-fi and fantasy

2017-05-16 12:02

New York — The Fox network is calling on superpowers and Seth MacFarlane to boost ratings this fall.

The Orville, a new space adventure starring and produced by MacFarlane, is set 400 years in the future and follows the adventures of an exploratory spaceship.

"This is Seth's passion project," Dana Walden, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO, said on Monday in a teleconference detailing the 2017-18 schedule for the network that's No. 4 among total viewers.

The multitalented MacFarlane, who contributes the animated comedy Family Guy to Fox, is a science buff who brought the documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey to the network in 2014.

A clip of The Orville shown at Fox's presentation to advertisers had a distinct tongue-in-cheek "Galaxy Quest" tone.

See the trailer here:

Also debuting is The Gifted, about a suburban couple who discovers their children have mutant powers. Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (Person of Interest) will star in the drama that Walden called "big, cinematic and commercial" and is Fox's first with the Marvel factory.

See the trailer here:

Comedy will get the fantasy and sci-fi touch at Fox with Ghosted. The sitcom about two partners exploring unexplained phenomena in Los Angeles stars Craig Robinson of The Office and Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation.

Continuing the theme is The X-Files, the onetime Fox staple that will make its second appearance as an "event series" with a 10-episode midseason run starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. (Read more here.)

Fox will have music as well, with returning series Empire and Star and the live musicals Rent and A Christmas Story.

New Girl is getting another season, its last.

What about American Idol?

But it won't have American Idol, which ended its run on Fox in 2016 and is being revived next year by ABC. Walden said Fox was interested in bringing back the show in 2020 with changes for a new generation of viewers but couldn't reach an agreement with producer FremantleMedia.

"It feels bad knowing it's coming back on another network," she said. But Fox felt it would be "extremely fraudulent" recycling the show so soon after what was billed as its farewell season, and in light of how sharply its ratings had dropped from its once-stellar No. 1 position.

More newcomers

Freshman series set for Fox's midseason:

9-1-1, described as a "fast-paced exploration" of the lives and careers of first responders including police, paramedics and firefighters. Angela Bassett stars in the drama from prolific producer Ryan Murphy (Feud).

The Resident, a drama starring Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife) and Emily VanCamp (Revenge), will focus on three doctors and a nurse as it reveals "what really happens, both good and bad," at American hospitals.

See the trailer here:

—  LA to Vegas from executive producers including Will Ferrell and Steve Levitan (Modern Family). Fox describes it as a workplace comedy about an airline crew and the "eccentric passengers" who fly to Las Vegas weekly in the hope of becoming winners. Dylan McDermott stars.

Maybe, maybe not

Fox was happy with 24: Legacy, the follow-up to its successful 24, the executives said. With star Corey Hawkins on Broadway in Six Degrees of Separation, its return couldn't be considered for fall but its future remains under discussion.

Prison Break: Resurrection was intended as a special, one-season return and no more episodes are in the works, Walden said. But Fox "loved" what aired earlier this year and would consider it for another limited run if the producers are so inclined, she added.

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