The broadcast network upfronts began today in New York City, and first up is Fox, who released its fall and midseason schedules today to advertisers. Fox defended its position on why the broadcast networks are better than cable and declined to talk about the controversy over the fourth judge on American Idol (Kara DioGuardi) and whether or not she will be back.
The schedule is marked by the surprise return of Dollhouse and a three hours a week (!) of So You Think You Can Dance, the summer hit now appearing on the fall schedule for the first time. Keep in mind however, summer perennial Big Brother ran in the winter of 2008 and bombed.
Canceled shows include Sit Down, Shut Up and Secret Millionaire. King of the Hill ended production earlier this season and has a few episodes remaining, but it's likely they'll run next summer either on Fox or on Adult Swim, who holds the cable stripping rights.
Fox did not mention whether or not any of its other reality shows (5th Grader, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Don't Forget The Lyrics) would return. 5th Grader airs in first-run syndication this fall.
Click here to see the full schedule.
Thought: Fox's 2009-10 lineup is clearly disappointing. Dance is on for three hours a week - too much for a mid-level performer. I'm high on Brothers - but paired with 'Til Death, this comedy block will likely post numbers no better than The Bernie Mac Show and Malcolm in the Middle, both flopped in the same hour four years ago. On the other hand, thumbs up on moving Fringe to Thursdays after Bones, where it will compete against Grey's Anatomy and a declining CSI. Sons of Tuscon has a rather dumb premise - three boys pay someone to be their father. Laugh track, please. This makes Sit Down, Shut Up look good (OK, maybe not.)
Another head scratching decision is the decision to slot Animation Domination encores on Saturday nights after Wanda Sykes' new show. It's a dumb idea - it reminds me of what CBS did in the '70's and '80's in late night when it ran mostly off-network dramas, who average clearance rate was 65 percent. If you are airing network reruns at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, why not give the time back to the affiliates? And they canceled Spike Feresten's show - for this? Bullshit.
Did you know? Brothers was also the title of a groundbreaking sitcom that aired on Showtime from 1984-89 on two fronts: It was the first sitcom to ever be produced for pay-cable - and the first to feature a lead gay character. Unfortunately, laughs were few and far between on this program (be thankful Fox isn't remaking this program!) Thankfully, the quality of premium cable sitcoms have improved greatly since (Sex in the City, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to name a few.)
Brothers was sold in broadcast syndication by Paramount (now CBS Television Distribution) in 1989.
Brothers is a member of T Dog's TV Hall of Shame.