Fox’s Sunday animation night is getting a big shake-up this fall, as two live-action series (Golden Globe-winning “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and new comedy “Mulaney”) will join the lineup, in hopes of getting a ratings boost from long-running “Simpsons” and “Family Guy.”
(NBC: Fall 2014 Schedule | Trailers of new shows; Fox: Schedule | Trailers of new shows; ABC: Schedule | Trailers of new shows; CBS: Schedule | Trailers of new shows; CW: Schedule | Trailers of new shows)
In addition, three dramas and one reality show will join the fall schedule, Fox announced on Monday. In other shifts, “Bones” — headed into the 10th season — gets yet another new night as it moves to Thursdays and bumps the final season of “Glee,” saved for midseason. Speaking of which, in a rare move, Fox didn’t announce its midseason schedule — a usual early staple for the network. As entertainment president Kevin Reilly said on a conference call, that’s partly due to the fact that “American Idol” (on a downward ratings slide) will be undergoing some big changes. “Next year, the format will be different,” he confirmed, adding that it will possibly switch to a two-hour show, airing once a week.
Night by night in the fall:
The highly-anticipated drama (as it only can be when a show is based on a comic book) “Gotham” kicks off Monday at 8 p.m., which tells the story of Batman from Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon’s perspective, starring Benjamin McKenzie. “Sleepy Hollow,” the gruesome thriller that was a hit for Fox last fall, remains in place at 9 p.m.
On Tuesdays, new reality show “Utopia” gets things started. The show sends 15 people into a desolate, underdeveloped location for a year where they must create their own civilization from scratch — and of course, everyone is at a risk of getting voted out and being replaced by new citizens. That craziness leads into Fox comedies “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” staying in the same spots at 9 and 9:30 p.m., respectively.
And since “X Factor” is long gone, that opens up Wednesdays for new drama: the never-ending “Hell’s Kitchen” is at 8 p.m., followed by “Red Band Society,” a teen drama set in a hospital. Centered around young patients in the pediatric ward of Ocean Park Hospital in Los Angeles, the show is narrated by a 12-year-old boy who is in a coma.
On Thursday nights, “Glee’s” last season will launch midseason, as “Bones” takes over at 8 p.m. (What is that, it’s fifth new day and time slot?) Afterward, event series “Gracepoint” — a remake of the BBC series “Broadchurch” — will run at 9 p.m. And yes, Reilly confirmed, there will be a new plot and ending from the original show.
Friday brings “Masterchef Junior” from last fall, along with a second episode of “Utopia” — apparently there’s a lot to figure out when starting a new society.
And finally, the biggest change on Sundays: Now that “American Dad” has been shipped off to TBS, there are spots open for new content — even if it’s not a cartoon. “Bob’s Burgers” remains at 7:30 p.m. when there’s not football, followed by “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m. as usual. Breakout comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (which also won Andy Samberg a Golden Globe last year) moves from Tuesdays to post-“Simpsons,” where Fox is hoping that the ratings will match up with all the awards attention. And after “Family Guy” at 9 p.m., there’s “Mulaney,” a comedy starring John Mulaney about his life as a stand-up comic. (This is the pilot that’s been kicking around since last fall.)
Dramas saved for midseason include “Empire,” produced by “Butler” team Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, about the complicated life of a music executive (with an original soundtrack by Timbaland), starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson; “Hieroglyph,” centered around ancient Egypt; “Backstrom,” the Rainn Wilson-as-an-obnoxious-detective series that almost landed at CBS last year. Plus, event series “Wayward Pines,” starring Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent wrapped up in a mystery about two federal agents who disappeared.
On the comedy side, there’s “Weird Loners” about 30-somethings in New York featuring Becki Newton; “The Last Man Earth,” starring Will Forte as, well, the last man on earth; and a new Seth McFarlane animated series “Bordertown,” set in a fictional town on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Here’s the fall schedule. (Canceled shows: “Almost Human,” “Dads,” “Enlisted,” “Rake,” “Surviving Jack” and “Raising Hope,” which ended in April.)
FALL PRIME-TIME LINEUP ON FOX
New shows are in bold
8 p.m. Gotham
9 p.m. Sleepy Hollow
8 p.m. Utopia
9 p.m. New Girl
9:30 p.m. The Mindy Project
8 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen*
9 p.m. Red Band Society
8 p.m. Bones*
9 p.m. Gracepoint
8 p.m. Masterchef Junior
9 p.m. Utopia
7 p.m. NFL on Fox
7:30 p.m. The OT/Bob’s Burgers
8 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nine-Nine*
9 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. Mulaney
* Moved to a new time slot