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Posted at 10:21 AM ET, 05/16/2011

Upfronts Week 2011: Fox cancels ‘America’s Most Wanted’ as a weekly series, schedules dino drama ‘Terra Nova’


“Terra Nova” will premiere this fall on Fox. (Brook Rushton - Fox)
Simon Cowell’s back! Fox swears that this time Steven Spielberg’s oft-delayed dinosaur drama “Terra Nova” really will debut -- Mondays at 8! JJ Abrams time-traveling prison drama “Alcatraz” will air during midseason, scout’s honor! And Kiefer Sutherland is returning to Fox – some time!

All these things Fox suits will announce with great fanfare during its Upfront Week presentation-palooza to advertisers, this afternoon at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan.

Oh, and Fox has canceled “America’s Most Wanted” as a weekly series, in favor of – reruns. So what -- if you have a missing child or other relative, and had hoped to have the case profiled on the long running Saturday reality series, you’ll have to wait for a quarterly two-hour special and hope for the best?

On Monday’s “Terra Nova,” from Spielberg, and former Fox-parent honcho Peter Chernin, follows an “ordinary” family on a journey back to “prehistoric” Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. Hopefully they’ll do something about cell phone dead zones and cable TV prices.


Zooey Deschanel as Jess in “New Girl.” ( Isabella Vosmikova - Fox)
Fox suits have been talking about “Terra Nova” for ages and, most recently, it was supposed to launch this very month -- but you know how it goes at Fox. On a phone call with reporters Monday morning, to talk about the new schedule they will unveil to ad execs in the afternoon, Fox suits once again pointed their finger at the show’s special effects as the reason for the delay -- 250 in the first two hours alone! Or so they say.

Following “Glee” on Tuesdays: “New Girl” stars Zooey Deschanel as an “offbeat” girl who has a “bad breakup” and moves in with three single guys and “essentially sets a bomb off in their lives.” Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly, talking to reporters, acknowledged it is a “familiar premise” but swore it would “sounds like the voice of a new generation.” He also used the word “sweet.” That crashing noise was the sound of reporters falling out of their chairs.

This season’s Fox freshman comedy “Raising Hope” returns, at 9:30.

Wednesdays, after 90-minutes of Simon Cowell on new singing competition series “The X Factor” -- in which he will be joined on the judges panel by our favorite nut job Paula Abdul, record label suit “L.A.” Reid, and Brit pop star Cheryl Cole -- Fox has scheduled a good old-fashioned multi camera, shot in front of a studio audience, enhanced with laugh track sitcom with female leads: “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.” Reilly said they actually sought out a chick-com “to pick up the energy coming out of ‘X Factor.” Jamie Pressley (“My Name is Earl”) and Katie Finneran (“Wonderfalls”) star as two former school nerds who have raised the kind of mean girls who used to savage them, and hilarity ensues.
In “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran star as single moms who fear their privileged daughters are turning out to be just like the girls who picked on them in high school. (Patrick Ecclesine - Fox)

“Bones” is back on Thursday, but following the one-hour “X Factor” results show. And, when star Emily Deschanel goes on maternity leave, that spinoff you saw pretending to be an episode of “Bones” the other day, will fill the timeslot as “The Finder.” It’s about a guy who finds things.

“Fringe” will wind up next season on Fox’s Friday schedule, following “Kitchen Nightmares.”

Saturday will now consist of “Cops” and “Cops” reruns, followed by something Fox pretentiously is calling “Encores.” That’s “reruns” to you and me. “America’s Most Wanted” will become quarterly specials on the network, though Fox suits said host John Walsh may shop the show elsewhere, and Fox suits told the reporters they’d need to talk to Walsh about that. It was all pretty vague.

The reporters seemed fairly knicker knotted over this one, saying word had gotten out about this weeks ago and Fox suits denied there was anything going on. Reilly insisted the show is “important” to the network, and a public service, but, he said, the network “has not made money on the show in quite a while.”


“Alcatraz,” centered most infamous prison and the mysterious return of its most notorious criminals, will premiere midseason. (James Dittiger - Fox)
He also said that next season’s schedule is so jammed with new shows debuting in the fall, and at midseason, that the network simply will not have a timeslot in which it can air reruns almost the entire year. And, for business reasons they needed a timeslot to play reruns – because, of course, when a network buys a show they’re buying the right to air the episodes twice. Since no series ever failes on Fox, leaving the network with a gaping hole just begging to be filled with reruns of something that’s working on the lineup, some show had to take one for the team – and “AMW” got elected. I think the answer was back there somewhere at Fox having not made money on the show for years – it comes right after Reilly’s ‘public service” gag.

And Sunday after the NFL post-game blah, blah, blah, the fall lineup of animated programming will be: “The Cleveland Show,” “The Simpsons,” a new animated series called “Allen Gregory,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” “Allen Gregory” about a “pretentious” 7-year-old leaving home schooling to attend school with other children. It’s from Jonah Hill, star of many Judd Apatow flicks.

Those cockeyed optimists at Fox always announce their midseason schedule as well during Upfront Week. It’s best to write it into your schedule in pencil.

That schedule includes JJ’s “Alcatraz” scheduled Mondays at 9, followed by “House” which will be moved back to 8, while the Terra Nova gang takes a well deserved holiday from saving mankind.

“American Idol” will be back on Wednesdays and Thursdays while Simon Cowell vacations.

And, on Sunday, the 8:30 p.m. hammock between “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” goes to “Napoleon Dynamite” which, Fox suits promised, features the voices of the entire original cast of the flick.

Kiefer Sutherland’s new series “Touch” has not been scheduled; they’ve got a script but nothing has yet been shot while Sutherland stars on Broadway in “The Championship Season.” In “Touch,” the former “24” star is the dad of a special needs child who, dad discovers, “sees patterns and connections no one else can,” Reilly told reporters.

FOX FALL 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM TERRA NOVA (new)

9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM GLEE

9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL (wt) (new)

9:30-10:00 PM RAISING HOPE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:30 PM THE X FACTOR Performance Show (new)

9:30-10:00 PM I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (wt) (new)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM THE X FACTOR Results Show (new)

9:00-10:00 PM BONES

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-10:00 PM ENCORES / AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (specials)

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM THE OT (NFL post-game)

7:30-8:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM ALLEN GREGORY (new)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

FOX MIDSEASON 2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM ALCATRAZ (new)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM GLEE

9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL (wt) (new)

9:30-10:00 PM RAISING HOPE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL Performance Show

9:30-10:00 PM I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (wt) (new)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL Results Show

9:00-10:00 PM THE FINDER (new) / BONES (spring)

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-10:00 PM ENCORES / AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (specials)

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM ANIMATION DOMINATION (encores)

7:30-8:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (new)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS

More from upfront week:

Photos: Networks unveil new shows

CBS moves ‘CSI’ to Wednesday to make room for new J.J. Abrams series

A look at Fox’s new series

Fox cancels ‘America’s Most Wanted’ as a weekly series, schedules dino drama ‘Terra Nova’

A look at NBC’s new series

NBC re-discovers women in new primetime schedule

No presidential run for Trump, but an ‘Apprentice’ pitch

ABC goes retro with Tim Allen comedy, ‘Charlie’s Angels’

A look at ABC’s new series

By  |  10:21 AM ET, 05/16/2011

 
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