The upfronts: Fox

What’s Out
The big news is that 24 will not be returning. I’ve never been a fan of the show, I watched the first few episodes and got frustrated by the ridiculousness. Apparently they’re moving the franchise onto the big screen, but I don’t know whether they’re going to rename it “120minutes” or change the format, either way it seems like a bit of a fudge.

The only one of the cancellations that I actually watched was Dollhouse, which even I’ll admit got a pretty good run all things considered. Brothers, Past Life and Sons of Tucson were all cancelled before reaching their 2nd season and the more established Til Death also lived up to its name.

What’s Back
The fact that Glee started AND ended the year as one of the most talked about shows on television made its pick up pretty obvious, the fact that a show about high school kids singing musical hits is going to be given the prestigious post-Superbowl spot next year is a bit more surprising.

The only other freshman show to survive was Human Target, which was pretty terrible but mindless enough to pass the time. Bubble shows Fringe and Lie to Me will both return for a third season which I’m pleasantly surprised by. The animations all return – American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and The Simpsons and the ratings juggernauts of Bones and House return for seasons 6 and 7 respectively.

What’s New

  • Bob’s Burgers – Another animation. I don’t really like any of Fox’s animations, so can’t really comment.
  • The Good Guys – This one actually gets a preview this week in the US and the critics are already in love. The lure of Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks is pretty strong and if you can get past the terrible moustache, it sounds like a really fun old school miss-matched buddy cup show.
  • Lone Star – Interesting looking drama centred around a conman trying to get out of the business, but unable to chose between his ‘real’ life and the one he’s constructed to swindle a big Texas oil family.
  • Mixed Signals – Bromance comedy, three blokes dealing with the trials and tribulations of life and love, guess it makes a change from the endless female equivalents. The trailer wasn’t horrible, I even smiled a couple of times, but it’s far from riotously hilarious.
  • Raising Hope – Following from the success of this year’s whacky family comedies The Middle and Modern Family, this is another one. I wanted to hate it, but actually the trailer didn’t look entirely awful and this might actually end up being quite sweet and entertaining.
  • Ride-Along – Another drama about corruption in the police force from Shawn Ryan (The Shield), although I suspect it won’t be quite as… gritty as The Shield. The trailer is ok, but nothing really jumped out at me as being outstanding.
  • Running Wilde – Awful looking comedy about a Beverley Hills snob who falls for a bleeding heart anthropologist. The trailer is one of the least funny 3 minutes of ‘comedy’ I’ve experienced in a long time.
  • Terra Nova – This sounds pretty exciting. Steven Spielberg and Brannon Braga (Star Trek) bring us a big action sci-fi series about a family sent back 85 million years to save humanity. Sounds like a cross between Primeval and Lost in Space.

Fox’s website, TV Squad summary and pilot reviews, The Futon Critic


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