The Upfronts 2012 – Fox

Thanks to the schedulers who doubled up Fox and NBC on day one of the Upfronts, I’m already a day behind!

What’s out
The biggest news from Fox this year was that House would be coming to a close after 8 seasons. It’s a shame that out of 176 episodes there were 150 utterly mediocre ones that broke up the 20 odd breathtaking ones. I’ve come very close to giving up on this series several times so I can’t say I was that disappointed to see it brought to a managed close.

I was more disappointed by the cancellation of Terra Nova which I actually really enjoyed, but its audiences were nowhere near big enough for its giant costs, so it was slightly doomed from the start. The Finder was an utterly unremarkable spin-off of Bones and I never bothered with it beyond the backdoor pilot in the previous season of Bones. I meant to watch Alcatraz, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule and now it’s been cancelled I’m not sure I’ll bother. Breaking In was a Christian Slater vehicle which completely passed me by somehow and seems to have been cancelled before its second season even aired which was a little harsh. Also cancelled without me, or anyone else, noticing their existence were the animation Allen Gregory and the ‘comedy’ I Hate My Teenage Daughter.

What’s back
Possibly the biggest surprise of all the pickups was that Fox, with its reputation for hating genre stuff, renewed Fringe. All credit to the network they’ve given this superb show a home and a chance to finish off its storylines (albeit in a half season) despite terrible ratings. I’m still not forgiving them for Firefly though.

No-shit-sherlock pickups went to Glee (even if it has been rubbish this year) and Bones (which was surprisingly good). Touch, the Kiefer Sutherland thingy was a bit more surprising (pilot was resoundingly meh and I didn’t bother with it), but he’s been good for the network in the past. The New Girl apparently found enough viewers who weren’t driven insane by Zooey Deschanel and got a renewal alongside Raising Hope and the collection of animations including the unkillable Simpsons (this will be its 24th season and it just passed episode 500).

What’s new
The Mob Doctor – I’ll be honest, I didn’t really follow the trailer. I’m never a big fan of gangster stuff, all that posturing and mumbling just doesn’t do it for me. My housemate also requests I point out the unrealistic screwdriver incident.

Ben and Kate – bad news, the trailer is nearly 5 minutes long. I’m assuming that’s most of the actual episode and it really isn’t funny, unless the second half is hilarious because I gave up at the 2 minute mark. I have no idea who bothers paying for this stuff.

The Mindy Project – Mindy Kaling (The Office) created and stars in some sort of Bridget Jones style thing. At one point the voiceover says “there’s no one like Mindy”. We can but hope.

The Following – Kevin Bacon stars as an FBI agent chasing serial killers who have been trained by a serial killer. This looks pretty good actually, a nice concept, an excellent star and a dark and grim tone that (possibly disturbingly) I quite like.

The Goodwin Games – From the people behind How I Met Your Mother, a comedy about estranged siblings forced to reunite to inherit a fortune. Stars Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) and Scott Foley (The Unit). I actually chuckled at this one. It got sappy which was a downer and a bit stupid which was frustrating, but I didn’t immediately despise it which is about as good as it gets for comedies.

The Futon Critic
NBC’s website


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