Before their pilot episodes will even air this Fall, two lead cast members from two of FOX’s new series are leaving their respective shows. Saffron Burrows, who played Ike on the Bones back-door pilot for the new series The Finder is exiting as producers are re-imagining the character. In related news, Damon Wayans, Jr.’s role on the Zooey Deschanel comedy, New Girl will also have to be recast as Wayans’ other show, ABC’s Happy Endings, was renewed for a second season.
Now, if you didn’t already know, $#*! My Dad Says, the CBS comedy (and we use that term loosely) starring William Shatner and based on the popular Twitter Feed by Justin Halpern with the Big-5-network-less-than-primetime-ready title, “Shit My Dad Says,” was cancelled last week. As we’ve noted in the past, this show was the worst show of the 2010 – 2011 season, the worst sitcom of all-time and perhaps the worst television show ever made. It was an absolute shame because we still absolutely love the Twitter feed (we are one of the original subscribers) and have nothing but respect for Justin or his dad, Sam.
As a final note to the series and in true Shit My Dad Says-fashion, Justin commented as to his reaction to the news of the show cancellation and the subsequent conversation he had with his dad about it on his blog. It couldn’t have been any more “Justin-and-Sam-like” and it is far funnier than anything that was ever on that show. What’s interesting to note is that Justin’s non-jaded, glass-is-half full assessment of his overall success in the last year is identical to what we said in the review we did of the show back in September 2010. He’s a class act and the old man raised him well.
So yesterday the TV show based off the twitter feed, and my book, Shit My Dad Says, was cancelled. I worked on the show for the last year. It was a bummer, until I remembered that I got a TV show based off a twitter feed and a book and was basically the luckiest asshole who ever roamed this earth.
Here was our take on his success and how we didn’t begrudge him it at all:
Halpern isn’t stupid. He must know that this is garbage and that his new-found fame from this silly little twitter account will be over in about 15 minutes and he’s cashing in while he can and you know what? I don’t blame him whatsoever. If a bunch of no-talent hacks like the cast of Jersey Shore or The Hills or Keeping up With the Kardashians can get paid, why not a guy who has actually made millions of people laugh?
Here’s the conversation with his dad. we hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Warning: put down all beverages while reading this or you’ll spend all afternoon cleaning off your monitor…
“Hey. What do you need. I’m busy,” he said.
“Do you have a second?” I said.
“Is this Justin?” he said.
“Yeah. Who’d you think it was?“
“Didn’t know. Just picked up the phone.”
“You didn’t know who it was and you answered the phone with ‘Hey. What do you need? I’m busy?,” I asked.
“Lets people know not to fuck around with my time,” he said.
“My show got cancelled,” I said.
There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line and I wasn’t sure if he heard me. I was about to say it again, when he spoke.
“Well. Fuck. Sorry to hear that, son.”
“Eh, it’s okay. It happens. It was crazy I got a show on the air in the first place.”
“Well, I liked it. It was kind of shitty at first, but I thought it got a lot better. You know what show I like? Cheers. That was a good show,” he said.
“That was a good show,” I said, wondering if that was part of a larger point he was about to make.
“Also I liked The Simpsons. At first I thought, it’s just a stupid cartoon for pants-shitters, but I was wrong, great show.” (Pants-shitters is how my dad refers to toddlers.)
“Well, I just wanted to let you know. I know you’re busy so I’ll let you go,” I said.
“I‘m 75. If you’re busy when you’re seventy five, you fucked up the first seventy five years. I want you to know that I’m proud of you. You didn’t put a bullet through Bin Laden but I’m proud of you. You’re a bust-ass kid.”
“Thanks,” I said.
“And let’s not forget the big picture here. You don’t have to live with me anymore. One less person crawling up your ass every morning. That’s all anyone can fucking ask for.
Via Press Release:
FLINTSTONES! MEET “THE FLINTSTONES” ON FOX
Modern Stone-Age Family Returns to Television in
New Animated Series from Seth MacFarlane,
20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television
Yabba dabba doo! FOX has picked up THE FLINTSTONES, a 21st century version of the classic animated comedy from executive producer Seth MacFarlane. In a cross-studio collaboration, THE FLINTSTONES will be produced jointly by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. Warner Bros. is home to THE FLINTSTONES via its ownership of the Hanna-Barbera collection of animated titles. Dan Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and Kara Vallow (Family Guy) will also serve as executive producers. THE FLINTSTONES will begin production in fall 2011 and will be set in stone on the FOX schedule in 2013.
“The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone,” said MacFarlane. “So it’s appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise. Plus, I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who’s too good for him.”
“The Flintstones are among the funniest and most beloved characters in television history, and we can’t wait to introduce them to a whole new generation on FOX,” said Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “FOX has long been home to iconic families like the Simpsons and the Griffins, so I have no doubt that the Flintstones and the Rubbles are going to fit right in on our air.”
The (pre)historic return of THE FLINTSTONES will feature MacFarlane’s modern-day take on the lives of the Flintstones and the Rubbles, two hard-working middle-class families living with contemporary conveniences in the dinosaur-era town of Bedrock. The series centers on hard-headed patriarch FRED FLINTSTONE and best friend and sidekick BARNEY RUBBLE. Fred’s Stone-Age clan includes wife WILMA, daughter PEBBLES and pet dinosaur DINO, while Barney’s brood consists of wife BETTY and son BAMM-BAMM.
MacFarlane’s lineup of animated series continues to dominate Sunday nights. Everyone’s favorite families from Quahog, Langley Falls and Stoolbend will be back for more laughs as Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show were recently renewed for a 10th, seventh and fourth seasons, respectively.
THE FLINTSTONES will be co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. MacFarlane and Palladino serve as executive producers of the series and co-writers on the pilot. Vallow will serve as executive producer on the series. Voice actors for the series will be announced. THE FLINTSTONES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of © Hanna-Barbera.
Here it is, folks, direct from the FOX Upfront Advertising Event, FOX’s 2011 – 2012 Primetime Programming Schedule (scroll down for complete schedule). Please note, if you don’t see your favorite show from this season, recent cancellations have been covered here, however as we reported, the status of Breaking In is reported to be still up in the air.
If you have any questions about other shows, post them below.
Some programming notes:
- Some solid scripted shows, however the new comedies seem weak, despite the star power behind them.
- The elephant in the room that is Terra Nova: The Big Gamble. Depending on how well or poorly this does could change the direction of the entire schedule. Read why we believe TN is such a big gamble, here and here. Believe us, we’re rooting for it, we’re just nervous about it and we think FOX is too. We’re still trying to figure out if they plan to run this for an entire 22 episode run because it’s nowhere on the mid-season schedule. So it’s either going for 13 episodes (which we believe would be the smarter move) or it will have an abbreviated 19 episode season non-stop through December.
- New J.J. Abrams, series Alcatraz to premiere mid-season. Perhaps the smartest move of the schedule to avoid hiatuses and loss of interest by audiences of what no doubt will be a Lost-type serial.
- After 24 seasons, America’s Most Wanted is no longer a regular series. It will now be shown as four specials throughout the year.
- The Cleveland Show has swapped places with American Dad, going to the less desirable 7:30 – 8:30 PM spot on Sunday and putting AD back into its longstanding 9:30 – 10:00 PM for the first half of the season. New series Allen Gregory will be in the 8:30 – 9:30 PM slot, a slot that was filled by The Cleveland Show for the first half of the season and Bob’s Burgers for the second half. This gives credence to our suggestion that we made when the announcement for AD‘s renewal was made in which the press release claimed that an order had been placed for 22 episodes, however it contradicted itself by stating that the show was renewed through 2013. We suggested that one of the only ways this would make sense would be if AD was going to get half-season treatment, although we did find that scenario the most unlikely. This could change, however depending on the success/failure of AG and ND.
- We’re not expecting a whole lot from AG and ND and we don’t think FOX is either. We explain why here. We expect these shows to both be canceled pretty quickly as the two had seven and six episodes orders, respectively. We hear that FOX has at least two more animated shows in the hopper waiting to go, though, just in case.
- Finally, keep in mind that an NFL lockout is looming. This could send ripples through the entire FOX schedule.
So without further adieu:
FOX FALL 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Terra Nova (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM House
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:00 PM The X-Factor (Results Show) (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM Bones
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
FOX MIDSEASON 2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:30 PM American Idol
9:30-10:00 PM I Hate My Teenage Daughter (NEW!)
8:00-9:00 PM American Idol (Results Show)
9:00-10:00 PM The Finder (NEW!) / Bones (Spring)
8:00-9:00 PM Kitchen Nightmares
9:00-10:00 PM Fringe
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
The New York Times is reporting that CBS has renewed Blue Bloods, Mike & Molly, and Hawaii Five-O. No surprise about any of these shows and in fact last week, we predicted BB was a sure thing with the news that the show’s creators, Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, had been ousted. The logic: why fire the creators a week before the upfront media events if you’re going to cancel the show? H-50 is a lot of fun but it’s a hit-and-miss show and not nearly as good as the pilot had led us to believe. We simply refuse to watch M&M because we know how awful it is without ever having to watch a single episode and we are saddened by the fact that audiences continue to be so stupid when it comes to the sitcoms they’ll accept in their living rooms every week. But then again, this is the same audience that made that horrible show Two and a Half Men a hit.
As far as cancellation is concerned, some sanity has prevailed at CBS, dumping the worst sitcom ever made, the horrific $#*! My Dad Says (a show that every time we mention it, we feel we should advise our readers to read our review of it if for no other reason than it’s a quality PSA), a comedy we had ZERO interest in Mad Love (that was a comedy, right) and a very underrated show we actually liked a lot, The Defenders, starring Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi.
As far as new pilots are concerned, CBS has officially announced that the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan series Person of Interest (which we had reported on back in February with much enthusiasm) will be added to the Fall 2011 – 2012 schedule, as well as the comedy Two Broke Girls.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
Stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) as a presumed dead former CIA agent who teams with a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson, Lost) to prevent violent crimes in New York. Taraji P. Henson (Boston Legal) co-stars in the Warner Bros. TV drama from scribe Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), who produces alongside J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk (Fringe), Ben Brafman (The 4400), Margot Lulick (Kings) and Greg Plageman (Cold Case). Dave Semel (No Ordinary Family), who directs.
Two Broke Girls
Revolves around two 22-year-old women (Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs) who tackle life in New York as they try to make their dreams come true. The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. Television is written by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) with stand-up comic Whitney Cummings on board as a producer. James Burrows directed the pilot.
We just got word that FOX has renewed both Family Guy and The Cleveland Show for a tenth and fourth season, respectively, entrenching them long-term into FOX’s Sunday Animation Domination block. FOX had already renewed both of these MacFarlane shows for a ninth and third season, respectively, along with American Dad, for a seventh season (as well as Bob’s Burgers) for Fall 2011. Recently, we speculated that FOX has ZERO faith in the success of their two new mid-season 2011 -2012 animated shows, Napoleon Dynamite and Allen Gregory and this move by the network only goes to reinforce that opinion. We don’t blame them because we don’t either.
Press release forthcoming.
Hi, folks. Thanks for coming back for part two of this very special feature on FOX where Blossom ponders losing her virginity, yet again. No, no, no, obviously we’re going to talk about FOX’s recent surprising schedule moves and what we think is going on over there. Yesterday, of course, we reported on the renewal of Bob’s Burgers for a second season and left our readers with a cliffhanger as to the significance of this renewal for the network as a whole and why we are actually pleased about the renewal despite that we don’t like the show. So now it’s time to explain why and we’ll bring you back to when we fist heard about FOX moving Fringe to Friday nights.
As noted by our two pieces on Fringe‘s move to Friday (here and here) we’ve been very critical of FOX’s history of jumping ship on shows (especially new shows) that have had a run of, not even horrible, but average to mediocre ratings. Seriously, c’mon, FOX… Seinfeld wasn’t immediately a hit. It wasn’t even in the top 30 for its first three seasons and in its fourth season it was #25.
Anyway, in these pieces, we also expressed our skepticism with FOX’s stated commitment in the past to fan-favorite shows and of course this directly related to their campaign in January expressing the same commitment to Fringe. But, then, a few weeks ago, Virginia found out that there is indeed a Santa Claus and the announcement was made that Fringe not only had been renewed for a fourth season, but it was given a full season order… in March. We speculated as to why this occurred as EVERYONE, including us, assumed that after the ratings decline, the move to Friday and of course, FOX’s history, this show was destined for Cancellationville.
And of course, there is American Dad, a show that FOX execs have not historically supported and have been trying to replace for years and it got renewed for a seventh season… in February, again with a full season order of 22 episodes, no less.
When we heard the announcement about Fringe, we speculated as to the many reasons it may have been spared cancellation but came to the conclusion that we really didn’t care, we were just happy that the show was saved. But now, we’re hearing that FOX is on the verge of losing House, as well.
The network remains in last-minute negotiations with Universal Media Studios, which owns the series, in hopes of signing a new deal for an eighth season. The two sides are far apart in determining the percentage each will pay for the show’s costs.
UMS, owned by NBCUniversal, has given Fox an extension on the window of negotiation exclusivity. That ends Friday. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, UMS will offer the show to competing networks including, of course, the Peacock, which would likely be more than happy to take the series away from Fox.
So thanks to all of these developments, we’ve been dragged into the speculation game and we’re guessing that there are several issues at play here:
First, FOX has some serious issues with original scripted program scheduling coming this Fall and this is just based on what we know. Four new shows from 2010 – 2011 have already been canceled (Running Wilde, The Good Guys, Sons of Tuscon and Lone Star) and Traffic Light is certain to be canceled by May 16th. So, that’s five down right there (and chances for The Chicago Code being renewed for a second season seem to be getting slimmer by the day) and Human Target and Lie To Me are more likely to be cancelled than not. Add to that the fact that as of this posting FOX hasn’t been able to come to a deal to keep the perennial hits Bones and (as earlier noted) House (the deadline for a deal for House was last Friday), the network faces potentially being down nine scripted programs from 2010 – 2011 (Even though we are still trying to forget about Sons of Tuscon as if it never existed, and of course we aren’t counting 24 which was at the end of its run).
And here’s the thing about House: Universal may not come to a deal intentionally and may just turn House over to NBC who is desperate for a strong scripted drama, or strong scripted anything at this point. Whereas FOX axed four of their new shows (with a fifth coming for sure), NBC has axed five of their new shows with at least a sixth certain to be on the way out the door (Sorry, but as much as The Event has improved by following what we suggested it needed to do, it was too little, too late…so, adiós!). Let’s also not forget Chuck, which is on its way out the door as well. It’s so bad at NBC that less-than-positive performers such as Law & Order: Los Angeles and Harry’s Law are almost guaranteed to be renewed because, well, frankly, theyz gots nothin’ else and they certainly don’t have American Idol or Simon Cowell’s new series, The X-Factor, that is destined to be a ratings juggernaut, so at the end of the day, NBC is in way worse shape than FOX. So, here’s our bold prediction: House will be on NBC come Fall 2011 and a deal with Bones (in desperation) will be made and it will return to FOX.
But the effects of losing House on FOX will be devastating and even if they keep Bones, that show has seen a sharp decline in ratings over the past two season which means there will be only one truly strong live-action veteran scripted show and that would be Glee. Can FOX really be comfortable going into the new Fall season with the The Animation Domination Block, Glee, The X-Factor and American Idol being the only programming that is guaranteed to be stable? We don’t think they possibly could be satisfied with that situation.
So taking this a step further, based on what we know for sure about the Fall schedule and the three shows that were renewed – not only unexpectedly but early, as well – (Fringe, American Dad and now Bob’s Burgers), here’s what we think is going on and it crossed our minds when we first heard about Fringe‘s renewal: FOX is not just uncomfortable with the new scripted programing they have ordered for Fall 2011, they’re downright nervous and they expected to have had more success with their new shows from 2010 – 2011. They also certainly didn’t expect the possibility of looking at Fall 2011 with no House and to a lesser extent no Bones.
This brings us to the Stephen Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment produced, epic Sci-Fi series, Terra Nova, which as we noted when we reported Fringe‘s renewal, has been delayed yet again and is set to debut in Fall 2011. There are some serious issues with Terra Nova that we think FOX is starting to get as concerned about as we are. First, the delays are insane and we are not confident at all that it will debut in the Fall as promised. Second, Terra Nova may be the most expensive show in history with the first two episodes alone costing $16 million and whereas the average episode of scripted drama costs $2.5 million, Terra Nova per episode cost will come in at $4 million and the show is rife with rumors of cost overruns although the producers deny this.
Third, this is the biggest risk that FOX has ever taken on any series, nevertheless a Sci-Fi series, in an era where epic Sci-Fi is DEAD on network television. And we’re sure that it doesn’t help when veteran television Sci-Fi writer and producer Brannon Braga (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise) who is exec. producing/writing Terra Nova is doing the “pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain” Great and Powerful Oz routine denying the fact that it is indeed a Sci-Fi series when you’d have to be blind not to see it:
But it’s not a sci-fi show.
“It’s really about this frontier family trying to survive,”
Centers on the Shannons, an ordinary family from 2149 when the planet is dying who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization.
No, there’s absolutely nothing Sci-Fi about that premise at all. It’s just like Little House on the Prairie… but with time travel… and dinosaurs… and automatic weapons… with lasers.
So, if we go with the premise that FOX isn’t really sure whether or not Terra Nova is going to actually debut on the Fall 2011 schedule as planned and it finally occurred to them that this kind of Sci-Fi is highly questionable for network television and of course there’s the issue of the costs involved, we can come to only one conclusion: FOX is worried that they aren’t going to have much going on this Fall, Monday through Friday, other than Glee and The X-Factor and they’ve decided that keeping some of these shows that have established, stabilized audiences even though they’ve seen ratings drops, may be their only option. For goodness’ sake, and we cannot stress this enough, they saved three shows that everyone expected to be canceled, and again, this is FOX we’re talking about.
We alluded to this theory yesterday, in part one, our commentary on the Bob’s Burgers renewal:
We think FOX is starting to realize that it may be better for them to deal with the devil that they know as opposed to the one they don’t…
So, that’s where we think all of this is going and in our opinion, this is nothing but a positive turn of events. FOX has lived very well over the past decade with their scripted programming, reality program and sports. If new show, “A” didn’t work out as well or as quickly as they had hoped, they’d just dump it and replace it with new show “B” and if that didn’t work out they’d replace it with show “C” and so on and they’d usually find gold eventually. But let’s be honest about this; the crop of decent scripted shows out there over the past couple of years on ALL of the networks has been thin to say the least. So considering the lack of quality, sustainable shows, all the losses in shows that they’ve had in the past year, the possible losses of their perennial hits to other networks, and a questionable Fall 2011 lineup, it appears that FOX execs have been forced to put on the big boy pants and change their strategy so that they have something that’s at least slightly stable in their lineup, and will actually work to build up those shows by subsidizing them with their juggernauts, particularly American Idol and The X-Factor.
Now, although FOX may not be particularly happy about taking this approach (because of course, everyone likes the quick and easy buck), all of these developments and this new approach is nothing but positive for viewers and fans of the many quality scripted programs that FOX does have to offer, but probably wouldn’t have been given an opportunity like this if this was, oh, say, two or three years ago. Heck, we suspect that if Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were in its second season in 2011 instead of in 2009, it already would have been renewed for a third season by now.
And this is EXACTLY why we are so happy about Bob’s Burgers being picked up for a second season (as much as we dislike it) because it’s show number four that was not only renewed by FOX but picked up early when no one expected it to be. This in turn gives up hope for the remaining three likely to be canceled shows, Lie to Me, Human Target and The Chicago Code. We can almost guarantee that FOX will not cancel all three of these shows, in fact, they may only cancel one of them but we are going to go with the premise, based on everything we’ve laid out over the past two days that they will keep at least one of them and we think it will be a toss-up between Lie to Me and Human Target.
Don’t get us wrong, we love The Chicago Code and we don’t particularly like the clichéd and predictable Lie to Me but we have to be objective about this. If FOX or any other network is going to pick up an underperforming show to keep for another season, they are going to pick one that has an established audience for at least a couple of seasons over a mid-season replacement that hasn’t been able to find any stability with their audience. The fact that The Chicago Code is a serial doesn’t help its chances of gaining a stable audience a season later, either. Now, obviously, Bob’s Burgers doesn’t have a multiple-season established audience BUT it did have the highest ratings of any new show premiere of the season and its audience numbers, though not great, have stabilized and it does have very strong lead-ins and lead-outs with The Simpsons and Family Guy, respectively, whereas The Chicago Code dos not.
So there you have it. Our wild speculation on why the big change in strategy at FOX. You can take it for what it’s worth, and call us crazy but do the research for yourself and see if you come to any other conclusions because we’d love to hear your take. Remember folks, May 16th is the big day for FOX. That’s when we find out who’s going and who’s staying.
In news that came as an absolute shock to us, the poorly-received (we gave it a 3 out of 10 and that was generous) and lackluster-rated Bob’s Burgers has been picked up for a second season by FOX as announced on April 7th.
Via Press Release:
FOX ORDERS UP A SECOND SERVING OF “BOB’S BURGERS”
Animated Series Renewed for a Second Season
All-New Episode Airs Sunday, April 10, on FOX
Animation Domination newcomer BOB’S BURGERS has been renewed for a second season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“BOB’S BURGERS has proved to be a perfect neighbor to our slate of fan-favorite animated families this year,” said Reilly. “The series has found its own really unique, irreverent voice and is doing consistent business for us on Sundays, so we’re excited to serve up another season to the fans.”
The premiere of BOB’S BURGERS this year was the highest-rated new series debut on any network so far this season. The series currently ranks among the Top 10 programs this season among young men.
In the all-new “Burger War” episode, airing Sunday, April 10 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT), BOB’s (H. Jon Benjamin) eccentric landlord, MR. FISCHOEDER (guest voice Kevin Kline), pays the family a visit to deliver some bad news. Bob’s rival across the street, JIMMY PESTO (guest voice Jay Johnston) of Jimmy Pesto’s Pizzeria, wants to take over Bob’s lease so that he can expand his gift shop. With little time and not enough money, the Belcher family must cook up some business or luck to save the restaurant.
BOB’S BURGERS follows a third-generation restaurateur as he runs his own burger joint with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob has big ideas about burgers, condiments and sides, but only a few thoughts on customer service and business management. Despite his greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob is convinced his burgers speak for themselves. The animated series features the voice talents of H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal.
BOB’S BURGERS is a 20th Century Fox Television production. The series was created by Loren Bouchard. Bouchard and Jim Dauterive serve as executive producers and writers. Become a fan of the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bobsburgers and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bobsburgersfox.
Now, you’re probably figuring that our response to this news would be outrage due to the fact of how much we dislike the show but surprisingly, it’s not. We not only aren’t bothered but we’re actually a little relieved because of all of the other news surrounding FOX programming over the last few weeks, particularly the renewals of American Dad and Fringe, both early and both with full season orders.
But first, there are two things about the renewal of Bob’s Burgers that need to be noted: Number one on the list is the fact FOX ordered two more animated shows last year for the 2011 – 2012 schedule; an animated version of Napoleon Dynamite (no, we’re not kidding) and a show by Jonah Hill called Allen Gregory, “which will have Hill voicing the title role of a freakishly smart, internationally acclaimed 7-year-old kid who’s about to take on the task of attending elementary school with kids his own age.” On the upside, at least it’s animated so we won’t have to see Hill’s absolute grotesqueness on the beautiful 65″ HDTV. But waitaminute… since they’ve ordered these two shows, how will there be room for the recently renewed American Dad and Bob’s Burgers on the Sunday night schedule?
That of course brings us to the second item of note: unlike American Dad, there has been absolutely no indication that FOX ordered a full season of 22 episodes for Bob’s Burgers whereas they made a point to brag about it in the press release announcing American Dad’s renewal. So, even though FOX renewed Bob’s Burgers, the show’s status would appear to be more precarious than this renewal would seem to indicate and FOX is hedging its bets by keeping Napoleon Dynamite and Allen Gregory in the hopper for 2011, despite the fact that there is ZERO room on the Sunday night schedule for them.
Now, this being said, does anyone in their right mind think that a cartoon based on an overrated film that came out seven years ago and a series with an absolutely uninteresting premise has as snowball’s chance in hell of surviving past the six and seven episodes, respectively, that were ordered? We don’t and we think that after a year of sitting on these projects and taking an inventory of the state of the network as far as scripted programming is concerned come Fall 2011, FOX execs are reconsidering their commitment to these two new shows and leaning toward full support of Bob’s Burgers, should, as we expect, Napoleon Dynamite and Allen Gregory fail quickly. We think FOX is starting to realize that it may be better for them to deal with the devil that they know as opposed to the one they don’t, but because they are still FOX, after all, they’re taking a “wait and see” approach with Bob’s Burgers.
And what exactly is the state of FOX come Fall 2011? And why aren’t we bothered by the renewal of Bob’s Burger’s, a show we really don’t like? What’s this about House and Bones possibly not being on FOX and Terra Nova that you dopes alluded to in the headline yet never mentioned in this piece? Tune in to the ‘Tastic tomorrow and we’ll give you some insights based on what we know for sure, and what we think all of this information means based on us piecing it all together and wildly speculating… including the news about House, Bones and Terra Nova.
To our absolute and utter amazement, FOX announced on March 24th that they would not only be renewing the fan-favorite Sci Fi series, Fringe but that they had also ordered a complete 22 episode season. All we can say is, “Holy crap!”
Via Press Release From FOX:
FOX RENEWS “FRINGE” FOR FOURTH SEASON – IN BOTH UNIVERSES
FOX has renewed critically acclaimed thrilling drama FRINGE for a fourth season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company.
“FRINGE has truly hit a creative stride and has distinguished itself as one of television’s most original programs. The series’ ingenious producers, amazingly talented cast and crew, as well as some of the most passionate and loyal fans on the planet, made this fourth-season pickup possible,” said Reilly. “When we moved the show to Fridays, we asked the fans to follow and they did. We’re thrilled to bring it back for another full season and keep it part of the FOX family.”
FRINGE co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams said, “We could not be happier that the fans of FRINGE (and our most excellent partners at FOX) have allowed us to continue telling stories from the fringe for another season!”
“This early pickup comes at a perfect time as we start production on the Season Three finale,” added FRINGE showrunners and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. “We join the cast and crew in thanking our loyal fans and FOX for allowing us to have this much fun telling stories we love.”
Since moving to Fridays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) in January, FRINGE is averaging a 2.2/7 among Adults 18-49 and has established itself as Friday’s No. 1 series in the core adult demographic.
The compelling third season continues tonight, Friday, March 25 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX. In the “Bloodline” episode, the intensity of life “over there” accelerates as a pregnant OLIVIA (Anna Torv) is kidnapped and finds herself in mortal danger. As the Fringe Division races against time to find her, agent LINCOLN LEE (guest star Seth Gabel) receives some heartbreaking news as WALTER (John Noble) stops at nothing to preserve the new branch of the Bishop family tree.
Created by J.J. Abrams & Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, FRINGE is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman and Joe Chappelle serve as executive producers, while Kurtzman and Orci are consulting producers. Additionally, Pinkner and Wyman serve as the series’ showrunners. Become a fan of the series on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fringe and follow the series on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fringeonfox (@fringeonfox).
Now, before you go and start referring to the two commentaries we did on both the viral video campaign by FOX regarding the move to Friday night and the piece that we did in response to the criticism we received, and how these two pieces are evidence of our lack of insight or credibility, we would like to state for the record that we stand by everything that we claimed in both of those pieces. Those two pieces are accurate analyses of FOX’s history over the last 20 years and what a move to Friday normally means with this network. There’s not a whole lot of room for debate as the track record is not in dispute and J.J. Abrams agreed with us.
That being said, we would like to refer you back to that first piece and how we opened the door for FOX to prove us wrong (scroll to the last paragraph):
Do not trust FOX and their claims of unmitigated support for Fringe or any other show they move to Friday until they can be proven to be trustworthy. The first step in doing that would be for them to order the remaining episodes for this season and order an entire fourth season and promise to air all of the episodes. At this point, that would be the only way we would ever trust them and that’s not going to happen…
So, there it is. FOX accepted the challenge and achieved 2 out of the three conditions and the third condition, which was probably unrealistic to begin with, may have happened without FOX officially saying it. The thing is, no one expected FOX to renew Fringe for a fourth season, but the fact that they not only renewed it, but they renewed it in March AND ordered a complete season can only lead us to believe that FOX is indeed in it for the long haul and yes, we admit it, committed to Fringe‘s success. Like we said, it’s going to be a long road to recovery for us with FOX but this surprise scheduling move along with their decision to renew American Dad for a seventh season (and also order a complete season of 22 episodes for that show in March as well) is very promising indeed.
That being said, as much as we hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, the question that will inevitably be asked is: why? Is FOX that concerned about the state of its pilots for Fall 2011 that they would rather play it safe by keeping Fringe around? Do they have no faith in Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova NOT being delayed yet again? Or, is it perhaps, FOX execs have decided to take a new approach and change some of the old practices that have earned them the reputation of being a show-killer? Or is it just the fact that maybe they just really like Fringe and see that it can be successful on Friday night? Or, since they now have a Fall version of the American Idol juggernaut, Simon Cowell’s The X-Factor, are they going to do what we suggested in our first piece and that was to let the big money-makers support the quality scripted programming? We don’t know and we don’t really care. We’re just glad to get another season out of one of our favorite shows.
Via Press Release From FOX:
GOOD MORNING, U.S.A.! IT’S GONNA BE A WONDERFUL DAY!
“American Dad” RENEWED FOR SEVENTH TERM
Emmy-nominated Animation Domination staple American Dad has been renewed for a seventh season, bringing the series through the 2012-2013 season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“This is fantastic news,” said Roger the Alien. “But you do realize I’m not real, right?”
American Dad follows the lives of ultra-conservative, staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent STAN SMITH (Seth MacFarlane) and his eccentric family that includes FRANCINE (Wendy Schaal), his ditzy-but-lovable wife; HAYLEY (Rachael MacFarlane), his 18-year-old left-wing hippie daughter; STEVE (Scott Grimes), his geeky, 14-year-old son; ROGER (Seth MacFarlane), the selfish and sarcastic cross-dressing space alien; and KLAUS (Dee Bradley Baker), an attention-starved goldfish. The fan-favorite series airs Sundays (7:30-8:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Expect lots of hijinks from the Smiths this spring! Roger attempts to make Steve a “cool kid” by letting him drive other kids around in a tractor, but the plan quickly backfires. Meanwhile, Francine gets a job at Stan’s office, but she cramps his style; and Roger starts dressing like a teenage girl and quickly seduces Steve’s best friend, SNOT (guest voice Curtis Armstrong). Upcoming guest voices for this season include Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Burt Reynolds and Grammy Award winner Cee-Lo Green.
American Dad is a 20th Century Fox Television production. Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman serve as co-creators and executive producers, while Kenny Schwartz, Rick Wiener and Nahnatchka Khan serve as executive producers. Become a fan of American Dad on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americandad and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americandadfox.
We are officially not hating FOX today (ONE day, FOX… you get ONE DAY!) but we would like to point out that after we saw the pilot of Bob’s Burgers we knew that the renewal of American Dad was inevitable and noted it in our review. So tell your friends about how brilliant our insight is (again) and that they have to read this blog. That being said, with this announcement today, we find it highly unlikely that Bob’s Burgers will be renewed and we are thankful for that as it’s just awful.
There is a discrepancy here, though, that we would like to point out: American Dad is currently in its sixth season (2010 – 2011). The press release indicates that the American Dad renewal will bring the series through the 2012 – 2013 season. The numbers don’t work on that (it should be 2011 – 2012) unless FOX intends to split up season seven over the course of 2 years (there are reports that the order was for 22 episodes) premiering each half in January 2012 and January 2013. We don’t find this scenario likely but it’s not out of the realm of possibility either.
Consider this: FOX has ordered pilots for at least two new animated shows for 2011 – 2012 and they are continuing to look for more because they want to expand their “Animation Domination” schedule, according to our sources. There is no change in time-slot according to the press release which means that American Dad will still be airing at 7:30 p.m. The problem is that FOX stops airing programming at 10:00 p.m. so they are limited on time slots to keep plugging cartoons into. The only solution would be half-season programming, i.e., air “Cartoon-X” in the Fall of 2011 and American Dad for 11 episodes in Spring 2012, rinse and repeat for the following season. Although we find this scenario unlikely, it is possible and we don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing.
The more likely of the scenarios, however, is that they either just made a mistake and meant 2011 – 2012 or they actually renewed it for two seasons. As much as we’d like the latter, we’re leaning towards the former for obvious reasons.
Of course, we’ll keep you updated as we find out more.