Last week we covered NBC’s new 2018-19 schedule, now FOX has confirmed the new and returning shows that will be hitting the network over the next year. Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group, unveiled the FOX primetime slate for the 2018-2019 season during the network’s annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.
“This year, we launched four of the Top 10 new shows on broadcast, which led to a very strong roster of young series returning for their sophomore seasons. That gives us tremendous momentum heading into the fall,” said Newman and Walden. “With our increased investment in football, we’re going to use the powerful platform of the NFL to launch our new comedies. We’ll then take some big swings with dramas at midseason, which is a proven strategy for FOX.”
If you like comedies, the new shows this fall are “Rel” and “The Cool Kids“. Inspired by the life of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Insecure,” “The Carmichael Show”), “Rel” will be a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a loving husband and father living in Chicago. The story picks up after Rel finds out his wife is having an affair and he must rebuild his life as a single father. The comedy also stars Sinbad (“A Different World,” “The Sinbad Show,” “Jingle All The Way”), Jess “Hilarious” Moore (“Wild ’N Out”) and Jordan L. Jones (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Wisdom of the Crowd”).
“The Cool Kids” comes from executive producer Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), the show will be a multi-camera comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule in order to have fun. The series stars four comedy veterans: Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (“The Carmichael Show,” “In Living Color”), Emmy Award nominee Martin Mull (“Veep,” “Roseanne”), Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “American Horror Story”) and Emmy Award winner Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family,” “The Carol Burnett Show”).
As we mentioned last week, “Last Man Standing” is also joining the FOX lineup, the series will once again star Tim Allen as Mike Baxter. The comedy also stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson. FOX also stated that “Last Man Standing” and “The Cool Kids” will anchor a brand-new Friday night comedy block.
In its 25th season of NFL coverage, the new “Thursday Night Football Pre-Game Show” will be FOX Sports’ first New York City-based live NFL studio show, complementing FOX NFL Sunday, the No. 1 NFL pregame show for the last 24 seasons. The new Thursday Night Football Pre-Game Show” will be produced by Executive Vice President of Production, Bill Richards, who also oversees FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY.
Adding these new shows, and the return of NFL games, means the network will be moving some things around. This fall, “9-1-1” will return on a new night and time, now airing on Mondays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT.
As for Dramas, 2019 will host “The Passage” and “Proven Innocent,” as well as a live musical production of “RENT”. FOX will also premiere a new COSMOS installment called “COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS”.
Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, “The Passage” is a character-driven thriller written by Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”). Executive-produced by Heldens, Emmy Award winner and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “Gladiator”) and writer/director Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Cloverfield”), “The Passage” focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl (Saniyya Sidney, “Fences,” “Hidden Figures”) is chosen to be a test subject, a federal agent (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, “Pitch”) is tasked with bringing her in, but ultimately, becomes her surrogate father, determined to protect her at any cost – even as Project Noah’s work threatens to unleash an unimaginable apocalypse.
Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner and “Empire” co-creator Danny Strong partners with David Elliot (“Four Brothers”) to tell the emotional story of one woman’s fight for the innocence of others, as well as her own. “Proven Innocent” follows an underdog criminal defense firm led by a fierce and uncompromising lawyer, who was wrongfully convicted in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession, a household name and a national cause célèbre. The drama stars Rachelle Lefevre (“Under the Dome,” “A Gifted Man”), Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”), Russell Hornsby (“Seven Seconds,” “Grimm”), Brian d’Arcy James (“13 Reasons Why,” “Spotlight”) and Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (“BrainDead,” “The Good Wife,” “The Book of Mormon”).
FOX also confirmed that “Gotham” will return for its fifth and final season, wrapping up this beloved series in a farewell event that will focus on Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) transformation into the caped crusader. “Gotham” is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller and executive producers Danny Cannon and John Stephens, “Gotham” follows the rise of Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular superheroes of our time. The series also stars Donal Logue, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas, Chris Chalk, Drew Powell, Alexander Siddig and Crystal Reed.
As we mentioned earlier, FOX will also host a live musical production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Rent,” that event is scheduled for Sunday, January 27, 2019 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, “Rent” tells the story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. Winner of four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship. Acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”), along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce the live musical event.
Airing as a global event on FOX and National Geographic in 180 countries and 43 languages, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning COSMOS will return for its third season in Spring 2019. It will once again be executive-produced, written and directed by Ann Druyan (NASA’s Voyager Record, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” “Contact”); executive-produced by Seth MacFarlane, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark; and hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed pop-culture icon and astrophysicist. Continuing the legacy of its predecessors, COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS will translate the revelations of science into a lavishly transporting experience, taking audiences on a series of spiritual voyages of exploration. The new season will reveal previously uncharted realms, including lost worlds and worlds to come, and those that we may one day inhabit in a thrilling future we can still have.
It will be a big year for FOX overall as several FOX series will celebrate major milestones. “The Simpsons” will host their 30th anniversary, and “Family Guy” will celebrate their 20th anniversary. If you love “Bob’s Burgers,” the show will hit 150 episodes this season.
So if you like dramas, look for “9-1-1,” “Empire,” “The Gifted,” “Gotham,” “Lethal Weapon (with a new lead),” “The Orville,” “The Passage,” “Proven Innocent,” “The Resident,” and “Star,” and if you prefer comedies you can watch “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Cool Kids,” “Family Guy,” “Last Man Standing,” and “The Simpsons” . The special events this year are “Rent,” “Cosmos,” “Beat Shazam,” “The Four,” “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Love Connection,” “Masterchef,” “Masterchef Junior,” “Showtime at the Apollo,” and “So You Think You Can Dance”. At least until FOX starts cancelling them.