FOX’s 16 most exciting projects for 2016/2017 pilot season

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 The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

What are FOX’s needs for next season?

  • With the departure of American Idol : more shows overall, quite simply!
  • A series to be paired with Empire. Not another Rosewood. Something that really is a right fit with the hit soap. Two would be good too, for each part of Empire‘s season => twice many chances at success!
  • More X-Files -10 or 12-episode season?- if season 10 works in a few days. Good launching pad for new dramas. Like a new rebooted 24 season might be too… Prison Break? They couldn’t resist this terrible horrible idea that is…
  • Less science-fiction that never works, more straight dramas (action, soap, legal, medical…) and finally a drama centered on an heroin! FOX is too many males.
  • One big comedy hit! Finally! New Girl didn’t become the one it was supposed to be a few years back. Since then: nothingness in that department.

NUMBERS

Drama Scripts ordered: around 35 / Comedy Scripts ordered: around 35

Drama pilots ordered last year: 6 /  Comedy pilots ordered last year: 7

8 drama pilots should be ordered / 8 comedy pilots should be ordered

OBSERVATIONS

So far, FOX has had a terrible season with absolutely zero new show really working. Scream Queens, the highest marketed of the fall, started with horrible numbers in live+ same day and never recovered. FOX decided to order a second season anyway, because Ryan Murphy can do anything he wants on this network, and because appartently FOX is very happy with the numbers among… rich kids. There’s no reason for season 2 to attract a bigger crowd, though. Minority Report was a huge flop from the get go that everybody saw coming, except FOX apparently. Rosewood did OK numbers for a while and still do acceptable ones but without Empire as its lead-out, it will collapse. That’s 100% sure. Ok, let’s say 90%. It could still get a pity renewal. Then there’s the three new comedies. Grandfathered and The Grinder, as expected, are flops. One is a bigger one than the other but in the end it doesn’t make a big difference. They should just go. Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life, despite its longer than life title, still has a shot after two weeks of airing. But let’s not count on this one for the long haul. After one airing, new drama Second Chance is DOA. It just leaves Lucifer. It has a big potential for success, especially since they decided to put it after The X-Files revival, even if they don’t really fit together.

In the older shows department, things don’t look good either. Empire is still a hit, no doubt about that. But season 2 is not creatively as strong as it should have been and the numbers kept on going down week after week. Disappointing for such a young and promising show. Last Man On Earth, which was a good surprise at midseason last year, couldn’t keep its momentum. Litteraly nobody talk about season 2. Numbers are decent, bit it’s another disappointment for FOX. Then there’s New Girl, that may live another year for syndication purposes, mostly. Brooklyn Nine-Nine keeps on moving on the schedule between sundays and tuesdays. But it’s still decent for now. Season 4 will happen. As long as FOX has bigger fish to fry…. Bones seems to be immortal. But it gets pricier every year, there’s a lawsuit going on… One day or another, they will have to pull the plug. Sleepy Hollow is half-dead. The Simpsons & Family Guy help keeping the lights on on sundays. No reason to stop them. And that’s pretty much it.

If the first pilot season of FOX’s new bosses was kind of a mess and a bit of a disaster, the next one looks much better on paper with broader concepts, lighter projects, varied genres and ideas. It’s not anymore just about strong male figures investigating. A big amount of soaps have been developed, as well as food-oriented dramas. God knows why. On the comedy side, there are more high-concept shows in the vein of Last Man On Earth and a few family comedies “à la ABC”. Let’s see what is the best they have in store!

 

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DRAMAS

 

305 (Endemol Shine Studios)

What? a teen pulled from his rundown high school is sent to live with his uncle, a celebrity chef, and attend the wealthiest private school in Miami, where he attempts to acclimate himself to his new surroundings while dealing with relationships, family drama, work and all the problems that more money brings…

Why? The OC sets in Miami with a cooking twist? That’s pretty much it, yeah. But we loved The OC. Didn’t we? If they find a way to make something else, more adult maybe, with this pitch, I’m in! Are you?

 

THE DIVINE MONSTER (Warner Bros. Television)

What? chronicles the fall of the wealthy Vega family of Miami, whose real estate empire is built upon decades of greed, corruption, generally bad behavior and an alarming number of curious deaths…

Why? FOX wants a second Empire. And this one might be, with a darker tone and probably no music. As for every family soap, it’s hard to judge on a pitch only. They all look the same… BUT this one is from Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta, and produced by Brett Ratner, who’s supposed to direct the pilot if it’s ordered. Not bad. Oh and I forgot to tell you it’s adapted from a Belgian show…

 

HORRORSTOR (ABC Studios)

What? small screen take on Grady Hendrix’s novel about 26-year-old Amy, who, newly sober, she lands a job at ORSK, the U.S. Flagship of the European furniture superstore, only to discover the store actually preys upon its customers’ desires to a supernatural degree, selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways

Why? With Scream Queens, the horror genre proved to be very difficult to impose on a network. But this project is created by Josh Schwartz (The OC, Chuck), the first one he wrote since… Gossip Girl! We want to see that.

 

IN DEEP (20th Century FOX Television / Lionsgate)

What? about undercover FBI agents who live double lives, as they investigate a new case each season…

Why? Anthology dramas are popular these days, and this one looks a bit different thanks to the double agents part of the description. Plus, we haven’t had one in the action department so far. It’s very FOX-y.

 

ON THE LINE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? a female chef, Juna Kim, a man-izing, motorcycle-riding force of nature must battle the banging and brawling chaos of her restaurant staff, the disdain of her old-school Korean parents, and the return of her estranged ex-husband, all while struggling to push her career beyond the famous burger that made her a star…

Why? I doubt FOX will bet on a drama with a mostly asian cast. But one can only hope… More importantly, it would be nice to have a show happening in the restaurant world which is not a comedy. AMC is launching one this year and if it works, FOX would be happy to have one in store. Maybe it’s the next big trend!

 

PROTOCOL ORPHANS (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a foster family of orphans who are trained by the US government as covert operatives, protecting their country during the day and battling each other at night

Why? I have no idea if the comics book series it’s based on -co-created by actor Peter Facinelli- is any good, but the mix between family drama and action-fulled story doesn’t look bad on paper.

 

SUMMER PEOPLE (Sony Pictures Television)

What?  a fictional version of Martha’s Vineyard, an island known for the movie stars, politicians and Wall Street power brokers who descend there every summer, disrupting the lives of the blue collar locals…

Why? This doesn’t sound like a show we would find on FOX, but I like the idea. It could turn into a sunny and sexy soap. Let’s make it devious and twisty too!

 

UNTITLED NKECHI OKORO CARROLL MEDICAL DRAMA  (20th Century FOX Television)

What? drama about three brilliant young doctors who grew up together in Compton and are reunited at an extraordinary cutting-edge hospital in Beverly Hills…

Why? When every network was looking for a medical drama last year, FOX came up with… Rosewood. Which is mostly a detective drama after all. So maybe it’s time to give a real try at the genre, and this idea doesn’t look bad. And it’s produced by Howard Gordon (24, Homeland, X-Files), meaning it could even be good!

 

WATCHDOG (20th Century FOX Television)

What? drama billed as a new-era procedural about a team of vigilante activists who expose abuses of power – while evading the FBI…

Why? Sounds complex and not fun at all, but they have the balls to present it as something revolutionary, at least for the procedural genre. Give them a chance to prove it! Plus, Jason Winer should direct the pilot. He’s known for directing comedies mostly, like Modern Family & Life in Pieces. Maybe it’s fun after all?

 

COMEDIES

BELLES & WHISTLES (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about an unfulfilled father who, when fired from his comfortable tech job in Silicon Valley, decides to move his dysfunctional family to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his lifelong dream of music stardom

Why? This is a project that could have ended up at ABC! Exactly the kind of family comedy we can expect from them, not from FOX. And with Nashville that could end soon, the city would probably be very happy to have another show shot over there…

 

HOSED (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about volunteer firefighters in America’s second-rainiest town…

Why? That pitch doesn”t say much, except it could be a nice offbeat comedy. It’s produced by Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell.

 

IN TIME (20th Century FOX Television)

What? revolves around three friends who find a way to travel through time for truth, justice, and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016.  They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.

Why? The duo Chris Miller/Phil Lord behind Last Man On Earth is on fire with multiple projects for FOX, including a reboot of The Greatest American Hero and already picked-up to series Son of Zorn. This one is even more ambitious than the others and could be a very entertaining and smart show to watch on a daily basis, like no other.  PICKED-UP

 

THINK LIKE A MAN (Sony Pictures Television)

What? small screen take on Steve Harvey’s book-turned-film franchise about the never-ending battle of the sexes from four very different points of view: newly married, moving in, breaking up and hooking up

Why? After the “black” drama Empire, FOX would be verry happy to have a black comedy too on the schedule. Think Like A Man, which is very popular, could definitely turn into a hit TV show if it’s made the right way. And since it’s the same team who developed it, it looks like a sure bet!

 

UNTITLED CHERNINS PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about a coarse, blue-collar woman who moves to affluent Greenwich, CT to raise the outrageously spoiled kids of her wealthy sister and brother-in-law, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for illegal activities

Why? Sounds like the perfect recipee for a cool family comedy with bigger than life characters, as long as the children are not irritating to the point we would just want to change the channel after five minutes!

 

UNTITLED MATT MURRAY PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? about a larger-than-life federal judge and the overworked twentysomethings who clerk for him…

Why? Not many comedies took the legal route lately. It seems like a cool setup for a Parks And Reacreation/Brooklyn Nine Nine-like show. And Michael Schur, the creator of those two, is producing.

 

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? (20th Century FOX Television)

What? comedy in which the hilarious ins-and-outs of an Internet company are revealed as police investigate why everyone who worked there has disappeared

Why? Not sure they could pull off 4-5 seasons with such a concept, but it’s a very original idea nonetheless.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!

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