It’s been nearly 20 years since a young animator named Seth MacFarlane landed an edgy cartoon on Fox’s lineup. Now, he’s one of the major faces of Fox’s fall 2017 schedule.
MacFarlane, whose “Family Guy” remains a Sunday night Fox staple, is the star and executive producer on “The Orville,” one of just three new shows launching on the network this fall. “The Orville,” an hour-long science fiction workplace comedy/drama, centers on the crew of an exploratory spaceship, set 400 years into the future.
Fox is betting big on genre next fall: Its other two new shows also would fit right in at a Comic Con. “The Gifted,” from Marvel, is based in the “X-Men” universe (although Fox is avoiding the “X-Men” reference), while “Ghosted” is a paranormal comedy about, yep, the search for aliens, starring Craig Robinson and Adam Scott. And of course, the network has another return of “The X-Files” later in the season.
The new series join Fox’s two existing comic book shows, DC’s “Lucifer” and “Gotham,” as well as the second season of the network’s “The Exorcist” adaptation. As a matter of fact, “Lucifer” will lead into “The Gifted” on Monday nights – a rare instance of DC and Marvel properties existing side-by-side in harmony.
Fox kept its new series orders light this year, picking up just three more shows for midseason: The medical drama “The Resident,” Ryan Murphy’s “9-1-1” (starring Angela Bassett) and the comedy “LA To Vegas,” from Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Steve Levitan.
“Ghosted” gets the plum Sunday 8:30 p.m. slot behind “The Simpsons,” while Fox secures a Wednesday night Lee Daniels block of “Empire” and “Star.”
Meanwhile, as Fox previously announced, it has two major musical events from Marc Platt in the works next season: Live takes on “A Christmas Story” and “Rent.”
“24: Legacy” is still in the mix, the network said, but star Corey Hawkins is currently on Broadway so the show wouldn’t have been available for fall consideration. “Scream Queens” has been canceled.
“This past season, we launched five of the top 15 new series – more than any other network – and next season, we’re using our strongest series to launch new shows and grow returning series,” Fox TV Group chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden said in a joint statement.
Here is Fox’s new schedule:
Fox Fall 2017 Schedule
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-9 p.m. Lucifer
9-10 p.m. THE GIFTED (new)
8-9 p.m. Lethal Weapon
9-9:30 p.m. The Mick
9:30-10 p.m. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8-9 p.m. Empire
9-10 p.m. Star
8-9 p.m. Gotham
9-10 p.m. THE ORVILLE (new)
8-9 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen
9-10 p.m. The Exorcist
7-10:30 p.m. Fox Sports Saturday: College Football
7-7:30 p.m. NFL on Fox
7:30-8 p.m. The O.T. / Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30-9 p.m. GHOSTED (new)
9-9:30 p.m. Family Guy
9:30-10 p.m. The Last Man on Earth
MIDSEASON: “9-1-1,” “The Resident,” “The X-Files,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “LA To Vegas,” “New Girl.” ALTERNATIVE: “American Grit,” “Beat Shazam,” “The F Word with Gordon Ramsay,” “Love Connection,” “Masterchef,” “Masterchef Junior,” “Showtime at the Apollo,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Superhuman.”
NEW DRAMA SERIES
“The Gifted” tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Reed (Stephen Moyer, “True Blood”) and Caitlin (Amy Acker, “Person of Interest”) Strucker are typical middle-class parents dealing with the realities of raising a family. However, when their teenage kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White, “Night at the Museum 3”), are involved in an incident at their high school which reveals they are mutants, Reed and Caitlin do all in their power to protect their children. Forced to go on the run, the Struckers must leave behind their old lives to flee from a relentless government agency that tracks down mutants, the Sentinel Services, which includes Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell, “Burn Notice”). Complicating matters further is the fact that Reed is a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office tasked with going after mutants. Desperate and running low on options, the family’s only choice is to contact an underground network that helps mutants in trouble. The mutants in the network – ECLIPSE / MARCOS DIAZ (Sean Teale, “Reign”), BLINK / CLARICE FONG (Jamie Chung), POLARIS / LORNA DANE (Emma Dumont, “Aquarius”) and THUNDERBIRD / JOHN PROUDSTAR (Blair Redford, “Satisfaction”) – are dealing with their own issues. With one of their members in prison and their team possibly compromised, they face an uncertain future in a world that looks increasingly dangerous for mutants. Written by Matt Nix (“Burn Notice”), directed by Bryan Singer (the “X-Men” franchise) and executive-produced by Nix, Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Wolverine”), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”), “The Gifted” is a story of survival, a story of mutants coming to terms with who they are, a story of parents accepting the fact that their kids aren’t who they thought they were and loving them just the same – even if all of their lives are at risk because of it.
From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy,” “Ted”) and directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” “Iron Man”), “The Orville” is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace… even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) finally gets his chance to command one of these ships: the U.S.S. Orville. Determined to prove his worth and write a new chapter in his life, Ed finds that task all the more difficult when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”). As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes, “ER,” “Justified”), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald, “24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; Bortus (Peter Macon, “Shameless,” “Bosch”), an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac (Mark Jackson, “That Royal Today”), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator John LaMarr (J. Lee, “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show”), whose casual humor cuts through even the most dire situations; Alara Kitan (Halston Sage, “Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”), a young, inexperienced security officer whose home planet’s high gravity gives her superior physical strength; and Yaphit, a gelatinous creature voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”). Somehow, Ed and Kelly must put the past behind them and, with the help of the crew, navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures in outer space, as well as the tumultuous and captivating day-to-day personal relationships with their colleagues.
From prolific creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, new procedural drama 9-1-1 is a fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders – cops, paramedics, firefighters – the people who put their lives on the line to save others. Starring Academy and Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett (“American Horror Story,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It”), the series is based on the real-life, high-pressure experiences of emergency response providers who are thrust into heart-stopping situations that are equal parts unpredictable, intense and uplifting.
Focusing on three doctors at different stages of their careers and a dedicated young nurse, “The Resident” is a provocative new medical drama that rips back the curtain to reveal the truth of what really happens, both good and bad, in hospitals across the country. Meet Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry, “The Good Wife”), one of the best doctors at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital. Charming, arrogant and only a third-year resident, Conrad does everything in the most unconventional way possible. Along with treating patients, Conrad believes it is his job to burst the illusions of first-year residents, like Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal, “Halt and Catch Fire”), and turn them into real-life doctors. Devon is an innocent idealist, who wears his finely tuned moral compass and passion for science like armor. With Conrad’s help, however, Devon quickly discovers the reality of his chosen profession is not what he imagined, and that ethical lines are often blurred. Nothing, not even the best medical school in the country, could have prepared him for what he’s about to learn. As Devon accompanies Conrad through the hospital’s halls, he meets distinguished chief of surgery Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Mad Men”), the face of the hospital and its most sought-after doctor, whose diminishing skills, and the errors they cause, are covered with the help of allies under his command; Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renée Wilson, “Billions”), a rising star surgeon from Nigeria who is threatening Bell’s dominance, but who also is in the U.S. on a visa; and Nicolette Nevin (Emily VanCamp, “Revenge”), one of Chastain Memorial’s most respected nurses and Conrad’s on-again-off-again romantic partner. While Conrad opens Devon’s eyes to the stark realities of hospital life, the once-optimistic young doctor soon realizes that the practice of medicine is a business, like any other. Not all patients are angels and not all doctors are gods, but one thing’s for sure: expectations are meant to be shattered. From executive producers Antoine Fuqua, Amy Holden Jones, David Boorstein, Oly Obst, and director Phillip Noyce.
NEW COMEDY SERIES
Starring Craig Robinson (“The Office,” “This Is the End”) and Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Little Lies”), “Ghosted” is a single-camera, action-comedy about the unlikely partnership between two down-on-their-luck polar opposites tasked with an even more unlikely mission: saving the human race from aliens. Leroy Wright (Robinson) is a cynical skeptic and former missing persons detective, who, if we’re speaking frankly, thinks that “aliens” are a big ole bunch of B.S. and that people who believe in them are certifiably nuts…People like Max Jennifer (Scott). Max is a genius “true believer” in the paranormal who’s convinced his wife was abducted by aliens. At low points in their lives, both Leroy and Max are recruited by Captain Ava Lafrey (Ally Walker, “Colony,” “Sons of Anarchy”), a take-no-prisoners, former Air Force test pilot and head of the Bureau Underground, a secret government organization investigating paranormal cases. Lafrey, along with her staff – Barry Shaw (Adeel Akhtar, “Unforgotten,” “The Night Manager”), an overly friendly forensic pathologist, and Delilah Ward, a highly opinionated tech specialist – will support Leroy and Max in their quest for answers. Now, this heroic group of underdogs will look into “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles that often leads them to scary, thrilling and hilarious places, as they attempt to uncover the truth and keep the earth rotating on its axis for at least one more day.
From executive producers Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Naomi Scott, Oly Obst, Mark Schulman, and director Jonathan Krisel.
“LA TO VEGAS”
From executive producers Will Ferrell (“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Elf”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), Lon Zimmet (“Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”), “LA to Vegas” is a single-camera ensemble comedy about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind – to come back a winner. Welcome to Jackpot Airlines, a budget carrier whose junket flight from LA to Vegas and back again, is filled with dreamers looking for that big score. Holding (or, more to the point, barely holding) these voyages together is Ronnie (Kim Matula, “UnREAL”), a long-suffering flight attendant who tries to keep her cool (oftentimes, with little success) whether she’s dealing with a bi-polar bride-to-be or the dead body in Row 13. Managing the revolving door of bachelor parties and 21st birthdays gets even trickier when Ronnie develops a “location-ship” with Colin (Ed Weeks, “The Mindy Project”), a regular passenger and an economics professor, whose son and soon-to-be ex-wife live in Vegas. Further complicating her job every weekend is Captain Dave (Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott, “The Practice,” “American Horror Story”), the narcissistic pilot whose fighter-pilot dreams never quite worked out; Bernard (Nathan Lee Graham, “The Comeback,” “Hitch”), the always-positive career flight attendant who thinks there’s no flight more magical than the LA-to-Vegas; Artem (Peter Stormare, “The Big Lebowski”), the genial professional gambler who serves as the plane’s resident (but unofficial) bookie; and Nichole (Olivia Macklin, “The Young Pope”), the sweet-natured, part-time stripper who’s a lot savvier than people realize. It won’t be easy, but this unlikely group of miscreants and dreamers will eventually go from being strangers on a plane to a supportive, if unconventional, family…from Friday to Sunday…whether they like it or not.