While NBC has been the big story this past year, Fox has also taken a beating in the ratings this season, with even the stalwart “American Idol” slipping in ratings. Will 2013-2014 be better? The four dramas and five comedies Fox has announced its picking up for the upcoming TV season are a varied bunch. “Rake,” Greg Kinnear’s first regular TV role, sounds like it’s trying to replicate the success of Fox’s “House,” but in a legal realm. “Almost Human” is the latest series from the J.J. Abrams factory and has an interesting cast — Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Lili Taylor — though it sounds like it could potentially be just a procedural in futuristic trappings. “Sleepy Hollow,” one of many “modern day retellings” on the way, comes from the high profile blockbustery team of Alex Kurtzman (“Transformers”) and Roberto Orci (“Star Trek”), though the time travel/conspiracy premise sounds goofy.
Justin Halpern, the creator of Twitter feed-turned-canceled-sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says,” is getting a second try with “Surviving Jack,” which seems to be to the ’90s what “That ’70s Show” did for its era. Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel will try to evoke the charm of British series “Gavin & Stacey” in remake “Us & Them.” Most promising sounding among the comedies may be “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a single-camera buddy cop show that comes from the “Parks and Recreation” team of Dan Goor and Michael Schur and that stars the wonderfully weird combination of Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher. The full list of Fox pickups is below, descriptions courtesy of the network.
ALMOST HUMAN (working title)
From Emmy Award-winning executive producer J.J. Abrams and creator/executive producer J.H. Wyman and starring Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Emmy Award nominee Lili Taylor, ALMOST HUMAN (working title) is an action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. An unlikely connection is forged when a cop with an aversion to robots and a robot with unexpected emotional responses investigate cases in a brave new world. ALMOST HUMAN (wt) is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series is created by J.H. Wyman, who wrote the pilot. The series is executive-produced by Wyman, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. Kathy Lingg (“Person of Interest,” “Revolution,” “Fringe”) and Reid Shane (“Fringe”) are co-executive producers. Brad Anderson (“Fringe,” “The Killing”) directed and served as co-executive producer on the pilot.
GANG RELATED, a gritty new action drama, follows Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), a rising star in Los Angeles’ elite Gang Task Force — led by SAM CHAPEL (Emmy Award winner Terry O’Quinn) — who teams up with longtime Task Force member CASSIUS GREEN (RZA) to take on three of the city’s most dangerous gangs, including one he has ties to. GANG RELATED is from Chris Morgan Productions, Skeeter Rosenbaum Productions, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created and written by Chris Morgan (“Wanted,” “Fast Five”). The series is executive-produced by Morgan, Scott Rosenbaum (“The Shield,” “Chuck”), Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (“24,” “A Beautiful Mind”) and Francie Calfo (“The Great Escape,” “The Playboy Club”). Allen Hughes (“Dead Presidents,” “Book of Eli,” “Menace II Society”) directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot.
Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Greg Kinnear makes his broadcast television series debut with the bold new legal drama RAKE, from executive producer Peter Tolan and creator/executive producer Peter Duncan, who created the hit Australian series of the same name. RAKE centers on Keegan Deane, one of life’s great addicts, a brilliant and frustratingly charming criminal defense attorney, whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one. He takes on the cases that nobody else will touch, ruled by a resolute optimism, belief in justice and dogged determination to defend those who seem beyond redemption — much like himself. RAKE is produced by Fedora Entertainment and Essential Media & Entertainment Pty Ltd., in association with Sony Pictures Television. The series is created and written by Peter Duncan (creator of the original Australian series). The series is executive-produced by Duncan, Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me,” “Analyze This”), Michael Wimer (“2012”), Richard Roxburgh (“Rake,” “Mission: Impossible II,” “Moulin Rouge”) and Ian Collie (“Rake”). Kinnear and Leslie Tolan (“Rescue Me,” “The Job”) are co-executive producers. Sam Raimi (“Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Spider-Man” franchise) directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot.
From co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the “Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”), the thrilling new action-adventure SLEEPY HOLLOW is a modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic. ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to find that the world is on the brink of destruction and that he is humanity’s last hope, forcing him to team up with a contemporary police officer (Nicole Beharie) to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. SLEEPY HOLLOW is from K/O Paper Products in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series is co-created by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove and Len Wiseman (“Hawaii Five-0,” “Underworld” and “Total Recall”). The series is executive-produced by Kurtzman, Orci and Wiseman and Heather Kadin. Iscove serves as supervising producer. Wiseman directed the pilot.
SURVIVING JACK (working title)
SURVIVING JACK (working title) is a new single-camera ensemble comedy based on best-selling author Justin Halpern’s semi-autobiographical book, “I Suck at Girls.” Set in 1990s Southern California, Emmy Award nominee Christopher Meloni stars as a man becoming a dad, as his son is becoming a man, in a time before “coming of age” was something you could Google. SURVIVING JACK (wt) is produced by Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Based on best-selling author Justin Halpern’s book, “I Suck at Girls,” the series is created by Halpern (“$#*! My Dad Says”) and Patrick Schumacker (“$#*! My Dad Says”) who wrote the pilot. The series is executive-produced by Halpern, Schumacker, Emmy Award nominee Bill Lawrence (“Spin City,” “Scrubs,” “Clone High,” “Cougar Town”) and Jeff Ingold. Victor Nelli (“Scrubs,” “The Bernie Mac Show”) directed the pilot.
From Dan Goor and Michael Schur, the Emmy Award-winning writers/producers of “Parks and Recreation,” and starring Emmy Award winners Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is a single-camera ensemble comedy about what happens when a detective who doesn’t take anything seriously gets a new “by-the-book” boss who wants him to grow up and respect the badge. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is produced by Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment. The series is created and written by Dan Goor (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Parks and Recreation”) and Michael Schur (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”). The series is executive-produced by Goor, Schur and David Miner (“30 Rock”). The pilot was directed by the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”).
DADS – The new live-action, multi-camera comedy from Emmy Award winner Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, the creatively outrageous team behind “Ted” and FOX’s FAMILY GUY, stars Emmy Award winner Seth Green and Emmy Award nominee Giovanni Ribisi as two successful guys — and childhood best friends — whose lives get turned upside down when their pain-in-the-neck patriarchs (Martin Mull and Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Peter Riegert) move in. DADS is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Fuzzy Door Productions. The series is created and written by Emmy Award-nominated writer/producers Alec Sulkin (“Ted,” FAMILY GUY) and Wellesley Wild (“Ted,” FAMILY GUY), and executive-produced by Seth MacFarlane (“Ted,” FAMILY GUY), Sulkin and Wild. Marc Cendrowski (“The Big Bang Theory”) directed the pilot.
ENLISTED is an irreverent and heartfelt military-set single-camera family comedy starring Geoff Stults that follows three brothers getting to know each other again on a small Florida Army base and the group of misfits who surround them. ENLISTED is produced by 20th Century Fox Television, and written and created by Kevin Biegel (“Cougar Town,” “Scrubs,” “South Park”). The series is executive-produced by Biegel and Mike Royce (“Men of a Certain Age,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”). The pilot was directed by Phil Traill (“Suburgatory,” RAISING HOPE).
US & THEM
Based on the hugely popular and multiple-award-winning BBC 3 series “Gavin and Stacey” and starring Emmy Award nominee Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel, US & THEM is an ensemble single-camera comedy about a young couple, whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated by the screwed-up circus of people closest to them. US & THEM (wt) is produced by Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide Productions. It is based on the hugely popular and multiple-award-winning BBC 3 series “Gavin and Stacey,” which was created and written by James Corden and Ruth Jones. US & THEM (wt) is adapted and written by David J. Rosen (“I Just Want My Pants Back”), and executive-produced by Rosen, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner, Corden and Jones. Steve Coogan and Henry Normal serve as executive producers for Baby Cow Productions. Michael Patrick Jann (“Drop Dead Gorgeous”) directed the pilot.