FOX NETWORK FALL SEASON 2019

THE RESIDENT: L-R: Emily VanCamp, Manish Dayal and Matt Czuchry in the “Total Eclipse of the Heart” season finale episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX[/captio

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FOX NETWORK FALL SEASON

A TV Review by Tim Riley

The landscape for broadcast network television keeps changing as more and more viewers seek choices outside of the traditional schedule. Video-on-demand and online streaming are great options for personal convenience.

Streaming services, including most prominently Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, are programming so many original shows that the marketplace is being flooded with content that continues to undermine the heretofore supremacy of the big networks.

The FOX network, just like its counterparts at CBS, NBC and ABC, is feeling the effects of diminishing returns on the programming of new scripted series. Networks are looking more to sports and other live material.

Beginning on October 4th, FOX won’t be filling its evening time slots with original series. Instead, “WWE’s SmackDown Live” takes over as a two-hour live event that will air 52 weeks a year.

The “SmackDown” offers fans what is called in a press release a “unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism.” The public relations department is certainly creative with its choice of words.

The network is apparently banking on the history of “SmackDown” launching the careers of pop-culture icons Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Undertaker, Tripe H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and The Bella Twins. Who are the next big wrestling celebrities?

Even if networks cut back on new series, the FOX fall season has three new shows on the docket. “Prodigal Son,” airing on Monday nights following “9-1-1,” is a fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone

 

Tom Payne (seen in “The Walking Dead”) stars as the son of a convicted serial killer (Michael Sheen “Masters of Sex”), who has made hunting murderers his life’s work. Other stars in the series include Lou Diamond Phillips and Bellamy Young.

Following “The Masked Singer” on Wednesday nights, “Not Just Me” is a dramatic story of an unusual family formed through extreme odds, exploring such hot-button issues as identity, human connection and what it truly means to be a family.

Brittany Snow’s only child finds her life turned upside down when her father (Timothy Hutton) reveals that, over the course of his prize-winning career as a pioneering fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive upwards of a hundred children, including two new sisters.

As these three young women (including Emily Osment and Megalyn Echikunwoke) slowly embrace their new reality, they will attempt to form an untraditional bond as sisters, even as they must welcome a tidal wave of new siblings into their rapidly expanding family.

Bookended on Sunday nights between “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burgers,” the new animated comedy “Bless the Harts” joins the cartoon lineup that includes “Family Guy” as the last half-hour show of the night.

Bless the Harts” follows the Harts, a Southern family that is always broke, and forever struggling to make ends meet. They one day hope to achieve the American dream, but they’re already rich – in friends, family and laughter.

The series features the voices of known actors Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (both of whom starred in “Bridesmaids”), along with Ike Barinholtz (“Blockers”) and Mary Steenburgen (“Curb Your Enthusiasm” and a slew of movies).

Further down the line during the winter’s midseason, “9-1-1” expands its reach to the city of Austin, Texas with a special two-hour night event, following the NFL’s NFC Championship game, in “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

Rob Lowe (“The West Wing”) stars as a sophisticated New York police officer who, along with his son, relocates to Austin and must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in his own life.

On the midseason schedule is “Deputy” which brings the spirit of a classic Western and a gritty authenticity to the modern cop drama. When the Los Angeles County Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the Wild West thrusts the most unlikely man into the job.

The new Sheriff in town is a fifth-generation lawman (Stephen Dorff), more comfortable taking down bad guys than navigating a sea of politics and who won’t rest until justice is served.

Filthy Rich” is a southern Gothic family drama in which wealth, power and religion collide. Gerald McRaney is the patriarch of a mega-rich Southern family, famed for creating a wildly successful Christian television network.

When the patriarch dies in a plane crash, his wife (Kim Cattrall) and family are stunned to learn he fathered three illegitimate children, all of whom are written into his will, threatening their family name and fortune.

Not uncommon to the soap opera genre, “Filthy Rich” presents a world in which everyone has an ulterior motive and no one is going down without a fight. Shades of “Dynasty,” “Dallas,” and any other primetime show featuring the family squabbles of the well-to-do!

Empire” returns for its last season in the fall. There’s no word on whether Jussie Smollett is coming back. He may have to stage another late night mugging outside a sandwich shop just to get noticed.