Not content to rest on its laurels particularly not in a season when the writers' strike hurt ratings across the board Fox has made a number of changes to its fall schedule.
Fox, which overtook CBS as the most-watched network (based on average viewership), is adding six new series. But only two of those are slated to premiere in the fall, with two more penciled in for January and two for the spring of 2009.
Fox's new fall shows:
"Fringe" (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.), which comes from producer J.J. Abrams., is a thriller that mixes science fiction and conspiracy theories. When an international flight lands in Boston and everyone aboard has died a grisly death, the FBI turns to its top agents and the world's best mind (which is, perhaps, unhinged), who learn that what happened "is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth."
"Do Not Disturb" (Wednes-days, 8:30 p.m.) is a workplace comedy set in a hip New York hotel. The cast includes Jerry O'Connell, Molly Stanton, Brando Eaton and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
In addition to the return of "American Idol" and "24," here are the other shows slotted for January debuts:
"Dollhouse" (Mondays, 7 p.m.) is the new show from "Buffy," "Angel" and "Firefly" creator/producer Joss Whedon. Eliza Dushku (who was Faith on "Buffy" and "Angel") stars as a member of "a highly illegal and underground group" who are programmed with new personas to carry out various missions, then have their personalities wiped clean and the team is based in a facility known as "Dollhouse."
"Secret Millionaire" (Thursday, 8 p.m.) is a reality show in which millionaires go undercover with the regular folks and, on their final day in Poorsville, reveal their true identity and give one person $100,000.
Fox also plans to add two animated series sometime in the spring of 2009:
"The Cleveland Show" (Sundays, 8:30 p.m.) is the working title of the spinoff from "Family Guy" featuring the character of Cleveland who gets a new family and moves to Virginia.
"Sit Down, Shut Up" (Sundays, 7:30 p.m.) is the working title of a new sitcom from the producers of "Arrested Development" and "Two and a Half Men" an animated show about the staff at a high school "who never lose sight of the fact that the children must ALWAYS come second."
Among the shows Fox canceled are "Back to You," "K-Ville," "Canterbury's Law," "New Amsterdam," "The Return of Jezebel James" and "Unhitched."
THE "24" TV MOVIE has an airdate Sunday, Nov. 24.
It's a precursor to Season 7, set a few months before that narrative begins. According to Fox, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) "battles an international crisis, while here at home the nation prepares for a new president on Inauguration Day."That new president, by the way, is a woman (played by Cherry Jones) ... but she'll have more to do when the season begins in January.
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