Fox on Monday became the first broadcast network to announce a new fall schedule and it appears to be largely pandemic-proof.
With production in Hollywood still on lockdown, it remains unclear as to when and how new scripted shows can be made. So Fox is playing it safe with a lineup that consists of sports franchises (football and wrestling), reality series, animated comedies and shows that were already in the can.
An example of the latter is “LA’s Finest,” a cop drama starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba that Fox has acquired from Sony Pictures TV. It previously aired on Spectrum Originals to a relatively small audience.
Also in the fall lineup are two new dramas — “NeXt” and “Filthy Rich” — that were originally expected to debut this spring. Meanwhile, several familiar Fox scripted series — including the “9-1-1” franchise — are being held back for 2021.
“NeXt” is a drama series set in Silicon Valley about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence. John Slattery (“Mad Men”) stars.
“Filthy Rich” is a Southern Gothic soap that revolves around a wealthy family that runs a wildly successful Christian television network. Kim Cattrell (“Sex and the City”) and Gerald McRaney (“This Is Us”) lead the cast.
Fox is making a bet that the NFL season will kick off in the fall as planned. The network’s entire Thursday night block is devoted to football.
Fox has been fortunate in one aspect when it comes to planning during the COVID-19 outbreak. Production on animated series has continued through the pandemic. And so shows like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” have not been affected.