Fox is prepping a “Glee”-ful glide to an earlier hour next fall.
Moving the frosh sensation “Glee” to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. reps one of several moves the network is expected to make Monday, when it announces its fall and midseason (or as Fox calls it, “Second Season”) 2010-11 schedules.
Separately, ABC execs are busy putting the finishing touches on their sked, having picked up two more new dramas: Shonda Rhimes’ “Off the Map” and the Dana Delany starrer “Body of Proof.”
And CBS on Friday gave its first series greenlight for the new season to the Chuck Lorre sitcom “Mike and Molly” from Warner Bros. TV.
At Fox, the network was tight-lipped on its fall sked, but pieces of the puzzle were emerging late Sunday. Net plans to use returning hits at 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in order to give new series a strong promotional boost.
On Mondays, that means hit “House” will return at 8 p.m., leading into new Texas-set oil sudser “Lone Star” at 9. “Glee” will move to 8 p.m. Tuesdays in order to launch a new comedy block at 9.
Leading contenders for the 9 p.m. slot include Mitch Hurwitz’s Will Arnett starrer “Running Wilde.” Show is likely to be paired with Greg Garcia’s “For Hope’s Sake” (formerly titled “Keep Hope Alive”).
Fox’s other comedy contender, newcomer “Traffic Light,” is also still in contention for the hour but will more likely wait for midseason.
For Wednesdays, Fox will schedule one of its Gordon Ramsay series (likely “Hell’s Kitchen”) at 8 p.m., leading into a new series at 9. (Another option: “Hell’s Kitchen” leading into either “Lie to Me” or “The Good Guys,” which has a ton of fans at the network.) Fox’s Thursday nights will remain the same, with “Bones” leading into “Fringe.”
And then there’s Fridays, were the network has had trouble in the past developing scripted hits Fox is looking to returning drama “Human Target” to bring genre fans to the night. “Target” likely will be paired with another drama — possibly “Lie to Me.”
Such a move would be unusual — to air two pricey dramas on a night that is increasingly turning to unscripted fare. And indeed, Fox may still wind up with reality on the night. But it’s believed that the net may be looking to reinvest in Fridays.
As for Shawn Ryan’s Chicago-set cop drama “Ridealong,” Fox is expected to keep it on the bench until midseason, when it will get a big launch.
Fox will likely tout “Ridealong’s” midseason bow as further proof that the network is serious about a year-round schedule.
Other shows on the bench for midseason include comedy “Traffic Light” and new animated half-hour “Bob’s Burgers,” which would slide into Fox’s Sunday night “Animation Domination” schedule.
At ABC, the latest pickups bring the Alphabet’s new series total to nine.
The “Off the Map” order puts Rhimes in the rarefied threesome club: She’s also behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.” Some insiders believe the net is mulling an all-Shonda night on Thursdays, perhaps placing “Map” at 8 p.m. in the fall.
“Off the Map” is another medical-themed drama, this time about doctors who work at a tropical clinic. Jenna Bans penned the pilot and exec produces with Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
As for “Body of Proof,” the medical procedural centers on a medical examiner (Delany) who solves crimes. Jeri Ryan also stars.
Show was written by Chris Murphey, who exec produces with Matt Gross. ABC Studios is behind “Off the Map” and “Body of Proof.”
Alphabet has previously picked up dramas “No Ordinary Family,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “The Whole Truth” and “My Generation,” and comedies “Mr. Sunshine,” “Happy Endings” and “Better Together.”
Among bubble shows, “Brothers and Sisters” was close to a pickup for 18 episodes, but Alyssa Milano’s ratings-challenged “Romantically Challeged” was dead. ABC also revealed that in “FlashForward’s” flashforward, the show saw its cancellation.
At CBS, net was contractually obligated to make a series decision on “Mike and Molly” before the weekend, in order to give Warner Bros. TV time to shop it elsewhere.
They need not have worried. Eye remains firmly in the Chuck Lorre business, and will now boast three shows from the exec producer (meaning he now joins Rhimes in that exclusive club as well).
“Mike and Molly” is a romantic comedy that centers around an overweight couple. Mark Roberts created the show with Lorre, both of whom serve as exec producers. James Burrows directed the pilot.
Show stars Billy Gardell, Swoosie Kurtz, Melissa McCarthy, Katy Mixon, Nyambi Nyambi and Reno Wilson.
CBS will start making calls on its other pickups Monday. Among the likely recipients of good news: Dramas “Hawaii Five-O” and “Defenders.” Net is also expected to pick up “Shat My Dad Says” on the comedy side. (Although the rumor mill suggests that “Shat” was shopped to other nets in the event that CBS didn’t pick it up.) And bubble series expected to return include “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Ghost Whisperer.”
Meanwhile, it’s still coming down to the wire for Lorre’s “Two and a Half Men,” as a deal still hasn’t been sealed with star Charlie Sheen.
Most everyone involved believe that a pact will still be hammered out by CBS’ Wednesday upfront.
But CBS could also go ahead and still announce its sked with “Two and a Half Men” intact if a deal with Sheen appears close. The network already has the laffer locked up for two more years, of course. But if an arrangement with Sheen ultimately can’t be made, no one expects the show to continue. The Eye’s deal with Warner Bros. could be nullified, and it’s not clear if Lorre would even want to continue the show without Sheen.