NEW YORK — Fox Broadcasting Co. is planning to launch an aggressive schedule with changes nearly every night of the week, including a Thursday attack against NBC with “Family Guy,” while “King of the Hill” and “Futurama” both shift back to Sunday.
Fox could still rework its schedule before announcing on Thursday, but early indications were that Fox will move “Party of Five” to Tuesday at 9 p.m. so the new family drama “Get Real,” from 20th, can launch behind “Beverly Hills, 90210” on Wednesdays in what will likely be the Spelling soap’s final year.
The “Party of Five” spin-off starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, “Time of Your Life,” is expected to go Mondays at 8 p.m., leading into “Ally McBeal.”
And as first reported by Daily Variety, Fox is launching a remixed half-hour version of “Ally McBeal” Tuesdays at 8 p.m., which will feature repeat, unaired and all-new footage. The half-hour version of “Ally” will compete against NBC’s “3rd Rock From the Sun” and ABC’s “Spin City.” “That 70s Show” will air Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. before “Party of Five.”
Fox is boldly going after NBC on Thursdays with young, male-skewing programming. The new Columbia drama “Manchester Prep,” based on the movie “Cruel Intentions,” will air at 8 p.m. “Family Guy” will face NBC’s “Frasier” at 9 p.m., and the edgy new Columbia comedy “Action” will air at 9:30 p.m.
Fridays will feature two new dramas. Regency TV’s young cop drama, “Ryan Caulfield,” will air at 8 p.m., while Chris Carter keeps the 9 p.m. timeslot for his new show “Harsh Realm,” which replaces the canceled “Millennium.”
Saturdays will remain the same, with “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted,” and on Sundays, Fox will launch the new Regency comedy “Malcolm in the Middle” at 7 p.m., followed by “King of the Hill” at 7:30, “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m. and “Futurama” at 8:30 p.m., leading into ‘The X-Files.”
The Sunday 7-8 p.m. series may be rotated in and out, depending on whether football overruns its timeslot.
Altogether, Fox is launching eight new series, including five new dramas, two new comedies and the “Ally” remix. Five of the new series are owned by News Corp., including three from 20th (counting the “Ally” spinoff) and two from Regency TV.
Gone from the schedule are most of Fox’s reality shows, including “Guinness World Records,” “World’s Funniest …,” “World’s Wildest Police Videos” and “Fox Files.”
Although it was not likely, sources at press time said there was still a chance that the newsmag “Fox Files” will make the final cut, bumping one new show out of the way.
The claymation comedy, “The PJs,” which has received a 22-episode order, is expected to return to the schedule midseason. Jim Cameron’s “Dark Angel” is also expected to debut midseason.