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Upfronts: Fox Sets Fall Schedule with Friday Comedy Block

Net looks for laughs on low-traffic night; refreshes Tues. with 'Dads,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

Fox is going deep with comedy on its fall schedule, adding an hour of laffers on Friday and opening its Tuesday lineup with high-profile newcomers from Seth MacFarlane and Andy Samberg.

In all, six new comedies, including animated “Murder Police,” and four drama series are skedded to join Fox’s 2013-14 sked.

Fox has set its first event limited series, thriller “Wayward Pines” from M.Night Shyamalan, to air next year. And while the Super Bowl may be nine months way, the network said it plans to run a seg of “New Girl” and one new comedy behind the big game in February. 

Fox is also reviving “24” as a 12-episode miniseries set to debut in late May and run into the summer.

With all of the major networks investing big in comedy programming, bizzers have been expecting nets to experiment again with comedies on the night that has been little trafficked for some time. In late fall, Fox will pair returning domestic comedy “Raising Hope” in the 9 p.m. hour with frosh “Enlisted,” about three brothers who get to know each other again on an Army base in Florida.

Fox’s most anticipated new laffers, MacFarlane’s live-action “Dads” and Samberg-starrer “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (pictured), from “Parks and Recreation” duo Dan Goor and Michael Schur, will open Tuesday night, leading in to “New Girl” and the second season of “The Mindy Project.” “Brooklyn” stars Samberg and Andre Braugher as odd-couple police detectives. “Dads” revolves around two best friends whose lives are turned upside down when their fathers move in.

Durable drama “Bones” will open the week in the Monday 8 p.m. slot, followed by newcomer “Sleepy Hollow.” In the late fall, the J.J. Abrams’ robot-cop vehicle “Almost Human” will take over the 8 p.m. hour and be paired by midseason with season two of “The Following.” “Bones” at that time will shift to Friday 8 p.m. leading into the new comedy block.

Tuesday remains a four-stack of comedies.

Wednesday will be home to two-hour segs of “The X Factor” in the fall and “American Idol” for midseason. Fox execs declined to comment much about the direction of “Idol” next season, but Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for the network said Monday during a conference call with reporters that a judging panel of three was “likely.”

Thursday in the fall opens with “X Factor” followed by “Glee.” By midseason “Idol” will be leading into new drama “Rake,” starring Greg Kinnear as a charming defense attorney.

Friday in the fall will open with “Junior MasterChef” reality show followed by reruns of “Sleepy Hollow” before the “Bones” and comedy lineup kicks in. Saturday remains a sports block in primetime and home to the “Animation Domination High-Def” block from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Sunday stays status quo with football leading into animation block comprised of “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.”

Fox new series pickups that will eventually be slated for midseason include comedies “Surviving Jack,” “Us and Them,” “Murder Police” and drama “Gang Related.”

Fox execs said the net would attempt to break down ideas about the typical TV season by being more creative with schedules and number of episodes ordered. “The main goals are not to have fallow times of the year and to change the format of the summer,” said Reilly. He said Fox was willing to order series with 13, 15 or 17 episodes. “There is no magic number, he said. Fox is also willing to stagger programs across the year or have series start in the spring and last into the summer or start in the summer and run into the fall.

FOX 2013-2014 SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          BONES (fall) / ALMOST HUMAN (new; late fall)

9:00-10:00 PM                        SLEEPY HOLLOW (new; fall) / THE FOLLOWING (midseason)

TUESDAY

8:00-8:30 PM                          DADS (new)

8:30-9:00 PM                          BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (new) 

9:00-9:30 PM                          NEW GIRL

9:30-10:00 PM                        THE MINDY PROJECT

WEDNESDAY

8:00-10:00 PM                        THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          THE X FACTOR Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)

9:00-10:00 PM                        GLEE (fall) / RAKE (new; midseason)

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          JUNIOR MASTERCHEF (wt) (new; fall)

9:00-10:00 PM                        SLEEPY HOLLOW encores (fall)

Late Fall:

8:00-9:00 PM                          BONES (late fall)

9:00-9:30 PM                          RAISING HOPE (late fall)

9:30-10:00 PM                        ENLISTED (new; late fall)

SATURDAY

7:00-10:30 PM                        FOX SPORTS SATURDAY

11:00 PM-12:30 AM               ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF 

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM                          NFL Game (fall)

7:30-8:00 PM                          THE OT (fall)

8:00-8:30 PM                          THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM                          BOB’S BURGERS

9:00-9:30 PM                          FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM                        AMERICAN DAD

NEW FOX SHOWS 2013 – 2014

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