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Fox’s Michael Thorn Talks ‘Monarch’s’ Move to Fall, Renewal Hopes for ‘Our Kind of People,’ ‘Big Leap’

Monarch
Courtesy of Fox

Despite the loss of country music drama “Monarch” on the midseason schedule, Fox executive Michael Thorn is still feeling upbeat about the broadcaster’s prospects going into the spring.

“Really it’s so far, so good in terms of this midseason coming out of another really positive fall,” said Thorn, the president of entertainment for Fox Entertainment. “So moving ‘Monarch’ to September is obviously moving a big piece out of midseason to next year, but it was really in the best interest of the show and I’m really glad we made that decision.”

In particular, Thorn touted the performances of new shows like “The Cleaning Lady,” as well as returning shows like “9-1-1: Lone Star” and “Call Me Kat,” as keeping the network afloat at midseason.

“Monarch,” which boasts Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins among its stars, was originally meant to debut immediately after the NFC Championship game on Jan. 30 before moving to Tuesday nights starting Feb. 1. The network later revealed it would move to the fall for COVID-related issues. A new episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Next Level Chef” will take its place in the choice post-NFL slot.

Thorn also touched on the chances for Season 2 renewals for Fox’s freshman dramas “Our Kind of People” and “The Big Leap.” The former show will air its season finale in the coming weeks, while the latter wrapped up its first season in December.

“Karen [Gist] did a great job with [“Our Kind of People”],” Thorn said. “And ‘Big Leap,’ Liz Heldens and Jason Winer and the entire cast did a beautiful job of that show. Would we like to have seen slightly higher numbers? Of course. But do we think the creative was excellent? We really do. And so there’s conversations to be had about both shows.”

Fox also announced a unique launch strategy for its upcoming comedy, “Welcome to Flatch,” a mockumentary series based on a British format. The show will debut its first seven episodes on Hulu, Fox Now, and On Demand on March 17 ahead of its linear debut that same night on Fox. Per Thorn, this is an attempt to break the show out in a crowded marketplace.

“Look, it’s no secret that it’s hard to launch any show, let alone comedies these days,” he said. “We think we’ve got something extremely special…These characters, the more you watch, the more connected and hopefully in love with these characters you become. And so the idea was, knowing that the marketplace is challenging, let’s just do something out of the box that can best serve this show and take advantage of our platform and all of its strengths.”