Without the "Super Bowl" to count on next season, the immediate uphill battle at Fox is the barrage of low-rated returning series that will not be able to mask more potential audience erosion.
While it was probably unreasonable to expect the network to cancel two-thirds of its lineup, the three new series coming this fall (and six overall in 2017-18) simply might not be aggressive enough (see the new fall schedule and new program descriptions below).
And while many will be relieved to hear that "Empire" is moving up an hour into compatible "Star," also from Lee Daniels, in the Wednesday 9 p.m. time period, it's still hard to see why the network insists on breaking a successful series into two mini-seasons. Fox has ordered 18 new episodes of each drama, and will give them both an expected three-month hiatus.
The Fox fall starters are Marvel action/adventure "The Gifted" (Monday at 9 p.m. out of relocated "Lucifer"), dramedy "The Orville" (Thursday at 9 p.m. out of relocated "Gotham") and sitcom "Ghosted," which will air between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" on Sunday.
Fox has also confirmed "The X-Files" will return for 10 new episodes in midseason, while the future of recent revivals "24: Legacy" and "Prison Break" are undecided. We will also see a seventh, and final, season of comedy "New Girl" later in the season.
Mirroring last fall, patience will have to be a virtue at Fox. But until the network recognizes its shortcomings (too much Gordon Ramsey, additional seasons of "Gotham" and "The Exorcist," the lack of hit live action sitcoms and the ongoing collapse of the animated comedies on Sunday), planning ahead will be more about wishful thinking than anything else.
"The Gifted" tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Reed (Stephen Moyer, "Shots Fired") and Caitlin (Amy Acker, "Person of Interest") Stucker are typical middle-class parents dealing with the realities of raising a family. However, when their teenage kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind, "Gotham") and Andy (Percy Hynes White, "Night at the Museum 3"), are involved in an incident at their high school which reveals they are mutants, Reed and Caitlin do all in their power to protect their children. Forced to go on the run, the Struckers must leave behind their old lives to flee from a relentless government agency that tracks down mutants.
From creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, new procedural drama "9-1-1" is a fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders—cops, paramedics, firefighters—the people who put their lives on the line to save others. Starring Academy and Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett ("American Horror Story"), the series is based on the real-life, high-pressure experiences of emergency response providers who are thrust into heart-stopping situations that are equal.
"The Resident" (midseason)
Focusing on three doctors at different stages of their careers and a dedicated young nurse, "The Resident" is a new medical drama that rips back the curtain to reveal the truth of what really happens, both good and bad, in hospitals across the country. The cast includes Matt Czuchry, ("The Good Wife"), Manish Dayal, "Halt and Catch Fire"), Bruce Greenwood ("The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story") and Emily VanCamp ("Revenge").
From Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy"), "The Orville" is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace ... even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. The cast includes Macfarlane, Adrianne Palicki ("Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."), Scott Grimes ("ER"), Penny Johnson Jerald ("24"), Peter Macon ("Shameless") and Mark Jackson ("That Royal Today").
Starring Craig Robinson ("The Office") and Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation"), "Ghosted" is a single-camera, action-comedy about the unlikely partnership between two down-on-their-luck polar opposites tasked with an even more unlikely mission: Saving the human race from aliens.
"LA to Vegas" (midseason)
From executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay ("The Big Short"), Lon Zimmet ("Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt") and Steve Levitan ("Modern Family"), "LA to Vegas" is a single-camera ensemble comedy about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind—to come back a winner. The cast includes Kim Matula ("UnREAL"), Ed Weeks, ("The Mindy Project") and Dylan McDermott ("The Practice").
8 p.m. "Lucifer" (new time)
9 p.m. "THE GIFTED"
8 p.m. "Lethal Weapon" (new day)
9 p.m. "The Mick" (new time)
9:30 p.m. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
8 p.m. "Empire" (new time)
9 p.m. "Star"
8 p.m. "Gotham" (new day)
9 p.m. "THE ORVILLE"
8 p.m. "Hell's Kitchen"
9 p.m. "The Exorcist"
8 p.m. Fox Sports Saturday: College Football
7 p.m. NFL on Fox
7:30 p.m. The OT / "Bob's Burgers"
8 p.m. "The Simpsons"
8:30 p.m. "GHOSTED"
9 p.m." Family Guy"
9:30 p.m. "The Last Man on Earth"