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Fox Tries Fall Again

Fox will try again to get the fourth quarter right with a new lineup that includes a comedy from the creator of "Gilmore Girls," a sitcom pairing NBC comedy star Kelsey Grammer with CBS comedy star Patricia Heaton, and a sitcom from the Farrelly brothers of "Stuck on You," "Shallow Hal," etc. fame.

The network, which is the last of the broadcast nets to announce its 2007-08 TV season plans to Madison Avenue this week, also will revive the "Terminator" character Sarah Connor and Julianna Margulies from acting career purgatory in two new drama series.

Other new dramas include one about New Orleans cops, post-Katrina and a homicide detective who has an unfair advantage over his colleagues at work -- hundreds of years of experience because he's immortal.

Some of these series are expected to be held for "midseason" but given that Fox typically starts its fall rollouts in August and given its track record in the fourth quarter, "midseason" could mean mid-September.

The network has struggled in vain for years to get ratings traction in the fall; every year it has a slightly different strategy. And every year "American Idol" comes back to save the network.

This year, Fox's real not-too-secret new weapon to try to reverse its fourth-quarter fortunes is "American Idol." No, not the show, its producers, who are going to embark on "The Search for The Next Great American Band" this fall.

Amy Sherman-Palladino's new comedy is about two sisters so far apart in age and disposition they're more like mother and daughter -- as opposed to "Gilmore Girls" which was about a mother and daughter so close in age and disposition they were more like sisters.

On the flip side, the Farrelly brothers' new series is about two best friend guys, recently divorced and re-entering the dating pool.

Meanwhile, Sarah Connor continues to fight bad guys from the future, and Margulies will make waves defending good guys in court. By "make wave" we mean Dennis Leary is executive producing and you know what that means.

And, the sitcom starring Patricia Heaton "Everybody Loves Raymond" -- in which she plays a local TV news anchor re-teamed with her egomaniacal former on-air partner (Grammer) -- will be paired with Fox's only surviving live-action sitcom (not that it had too many of them) "Til Death," starring Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond"). And you thought Fox couldn't do "ironic."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 17, 2007; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Broadcast TV Upfronts 2007  
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Next: My 'American Idol' Coronation Tune


Does this mean the War at Home is gone? If so, hooray!

Posted by: Sean | May 17, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

That was going to be my comment too Sean, I was even going to have the hooray in there.

Posted by: Chris | May 17, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, totally unrelated to this article, Lisa, why are you no longer writing the Idol articles???? I look forward to them every week and e-mail it to friends out of state. Your articles make me literally laugh out loud! Please write about next week's finale. Your articles are better than the show.

Posted by: Anne | May 17, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Um, Anne, read the intro on the Idol blog about idol being covered while LDM is in NY for upfronts...

Posted by: To: Anne | May 17, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine Fox doing Post-Katrina New Orleans anywhere near as effectively as FX's "Thief." How that show failed to be renewed is beyond me.

Posted by: JB | May 17, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"House" is on fire this spring, regularly beating "Idol" among the 18-49 crowd. Any plans to shift this super drama to another night next season? Also, Fox is never going to do anything of significance in the fall as long as it sticks to the daft baseball playoff schedule-- its a ratings killer. And this comment is from someone who adores baseball!

Posted by: Karla | May 17, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"War at Home" wasn't going to win any awards, but it was better than 80% of the sitcoms out there. I'm looking at the upcoming schedules on all of the major networks - and I can't see how "War at Home" couldn't compete.

Posted by: Vinny | May 17, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

FOX has done this before and it flop big time . It a mystery to me, why they keep at it.

Posted by: Joe | May 20, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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