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Sunday, May 18, 2014

4 Reasons FOX Is Going To Dominate TV This Fall

The four major networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, & FOX, recently had their upfronts and released to the world (though mainly to their advertisers) the new shows that will be slated to premiere come this fall (or during mid-season when networks cancel many of these hot, new shows). This post was going to be dedicated to all the new and exciting shows that I was pumped up about. But then a funny thing happened, there was only a handful shows I was excited to see and they all seemed to come from one network: FOX.

Besides seemingly creating quality programming, FOX did something else bold and creative this season: they got rid of pilot season. So instead of watching a pilot and getting sucked in for a few episodes before the network yanks the rug right out underneath you like Lucy playing football with Charlie Brown and ruins the time you invested in a program, you can actually watch a show and follow it all the way through until the end. This is not necessarily that novel of an approach as cable networks like FX and HBO have been doing this for a few years now, but it is revolutionary to see a network staple like FOX do something this daring. So both in honor of a major network getting rid of an archaic notion (at least for now) as well as creating shows that just look awesome, here are 4 Reasons FOX Is Going To Dominate TV This Fall:

Created By: Danny Strong & Lee Daniels
Starring: Terrence Howard & Taraji P. Henson

Why Empire Is Going To Be Awesome: It should be no surprise that a show like Empire just so happens to star two of the people from Craig Brewer's Hustle and Flow. Terrence Howard earned his Oscar nomination from Hustle and Flow and Empire almost looks like a sequel to the film. Howard was outstanding in the movie as an actual pimp turned rapper, and what made him so great in the role was the depth of human emotion he brought to what should have been an unlikable character. That's what Empire seems to be, and by creating a natural problem (which kid will take over Howard's empire) the show seemed to have created an engaging way to make the show not feel like a case-of-the-week serialized drama, but more along the lines of a season long story arc like something you see on FX or HBO.

Created By: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Starring: Will Forte

Why Last Man on Earth Is Going To Be Awesome: While I have no idea how you can create an entire season, nevertheless an entire COMEDY series centered around one person roaming the Earth all alone (although the pilot originally had two people in it and it was later reworked to only have Forte, but I suspect at least one more person will enter the scene, but still...) Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have made a career out of taking things that shouldn't even be made and making them great. Lord and Miller are responsible for 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, both are projects that are terrible on paper, but great in reality. I suspect Last Man on Earth will be the same. Plus, how great does this trailer look?!

Created By: John Mulaney
Starring: John Mulaney, Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith, & Martin Short

Why Mulaney Is Going To Be Awesome: John Mulaney is a stand up comedian (you can stream his hilarious special New In Town right now on Netflix) who used to write on Saturday Night Live. While he was never a cast member, he was single-handedly responsible for all those amazing Stefon segments and he got an incredible brief moment to shine when he ranted about Girl Scout Cookies on Weekend Update. Trust me, John Mulaney is a really funny guy. FOX smartly picked up this show from the dregs of NBC (which this show, along with Brooklyn Nine-Nine really should be on. Step on your game NBC!) and gave it a 13 episode order. Speaking of steals, Mulaney picked off the criminally underused Nasim Pedrad from SNL and will give her a platform to shine. I imagine what 30 Rock did for the underused-at-SNL Tracy Morgan, Mulaney will do for Pedrad, sans the insanity and shirtlessness. I will say though, that if you want to remain excited about Mulaney, don't watch the trailer.

Created By: Bruno Heller
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, & Jada Pinkett Smith

Why Gotham Is Going To Be Awesome: Gotham actually released its first trailer about a week ago, and I already wrote reasons why the show is going to be awesome. I will say though, that Gotham is the Johnny Manziel of TV shows. There's a lot of risk of creating a Batman show without Batman (albeit with Bruce Wayne), but if it hits, then it's going to be a better version of "Arrow." Like the Dallas Cowboys draft board, that's why I have Gotham as my most excited show to see this fall.


*Scorpion (CBS): From what I can gather, Scorpion follows genius Walter O'Brien and his "consultant team" as they attempt to solve different issues of National Security like a serious version of Ocean's 11. The pilot episode seems fascinating, as you can see from the trailer, but I imagine the serialized nature of the show will have me stop watching by the third episode.

*Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NBC): From executive producer Tiny Fey and Robert Carlock (the duo behind 30 Rock) and starring Ellie Kemper (the secretary from The Office) comes probably the funniest damn show you'll ever see. However, the show's not scheduled to debut until 2015, so I'll get more excited when the show is actually slated to air episodes.

*Battle Creek (CBS): From Executive Producer and Creator Vince Gilligan... I'm in! No need to say more. I have no idea what this show is about, but I don't care. I'm in!


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