Relatively to the heavily topsy-turvy schedule announced by NBC on Sunday, FOX's 2013-2014 schedule has large pockets of stability, but that's what comes from handing over three hours weekly to reality singing competitions.
Of course, it isn't just "The X Factor" and "American Idol" airing two hours on Wednesday and one hour on Thursday into "Glee" that led stability. FOX also will be sticking with half of its Tuesday comedy block, maintaining its Animation Domination block on Sunday and holding onto "The Following" on Mondays at 9 p.m. in the spring.
But there are plenty of big moves, highlighted by the latest threatened attempt to send "Bones" to Friday to anchor a notoriously difficult night of FOX programming. FOX has released schedules that sent "Bones" to Fridays in the past only to backtrack, so it remains to see what will come to pass.
"This season, we will strategically launch five inventive live-action comedies, four distinctive dramas, our first-ever event series, as well as some innovative new digital initiatives, across the week and throughout the year," blurbs FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly. "We’re making the biggest investment in original programming in our history to ensure that FOX continues to engage viewers and move the culture more than any other entertainment brand."
When the fall begins, "Bones" will be in its established Monday, 8 p.m. slot, but FOX plans to ship it to Friday in late fall to be replaced by the J.J. Abrams-produced robot-cop drama "Almost Human." The plan is to air the updated "Sleepy Hollow" in the 9 p.m. hour in fall, giving way to "The Following" at midseason.
On Tuesday, FOX will still have "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" in the 9 p.m. hour despite struggles from the Mindy Kaling comedy in its first season. The network will attempt to go male-skewing in the first hour, with the Seth MacFarlane produced "Dads" leading into the Andy Samberg police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" at 8:30.
As was previously mentioned, "X Factor" and "American Idol" will continue in their established Wednesday and Thursday slots. "Glee" will continue at 9 p.m. on Thursdays in the fall, but the Greg Kinnear legal drama "Rake" will take over post-"Idol" on Thursdays in the spring.
At the start of the fall, FOX will air "Junior MasterChef" and "Sleepy Hollow" encores on Fridays, but a big shift will come in late fall when "Bones" moves to 8 p.m. on Friday and "Raising Hope" and the new comedy "Enlisted" will test the waters. We'll see if that actually happens.
Sundays will continue to go "Simpsons" into "Bob's Burgers" into "Family Guy" into "American Dad."
That schedule can then be augmented by a number of unscheduled shows including the Chris Meloni comedy "Surviving Jack," the Jason Ritter/Alexis Bledel comedy "Us & Them," the animated comedy "Murder Police" and the drama "Gang Related."
FOX also announced that "Wayward Pines" as emerged as the early victor in its "event series" development race. "Wayward Pines" is based on Blake Crouch's novel and comes from M. Night Shyamalan and will star Matt Dillon. FOX didn't announce when "Wayward Pines" will premiere beyond "2014."
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.