FOX has decided to hold the premiere of its new military comedy "Enlisted" from November until January, hoping that one of their most promising new shows — albeit not one of its flashiest or simplest to market — will do better if it debuts after a lot of promotion during the football playoffs.
The show will still air on Fridays, launching January 10, while "Raising Hope" will air back-to-back originals in the fall at 9 & 9:30, starting Nov. 8, to fill the time in between. In the winter, "Bones" will allegedly air Fridays at 8, "Raising Hope" at 9 and "Enlisted" at 9:30.
A few minutes ago, I was working on my contributions to HitFix's list of the Most Anticipated New Fall Shows. This isn't a great freshman class, but "Enlisted" was one of the handful of shows I genuinely liked. Since it will no longer be part of that gallery, might as well include part of what I wrote here, the passage on why I'm eager to see more:
There's instant and abundant chemistry between Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell as brothers who wind up in the same Army rear-detachment unit. The script by "Cougar Town" co-creator Kevin Biegel pulls a neat trick by telling jokes about life in the military without in any way seeming disrespectful of the military, and "Enlisted" probably has the highest percentage of jokes that actually land of any pilot this fall. Of all the squint-and-imagine sitcom pilots, this one's the closest to being the good show it could be.
I didn't love the idea of it in a Friday timeslot, even though the expectations there will be lower than on Tuesday, but this at least feels like there's been some thought put into how exactly FOX is going to launch this show, rather than just tossing it out there to see what sticks. Disappointed it will take longer to see more episodes and find out if it can live up to its potential, but if it winds up giving "Enlisted" a better chance to succeed, I'll take it.
UPDATE: I should add, by the way, that it's entirely possible this is a cover for FOX holding "Enlisted" in reserve in the event one of the Tuesday comedies tanks, but they already have "Us & Them" and "Murder Police" on the bench, comedy-wise.