Fox isn’t getting rid of mainstay “American Idol,” but the network is rethinking its approach.
That was one of the highlights of Fox’s unveiling of its 2014-2015 schedule on Monday, during which the network placed a spotlight on new series such as “Gotham,” its highly publicized Batman prequel, and “Red Band Society,” a sometimes comedic drama starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.
And yet the most intriguing news didn’t have to do with Fox’s fall season lineup at all, but what’s to come in 2015.
Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters that the network plans to “streamline” “American Idol” as the long-running singing competition heads into its 14th season.
“Next year, the format will be different. There will be less hours,” Reilly told reporters Monday on a conference call. “I think it will be a two-night format initially during the audition phase, and will quite likely end up as a two-hour show on one night for most of its run.”
This news comes on the heels of a New York Times story about music-based shows losing viewiership.
Reilly also touched on the changes coming for another one of the network’s flagship series: “Glee.” The song-driven drama/comedy will return for its final episodes in the midseason, and Reilly indicated that the network is still discussing with the show’s co-creators on how best to wrap up the series. While Fox has ordered 22 episodes for “Glee’s” last stretch, Reilly said that could change.
“We need to sit down with (co-creator) Ryan Murphy on how to end it,” Reilly said. “The advantage of airing it later in the season is that it doesn’t have to feel the pressure of delivering.”
As far as the fall 2014 season, it looks like Fox is relying heavily on “Gotham,” placing the series up front and center on Mondays. Here’s what to look for on the network this fall; new shows are in bold and all times are Eastern.
8 to 9 p.m.: “Gotham”: Starring Ben McKenzie as a young Jim Gordon, this drama serves as an origin story for the Caped Crusader and his friends and foes, from Gordon to Catwoman and The Penguin. Jada Pinkett Smith also stars as the gangster Fish Mooney.
9 to 10 p.m.: “Sleepy Hollow”
8 to 9 p.m.: “Utopia”: Fifteen individuals are moved to an isolated location and told to make their own civilization in this unscripted, twice-weekly series that questions whether a perfect world can exist.
9 to 9:30 p.m.: “New Girl”
9:30 to 10 p.m.: “The Mindy Project”
8 to 9 p.m.: “Hell’s Kitchen”
9 to 10 p.m.: “Red Band Society”: A group of teenagers bonds when they meet as patients in the pediatric ward of a Los Angeles hospital.
8 to 9 p.m.: “Bones”
9 to 10 p.m.: “Gracepoint”: A 10-episode event series that follows a small beach town’s investigation into the murder of a young boy. Starring David Tennant, the mystery crime drama is based on the U.K.’s successful series “Broadchurch.”
8 to 9 p.m.: “Masterchef Junior”
9 to 10 p.m.: “Utopia”
7 to 10:30 p.m.: “Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football”
7 to 7:30 p.m.: “NFL on FOX”
7:30 to 8 p.m.: “The OT”/”Bob’s Burgers”
8 to 8:30 p.m.: “The Simpsons”
8:30 to 9 p.m.: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
9 to 9:30 p.m.: “Family Guy”
9:30 to 10 p.m.: “Mulaney”: The new comedy on Fox’s block stars John Mulaney as a stand-up comic looking for his big break as his friends both support him and get in the way.
Along with “Glee” and “American Idol,” Fox is planning to roll out detective series “Backstrom”; Seth MacFarlane’s animated series “Bordertown”; and Lee Daniels’ family drama “Empire” in 2015.