Fox turning a triple play
Mon May 17, 8:00 PM ET
Josef Adalian, Michael Schneider, STAFF
Fox may be ready to move some of its biggest tentpoles -- including "The OC," "24" and possibly the "American Idol" results show -- as part of its ambitious effort to avoid the net's traditional autumn slump.
Meanwhile, over at CBS sibling UPN, net Tuesday let "Star Trek: Enterprise" fans rest a little easier: Skein's been renewed for a fourth season, though it's likely on the move to Friday.
UPN also handed out official greenlights to dramas "Kevin Hill" and "Veronica Mars" ( Daily Variety, May 18) plus just one new laffer: Viacom cousin Par's "Second Time Around," about a divorced couple who remarry.
Big news, however, was coming out of Fox. Net will walk advertisers through no less than three different schedules: an already announced summer slate, a post-baseball November launch and a January overhaul.
It will also announce a greenlight for "American Dad," the new animated laffer from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane. That skein won't be ready until March, about the same time Fox could bring back new episodes of "Family Guy."
Network execs wouldn't comment, and there's a chance things could change.
But as of late Tuesday night, Fox seems ready to shift hit drama "The OC" to Thursdays at 8 p.m., starting in November, where it will face NBC's "Joey" and -- as of now -- the WB's frosh teen sudser "The Mountain."
Warner Bros. TV produces all three skeins, so it's likely execs there aren't happy about the idea of such a faceoff.
'Mountain' may shift
There's already word, however, that the Frog might shift "The Mountain" to 9 p.m. Wednesday if "The OC" settles in on Thursday. "Blue Collar TV" and Drew Carey (news)'s sketchcom would head to Thursdays.
Under the sked scenario making the rounds, "The OC" would lead into "Tru Calling" on Thursdays.
On Friday, Fox may pair undercover cop drama "The Inside" with actioner "Jonny Zero." Saturdays will remain the same with "Cops" and "AMW."
Sundays could kick off at 7 with a just-greenlit Kelsey Grammer (news)-produced sketch comedy (probably in January), followed by "King of the Hill," "The Simpsons" and "Malcolm in the Middle."
Fox may try reality Sundays at 9, likely slating "The Partner," a legal take on "The Apprentice."
On Mondays in January the net might launch Josh Schwartz's new drama "Athens" at 8 p.m., though the skein had been described as an "OC" companion ( Daily Variety, May 10). Look for "The Swan" in the fall, with "24" shifting to 9 p.m. Mondays in January.
Move would eliminate the need for giving "24" time off from the sked; ABC's trying a similar plan with "Alias."
'Idol' lights Tuesdays
On Tuesdays in January, look for "Idol" to stay at 8 p.m.; new medical drama "House" will likely air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (perhaps with a November start date.) A previously announced reality show starring billionaire Richard Branson may air on Tuesdays sometime during the season as well, likely this fall ( Daily Variety, April 1).
Wednesdays will continue to kick off with "That '70s Show," with new laffer "Related by Family" airing at 8:30 p.m. Under that scenario, the "American Idol" results show moves to 9 p.m., followed by "Bernie Mac (news)."
Fox has renewed "Arrested Development" for a second season, though it wasn't immediately clear where the show might air. A second season of "The Swan" is expected to take flight in the fall, probably airing Mondays at 9 before "24" returns.
Another wildcard is Fox's boxing reality skein "The Next Great Champ," which is expected to bow early this fall.