Fox programs only 15 hours a week in prime time. Sometimes, it's had more than one-fifth of them clotted up in the spring with American Idol, a move which has single-handedly given the network the top spot in the ratings among 18-49 year-olds for the entire season for the last seven years.
But it's no gift to people who like good drama and comedy. A lot of them are especially upset that Fox canceled The Chicago Code. That happened so the network could clot up another sixth of its schedule in the fall with another singing competition, The X Factor, featuring Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul judging the usual collection of cracked crooners and banshees who warble their way through these things. Such creativity. Such promise. So many millions of Americans wasting their time with this baloney.
But Fox announced eight new scripted shows, as well, four for fall and four for later on, and some of them look pretty good, judging by the previews the network has put out.
My favorite, yet another case of a sweet girl making my heart full, stars Zooey Deschanel. It's called New Girl, and it will air Tuesdays after Glee and before Raising Hope.
The network has only one new drama, the big-deal Steven Spielberg-inspired Terra Nova, going Mondays at 8 p.m. The preview is muddled, and the show looks like Lost on steroids. Endless special effects work fine at the movies, but TV shows need characters and story.
The two new cartoon shows, Allen Gregory, which premieres in the fall and Napoleon Dynamite, which shows up in winter, look like good fits in Fox's Sunday animation block. The other fall sitcom, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, may be be just the thing for the audience after 1 1/2 hours of X Factor, but I see a lot of growing pains before it gets very funny.