Fox adds comedy, thriller to TV's strongest lineup

Thu May 15, 2008 5:37pm EDT
 
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fox Broadcasting on Thursday rolled out a fall television schedule that adds a science-fiction thriller, from one of TV's hottest producers, and a workplace comedy to a lineup that is already tops with viewers.

Among the major broadcast networks, the News Corp unit is sitting in the driver's seat, finishing out a season as the most watched network -- both overall and with younger viewers -- thanks to its blockbuster "American Idol."

Supporting "American Idol" is a roster filled with hits like "House" and "Bones," not to mention the countdown thriller "24," set to return after its current season was thwarted by the screenwriters' strike.

With a lineup that strong and a development season that was abbreviated by the strike, Fox decided to add just two new shows this fall.

"We looked at our schedule and thought we don't need a lot, and the good news is we got what we need," said Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly.

Fox is making a big publicity push with "Fringe," a new science-fiction drama from J.J. Abrams, the force behind the popular castaway thriller "Lost" on Walt Disney Co's ABC. He was also behind past audience favorites "Alias" and "Felicity."

"There are high expectations for this," said Reilly. "The guy delivers on those expectations."

"Fringe," a thriller about three characters who uncover a mystery they fear is part of a large and terrifying pattern, will also be run with half the normal commercial minutes and promotional time.   Continued...

 
<p>Producer J.J. Abrams in a file photo. Fox Broadcasting on Thursday rolled out a fall television schedule that adds a science-fiction thriller, from one of TV's hottest producers, and a workplace comedy to a lineup that is already tops with viewers. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>