Well folks, you can no longer vote for Sanjaya. After approximately 148 years on air, the fat lady has finally sung for American Idol, leaving a giant gaping 2-hour hole in Fox‘s weekly schedule. This could be a boon for comedy showrunners, drama showrunners, or both. Or they could just replace the reality show with another reality show. We’ll soon find out.
Fox’s recent comedy slate has been pretty strong, in my opinion. New Girl started off great and keeps chugging along. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an under-appreciated gem. Last Man on Earth took a difficult, potential lemon of a premise and made comedy lemonade.
This past pilot season was a little iffy though. Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, as I predicted, was a total bust. Grandfathered has done OK, but worse than expected. And The Grinder, my favorite network comedy from last season, has generally only been on par with Grandfathered, Nielsen-wise.
With last year not yielding any hits, Fox will probably go back to Last Man on Earth as its template for success. That means keep an eye out for catchy high concepts that still hold a younger demographic appeal. Buzzy titles that can break through the clutter are, as usual, in high demand. The Fox sister cable stations of FX and FXX have done well recently, so will the flagship broadcast network be able to keep pace?
Let’s find out…