Fox has unveiled its prime-time schedule for fall, with eight new series joining the lineup. Among the most talked-about new shows is the singing competition “The X Factor,” which marks the return of Simon Cowell to the network.
“Cowell, along with Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul, will judge the U.S. version of the international television phenomenon that will award an unprecedented $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music to the next global superstar or breakout music group.” Fox said in a statement.
Also getting buzz is “Terra Nova,” from Steven Spielberg. The adventure series stars Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang, focusing on a family that travels back to prehistoric times as part of an experiment to save the human race.
New comedies are “New Girl,” an ensemble piece featuring Zooey Deschanel; the family sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter”; and the animated comedies “Allen Gregory” and “Napoleon Dynamite,” with the latter show set for a midseason debut.
Also tapped for midseason are the thriller “Alcatraz” from J.J. Abrams and the “Bones” spinoff “The Finder.”
Additionally, the network revealed that “American Idol” will kick off its 11th season on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, with a special premiere following the NFC Championship Game.
“Nothing impacts culture the way a television show does,” said Peter Rice, chairman of entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “And here at Fox, we have the most talked about, most followed, most creative shows that build connections between viewers and brands.”
The network will celebrate its own history when it airs “Fox 25th Anniversary Special,” set for Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Joining Rice in the announcement was Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Co. “Going into next year, we’ve rejuvenated ‘American Idol,’ built a core strength across the week and developed a really fresh, creative new lineup for next season," Reilly said in a statement. “From razor-sharp comedies to epic dramas to a massive talent competition series, I think we have the goods to continue to be pop culture’s most vibrant platform, as well as the top network.”