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Fox, NBC schedules appear to have different fall philosophies

You have to love the enthusiasm of the broadcast networks when they announce their new fall schedules in May.

It is like reading all the optimism now about the Buffalo Bills four months before the National Football League season starts.

You just have to forget that 80 percent to 90 percent of new series fail.

Fox and NBC officially announced their 2015-16 season today.

The only survivors that NBC and Fox had from last fall year’s new series are Fox’s “Gotham” and NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura,” which got a last-minute renewal to the happiness of many Buffalo viewers.

Fox has two other winners from the past TV season – the megahit “Empire” and the comedy “The Last Man on Earth" – but they didn’t premiere until mid-season and the spring.

Keep the failure rate in mind as you get your first look at next year’s plans.

And remember some of the biggest hits are accidents.

For example, "American Idol," which will end it run after next season, premiered in the summer of 2002.

The networks certainly have different philosophies this fall.

NBC is pretty much giving up on comedies until mid-season, only carrying one new traditional comedy in the fall on Friday night when viewing is very low.

Fox, which canceled "The Mindy Project,"is planning three comedy-related shows just on Tuesday.

Here is a quick look at the new fall offerings:

Fox:

“Grandfathered,” 8 p.m. Tuesday: How old is this going to make you feel? John Stamos of “Full House” plays a restaurateur and happy bachelor who suddenly learns that he is a father and grandfather.

“The Grinder,” 8:30 p.m. Tuesday: Rob Lowe, who is old enough to have the Stamos role, plays a famous TV star whose series is canceled. Without any legal experience, he joins his brother (Fred Savage of “The Wonder Years”) in the family’s law firm in Boise, Idaho. In other words, Rob Lowe is the legal version of Richard Castle of “Castle.” William Devane plays the father of the brothers.

“Scream Queens,” 9 p.m: Tuesday: A comedy, mystery and horror anthology series from the creators of “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” it is bound to get the most summer hype. The cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Oliver Hudson and Keke Palmer. Here is the Fox description: “All hell is about to break loose for the Kappa House sisters of Wallace University when a murder takes place, exactly 20 years after a mysterious death originally rocked their college campus.” A Fox executive this morning said co-creator Ryan Murphy has described the series as “’Heathers’ meets ‘Friday the 13th.’”

"Minority Report," 9 p.m. Monday: Based on the futuristic 2002 Steven Spielberg movie, it stars Stark Sands, one of the original leads in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” and Meagan Good, formerly of NBC’s “Deception.” Set in Washington, D.C., they try to stop horrible crimes in the year 2065. Can’t they start now?

“Rosewood,” 8 p.m. Wednesday: Morris Chestnut (“The Best Man” movies” ) stars as a brilliant, optimistic private pathologist who uses technology to help a homicide detective (Jaina Lee Ortiz of “The After”) solve crimes in Miami.

Fox also announced that “The X-Files” six-episode reboot will start with a two-night event after the NFC championship game on Sunday, Jan. 24 and continue at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25.

It is holding five shows for 2016, including the returning “The New Girl” for 22 straight episodes.

The drama “Lucifier” is about “a charming, charismatic and handsome-as-hell fallen angel” who is sick of hell and heads to Los Angeles to tackle bad guys. It eventually will air at 9 p.m. Mondays.

Based on the Mary Shelley classic, the drama “The Frankenstein Code” is a about a 75-year-old ex-sheriff who gets a second chance at life thanks to some young tech scientists.

The comedy “The Guide to Surviving Life” is “about friends who live together for the first time,” make “excellent” mistakes and have “fantastic” misadventures. Don't ask me what an excellent mistake is.

The comedy “Bordertown” is a satirical series from Mark Hentemann and Seth MacFarlane of “The Family Guy” that Fox says “is a satirical look at the cultural shifts taking place in America. Exploring family, politics and everything in between with a cross-cultural wink, the series centers on two very different families living in a fictional Southwest desert town on the U.S. - Mexico border.”

NBC, which had a great year even those most of its fall and spring series bombed, naturally is excited about this fall’s series. They include:

"Blindspot,” 10 p.m. Monday: It revolves around “a vast international plot” that starts when a beautiful Jane Doe is discovered naked in Times Square, save for “mysterious, intricate tattoos.” She doesn’t remember who she is or how she got to Times Square, but the FBI agent whose name is tattooed on her body is going to help discover her identity. If the series is successful, naturally, it will take awhile.

“Heartbreaker,” 9 p.m. Tuesday: Melissa George, most recently of the spring failure “The Slap,” plays a fearless heart transplant surgeon who fights authority to support her patients, in a series inspired by a real-life renowned surgeon. The cast includes Dave Annable, D.L. Hughley and Jamie Kennedy.

“Heroes Reborn,” 8 p.m. Thursday: The long-awaited return from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring that is trying to capture lightning in bottle again. I doubt many people care about these heroes anymore.

“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,” 10 p.m. Tuesday: It certainly wasn’t the Oscars. It is a live variety show, inspired by a successful British version that includes “stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises.”

“The Player,” 10 p.m. Thursday: Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester star in a series set in Las Vegas from the executive producers of “The Blacklist” about “a former military operative turned security expert who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out.”

Undateable,” 8 p.m. Friday: Every episode of the comedy will be shot live, which sort of takes away the special appeal of doing it once.

“People Are Talking,” 8:30 p.m. Friday: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who is still looking for a good role after the end of “NYPD Blue,” stars in a comedy about “two diverse couples who talk and share their sometimes surprising, but relatable, everyday experiences.” Since it airs on Friday night, not many people will be talking about it.

The unscheduled series include:

“Chicago Med”: Another Dick Wolf series, this one sounds similar to “ER.” The cast includes Oliver Platt – most recently of “The Good Wife” -- and S. Epatha Merkerson of “Law & Order.”

“Game of Silence”: "Three childhood friends reunite 25 years later to right the wrongs of the past.”

“Shades of Blue,” Jennifer Lopez is a single mother and New York cop “who is forced to work with the FBI and must betray her own on-the-job brothers.” In its release, NBC feels the need to describe Lopez as “sexy.” Shades of unnecessary. Ray Liotta is in the cast. He used to be described as “sexy.”

“Crowded,” Carrie Preston (the strange attorney on “The Good Wife”) and Patrick Warburton (Puddy on “Seinfeld”) are happy empty nesters in Florida until their kids ruin things by moving back home. This sounds more like a reality show than a comedy.

“Superstore”: America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) as a supervisor in a big-box megastore whose workers aren’t terrific. Ben Feldman of the canceled “A to Z” co-stars.

“You, Me and the End of the World”: Rob Lowe is a very busy man. Besides his Fox series, Lowe, Megan Mullally and Jenna Fischer star in a comedy-drama series “about a rebellious priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a mild-mannered bank manager, a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist and an American five-star general trying to survive an apocalyptic event that threatens the existence of Earth.” End of the world? Sounds hilarious.

“Hot and Bothered,” Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) is the lead in a telenovela about a “sizzling TV superstar and her lively family of cast and crew all competing to steal the spotlight” as she fights off-screen battles with network executives, writers and co-stars.

“Coach,” Craig T. Nelson, a free agent after the end of “Parenthood,” reprises his role as Hayden Fox in this former popular ABC series. This time, he is helping his son coach a fledgling Ivy League football team.

“Little Big Shots,” a reality series with Steve Harvey as host that features extraordinarily talented kids. Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres, who are real big shots in the daytime, are the executive producers.

apergament@buffnews.com

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