2018 TV Upfronts: Fox announces 2018-2019 schedule; see photos and videos

May 14, 2018

by Carla Hay

Lil Rel Howery, Sinbad and Jordan L. Jones in “Rel” (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/Fox)

Fox has officially announced its 2018-2019 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at the Beacon Theater in New York City on May 14, 2018. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that the following shows have been cancelled: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “New Girl,” “The Mick,” “LA to Vegas,” “The Exorcist,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “Ghosted” and “Lucifer.” However, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is getting a second chance at NBC, which has picked up the show.

New scripted shows on Fox include “Rel,” “The Cool Kids,” “The Passage” and “Proven Innocent.” Several actors who are familiar to TV audiences star in these shows, including Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“The Passage”), formerly of “Saved by the Bell”; Lil Rel Howery (“Rel”), who used to be on “The Carmichael Show”; and “Proven Innocent” stars Rachelle Lefevre, formerly of “Under the Dome,” and Vincent Kartheiser, who used to be on “Mad Men.” All the stars of “The Cool Kids” are TV veterans: Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family,” “The Carol Burnett Show”), David Alan Grier (“In Living Color,” “The Carmichael Show”), Martin Mull (“Veep”) and Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “American Horror Story”). Meanwhile, Fox has picked up “Last Man Standing,” starring TV veteran Tim Allen. “Last Man Standing” was previously on ABC from 2011 to 2017. ABC reportedly cancelled the show because of high production costs.

Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” has announced a major cast change: Clayne Crawford (who played Martin Riggs) has been fired, and he has been replaced by “American Pie” star Seann William Scott. Crawford’s exit from the show, which was announced on May 8, wasn’t too surprising, since there were reports in April 2018 that several “Lethal Weapon”cast and crew members no longer wanted to work with him because of his alleged abusive behavior. Crawford later issued a public apology. In a Fox press release, Scott’s role in “Lethal Weapon” is described as “a new character who folds into a partnership with Murtaugh (Damon Wayans).” This is Scott’s first starring role in a TV series. In  addition to being in several “American Pie” movies, Scott is also known for the movies “Role Models,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Road Trip.”

As previously announced, there will be a live musical event special of “Rent,” which premieres on January 27, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will have their season debuts at other times in the 2018-2019 season. They include new shows “The Passage” and “Proven Innocent” and renewed shows such as “The Orville,” “Gotham” (in its fifth and final season), “Cosmos” (a limited series), “Beat Shazam,” “The Four: Battle for Stardom,” “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Love Connection,” “MasterChef,” “MasterChef Junior,” “Showtime at the Apollo” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

The following is an excerpt from a Fox press release:

FOX FALL 2018-19 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern Time only.

MONDAY

8-9 p.m.               “The Resident”
9-10 p.m.             “9-1-1”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m.               “The Gifted”
9-10 p.m.             “Lethal Weapon”

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m.               “Empire”
9-10 p.m.             “Star”

THURSDAY

7:30-8 p.m.        “Thursday Night Football Pre-Game Show”
8-10 p.m.             “NFL Football”

FRIDAY

8-8:30 p.m.         “Last Man Standing”
8:30-9 p.m.         “The Cool Kids”
9-10 p.m.              “Hell’s Kitchen”

SATURDAY

7-10:30 p.m.      “Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football”

SUNDAY

7-7:30 p.m.        “NFL on Fox”
7:30-8 p.m.       “The OT”/Fox Encores
8-8:30 p.m.       “The Simpsons”
8:30-9 p.m.       “Bob’s Burgers”
9-9:30 p.m.       “Family Guy”
9:30-10 p.m.     “Rel”

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“THE PASSAGE”

Saniyya Sidney and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in “The Passage” (Photo by Steve Dietl/Fox)

Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, THE PASSAGE is an epic, character-driven thriller written by Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”). Executive-produced by Emmy Award winner and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “Gladiator”) and writer/director Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Cloverfield”), THE PASSAGE focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, AMY BELLAFONTE (Saniyya Sidney, “Fences,” “Hidden Figures”) is chosen to be a test subject, Federal Agent BRAD WOLGAST (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, “Pitch”) is the man who is tasked with bringing her to Project Noah. Ultimately, however, Wolgast becomes her surrogate father, as he tries to protect her at any cost. Brad and Amy’s journey will force them to confront Project Noah’s lead scientist, MAJOR NICHOLE SYKES (Caroline Chikezie, “The Shannara Chronicles”), and the hardened ex-CIA operative in charge of operations, CLARK RICHARDS (Vincent Piazza, “Boardwalk Empire,” “Rescue Me”), whom Brad trained. It likewise brings them face-to-face with a dangerous new race of beings confined within the walls of Project Noah, including former scientist TIM FANNING (Jamie McShane, “Bosch,” “Bloodline,” “Sons of Anarchy”) and death-row inmate SHAUNA BABCOCK (Brianne Howey, “The Exorcist”). In seeking out any allies he can find, Brad also turns to his former wife, DR. LILA KYLE (Emmanuelle Chriqui, “Entourage,” “Murder in the First”), for help. But as Project Noah’s scientists hone in on a cure that could save humanity, these new beings begin to test their own powers, inching one step closer to an escape that could lead to an unimaginable apocalypse.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Matt Reeves, Adam Kassan, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Liz Heldens, Marcos Siega, Jason Ensler

WRITER: Liz Heldens

DIRECTOR: Jason Ensler, Marcos Siega

CAST: Saniyya Sidney as Amy Bellafonte, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Brad Wolgast, Brianne Howey as Shauna Babcock, Vincent Piazza as Clark Richards, Jamie McShane as Tim Fanning, Caroline Chikezie as Major Nichole Sykes, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Dr. Lila Kyle              

“PROVEN INNOCENT”

Liza Colón-Zayas, Russell Hornsby and Rachelle Lefevre in “Proven Innocent” (Photo by Adrian Burrows/Fox)

Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Danny Strong (EMPIRE) partners with David Elliot (“Four Brothers”) to tell the emotional story of one woman’s fight for the innocence of others, as well as her own. PROVEN INNOCENT follows an underdog criminal defense firm led by MADELINE SCOTT (Rachelle Lefevre, “Under the Dome,” “A Gifted Man”), a fierce and uncompromising lawyer with a hunger for justice. There is no one who understands the power of setting an innocent person free more than Madeline. At age 18, she was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, LEVI (Riley Smith, “Frequency”), in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession, a household name and a national cause célèbre. Madeline runs the firm with her partner, EASY BOUDREAU (Russell Hornsby, “Seven Seconds,” “Grimm”), the very lawyer who helped set her free after seven years in prison. Their team also includes investigator BODIE QUICK (Vincent Kartheiser, “Mad Men”) and communications director VIOLET BELL (Tony Award winner Nikki M. James, “BrainDead,” “The Good Wife,” “The Book of Mormon”), who runs a true-crime podcast that follows each investigation. While a hero and a victim to some, Madeline’s bold and bullish tactics earn her a number of enemies – especially GORE BELLOWS (Brian d’Arcy James, “13 Reasons Why,” “Spotlight”), the prosecutor who initially put her away and still believes in her guilt. Despite Bellows’ ceaseless quest to see her behind bars again, Madeline will continue to defend others, even as she fights to maintain her innocence and searches for the real killer in her own case.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Danny Strong Productions, 20th Century Fox Television

WRITER: David Elliot

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Elliot, Danny Strong, Stacy Greenberg

CAST: Rachelle Lefevre as Madeline Scott, Russell Hornsby as Easy Boudreau, Vincent Kartheiser as Bodie Quick, Riley Smith as Levi Scott, Brian d’Arcy James as Gore Bellows, Nikki M. James as Violet Bell, Clare O’Connor as Young Madeline

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“THE COOL KIDS”

Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Martin Mull in "The Cool Kids" (Photo by Patrick McElhenney/Fox)
Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Martin Mull in “The Cool Kids” (Photo by Patrick McElhenney/Fox)

From executive producer Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and starring Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (“The Carmichael Show,” “In Living Color”), Emmy Award nominee Martin Mull (“Veep”, “Roseanne”), Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “American Horror Story”) and Emmy Award winner Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family,” “The Carol Burnett Show”), THE COOL KIDS is a multi-camera comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule in order to have fun – because, at their age, what do they really have to lose. HANK (Grier) is the leader of this motley crew, a gruff, opinionated, 21st century Archie Bunker who will go to any lengths to have a good time. His loyal, but less than helpful, friends include CHARLIE (Mull), a bumbling storyteller who constantly goes off on tangents about some bizarre, barely believable episode from his life; and SID (Jordan), a naysaying, pill-popping hypochondriac who shoots down every scheme, but still gets roped in. Complicating matters is MARGARET (Lawrence), a brash, confident woman who forces her way into their group and refuses to leave because she’s not going to take crap from anyone – especially not these three. But what unites them all is their shared belief that they’re not done yet – not by a long shot. Growing old with dignity is for chumps. Our self-proclaimed “cool kids” are determined to make the third act of the lives the craziest one yet.

 PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Charlie Day, Kevin Abbott (pilot only)

Nick Frenkel, Don Scardino (pilot only)

WRITERS: Charlie Day, Paul Fruchbom

DIRECTOR: Don Scardino

CAST: David Alan Grier as Hank, Martin Mull as Charlie, Leslie Jordan as Sid, and Vicki Lawrence as Margaret

“LAST MAN STANDING”

Tim Allen in “Last Man Standing” (Photo courtesy of Fox)

Multi-cam comedy LAST MAN STANDING, starring Tim Allen, comes to FOX. A fan-favorite for six seasons, LAST MAN STANDING stars Allen as MIKE BAXTER, a married father of three girls, who tries to maintain his manliness in a world increasingly dominated by women. Produced by 20thCentury Fox Television, the series also stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson. “Last Man Standing” averaged 8.3 million viewers in Live + 7 ratings for the 2016-2017 season on ABC.  It was the network’s second most-watched comedy, after “Modern Family.” Among the key Adults 18-49 demographic, the series averaged a 1.7/7. The series ranked as the No. 1 new program across all syndication when it debuted off-net during the 2016-2017 season.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

CAST: Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, Nancy Travis as Vanessa Baxter, Jonathan Adams as Chuck Larabee, Amanda Fuller as Kristin Baxter, Christoph Sanders as Kyle Anderson, Jordan Masterson as Ryan Vogelson  

“REL”

Lil Rel Howery in “Rel” (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/Fox)

Based on the life of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Insecure,” “The Carmichael Show”), REL is a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a loving husband and father living on the West Side of Chicago, who finds out his wife is having an affair. And not just any affair. An affair with Rel’s own barber. Quite easily the worst person for your wife to sleep with, because as hard it is to find a good spouse, it’s even harder to find a reliable barber. Plus, with the barbershop being one of the epicenters of neighborhood gossip, Rel finds his embarrassing business is known by everyone, including the Pastor (also played by Howery), before Rel can even process the emotions himself. Offering Rel support – that is, when they themselves aren’t butting heads – are Rel’s tough-talking, no-B.S. best friend, BRITTANY (Jess “Hilarious” Moore, “Wild ’N Out”), and his recently out-of-jail younger brother, NAT (Jordan L. Jones, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Wisdom of the Crowd”), as well as Rel’s prideful DAD (Sinbad, “A Different World,” “The Sinbad Show,” “Jingle All The Way”), who perhaps has taken the barber news even harder than Rel. After his beloved kids move to Cleveland with their mom, Rel must begin the difficult task of rebuilding his life as a long-distance dad. He also jumps back into the dating pool – and often finds himself the victim of his own well-intentioned hubris. But, ever the optimist, he continues his search for love, respect…and a new barber.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jerrod Carmichael, Mike Scully, Lil Rel Howery, Josh Rabinowitz, Kevin Barnett

WRITERS: Lil Rel Howery, Kevin Barnett, Josh Rabinowitz

DIRECTOR: Gerry Cohen

CAST: Lil Rel Howery as Lil Rel Howery, Sinbad as Dad, Jess “Hilarious” Moore as Brittany, Jordan L. Jones as Nat

NEW SPECIALS

“RENT”

The live musical production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT comes to FOX on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, “Rent” tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. Winner of four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship. Acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”), along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce the event. Additional details and auspices to be announced. “Rent” originally was produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. The television adaptation will be broadcast from the historic Fox Studios in Los Angeles.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson, Vince Totino, Scott Hemming, Marla Levine

CASTING DIRECTORS: Bernard Telsey, Tiffany Little Canfield

October 29, 2018 UPDATE: The cast of Fox’s “Rent” has been announced:

  • Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson, Maureen’s girlfriend and an Ivy League-educated lawyer.
  • Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, the computer scientist who returns to New York after being expelled from MIT.
  • Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, an aspiring filmmaker, who serves as the show’s narrator, while filming the lives of his friends.
  • Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, the outgoing performance artist who’s not afraid to take on the establishment.
  • Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, a struggling musician and Mark’s roommate and best friend.
  • Mario as Benjamin Coffin III, Mark and Roger’s former roommate-turned-landlord, who is after their rent.
  • Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, the dancer who struggles with addiction.
  • Valentina as Angel Dumont Schunard, a young drag queen and street percussionist who embraces life and lives it to its fullest.

‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ ‘Rent,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ will be live TV musicals

May 12, 2017

Jesus Christ Superstar

Rent

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Rent” and “A Christmas Story” will all be staged as live musicals. The casts for all of these musicals are to be announced.

NBC will televise “Jesus Christ Superstar Live” on April 1, 2018. The iconic rock opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, was originally produced in 1971. The NBC live event will be executive produced by Webber, Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Meanwhile, Fox will have the live telecasts of the musicals “Rent” and “A Christmas Story.”

“Rent” (premiere date to be announced) will be executive-produced by Platt, Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

“A Christmas Story,” set to air sometime in December 2017, will be produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Platt and Adam Siegel will executive-produce, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary serving as co-executive producers and writers. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will compose music and lyrics for the event.

“Jesus Christ Superstar”

The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.

Since then, the musical has been considered a classic and has become a staple of theater and music organizations throughout the world. It has been performed in nearly 20 countries and translated into 18 different languages. There have been many revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” over the 46 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The 1973 film, was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley. “Jesus Christ Superstar” has had several touring productions, finding particular success in Europe. A North American “Jesus Christ Superstar” was announced for 2014 but cancelled.

“As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to NBC,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score.”

“Rent”

“Rent,” which is a re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. After winning four Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, as it continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship.

“Rent” originally was produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. A movie version of “Rent,” directed by Chris Columbus, was released in 2005 and starred most of the original Broadway cast.

“We are so honored to partner with the estate of the brilliant Jonathan Larson and producer Marc Platt on one of the great musicals of our time,” said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group. “The title is so iconic, the music is so beloved, and the themes are as meaningful today as they were when the show first premiered on Broadway. With Marc overseeing this project, we are sure it will have a profound impact on the legions of fans who know and love this musical.”

“‘Rent’ was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation,” said Julie and Al Larson. “None of us could have imagined the massive impact that the messages and themes in ‘Rent’ would have on the theater​ community or the world…except for Jonathan. We are absolutely thrilled to be continuing Jonathan’s legacy and the still-relevant themes of the show in this way.”

“A Christmas Story”

“A Christmas Story: The Musical” was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score (Pasek and Paul) and Best Book of a Musical. The original Broadway production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” opened in 2012. Based on the writings of Jean Shepherd, the book was written by Joseph Robinette, with music and lyrics by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”). The musical was based on the 1983 comedy film “A Christmas Story,” written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and the novel “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” by Shepherd.

“‘A Christmas Story’ is one of the most beloved holiday films of all time–audiences have made a yearly ritual of re-watching it–and we are so thrilled to have Marc leading the charge in bringing the musical version of that film to television,” said Fox Broadcasting Company president of entertainment David Madden. “The extraordinarily gifted Pasek and Paul were instrumental in transposing the movie to the stage, and we believe the transition to LIVE television event will be just as entertaining for viewers.”

“I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are to have Marc Platt producing this iconic Christmas classic,” said Mike Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television. “Marc is the defining voice in this genre and it’s amazing to have this caliber of talent leading what is sure to be a new standard in live musical events.”