FOX Saves Big Guns for January
'Sarah Connor' and 'Jezebel James' will hope for 'Idol' bump
Lena Headey of 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'
In addition to the inevitably huge return of juggernaut "American Idol," which will take its standard slots astride Tuesday and Wednesday nights, FOX will also welcome "24" back for another uninterrupted spring run.
As if those three powerhouse programming hours aren't enough to kickstart FOX's schedule in the new year, the network has also saved several of its most anticipated new scripted shows for the spring, when they can benefit from the "Idol" launching pad, as well as the influx of female viewers who accompany the annual talent show.
FOX's biggest spring splash is probably on Sunday night, where -- after animated comedies "King of the Hill," "American Dad," "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" -- the network will premiere "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," an expansion on the blockbuster "Terminator" movie franchise. Lena Headey ("300") takes on Linda Hamilton's role as mother of humanity's eventual savior (Thomas Dekker) in the series, set for the 9 p.m. hour.
The network's other new 2008 drama is "Canterbury's Law," which marks Julianna Margulies' return to network primetime as a rebellious defense attorney. That show, produced by "Rescue Me" vets Denis Leary and Jim Serpico, will air on Thursdays after "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
On the comedy front, is there any more intriguing comedy than "The Return of Jezebel James," which brings "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino back to her multi-camera sitcom roots. "Jezebel James" will go into Wednesday nights between the new Kelsey Grammer/Patricia Heaton comedy "Back to You" and the "American Idol" results shows.
Also set for midseason, though without a definitive date or time, is "The Rules for Starting Over," featuring Craig Bierko and Rashida Jones and produced by the Farrelly Brothers.
Boosted by the "Idol" enthusiasm, FOX will also attack Friday nights in the spring, shifting reliable third-season procedural "Bones" from Wednesdays to Fridays (a move the network has threatened before, without following through) at 8 p.m. The immortal cop saga "New Amsterdam," premiering on Tuesdays in the fall, will move to the 9 p.m. Friday hour.
Here is FOX's spring 2008 schedule (all times Eastern, premiering new shows in bold):
8 p.m. "K-Ville" (January)/ "Prison Break" (Spring)
9 p.m. "24"
8 p.m. "American Idol"
9 p.m. "House"
8 p.m. "Back to You"
8:30 p.m. "'Til Death"
9 p.m. "American Idol"