Fox Adds Five Comedies, Dramas to Win Back ’Idol’ Viewers

News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox will add the comedy “The Mindy Project” and four other shows to its schedule next season, looking to bolster ratings after “American Idol” lost 30 percent of the younger viewers targeted by advertisers.

The comedy “Ben and Kate” and the drama “The Mob Doctor” will also join the line-up starting in September, Los Angeles-based Fox said today in an e-mailed statement. Peter Rice, Fox entertainment chairman, will unveil the schedule to advertisers later today at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

Fox will pair the music-oriented “The X-Factor” and “Glee” on Thursdays, leaving Tuesday nights for a back-to-back line-up of comedy. “Idol,” which has propelled Fox to ratings victories in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic for eight seasons, is losing viewers faster than the 10 percent Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly forecast in January.

“Glee is positioned for a very strong year,” Reilly said today on a conference after announcing special guests including Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Pop singer Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, the singer, songwriter and actress, will join L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell as judges on “The X-Factor,” Fox said today in a statement.

‘Raising Hope,’ ‘New Girl’

The network said the sitcoms “Raising Hope” and “New Girl” will move to Tuesdays, joining “Ben and Kate,” about a brother and sister, and “The Mindy Project,” about a OB/GYN looking for romance. Mid-season, the network plans to add “The Goodwin Games,” a comedy about estranged siblings who stand to inherit $20 million if they meet their late father’s wishes.

“The Mob Doctor” on Mondays follows a surgeon caught between a promising medical career and her family’s debt to a Chicago criminal organization. Mid-season, Fox plans to add “The Following,” a drama with Kevin Bacon playing an FBI agent called out of retirement to hunt down a serial killer.

Animated shows “American Dad,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” and “The Simpsons” will return next season, Fox said. The network ordered a second season of “Touch,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, and fifth season of “Fringe,” and an eighth season of “Bones.”

Network Presentations

Broadcast and cable networks are releasing their 2012-2013 schedules in so-called upfront meetings with advertisers to book advance commitments for the season. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC unveiled its schedule yesterday, Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC unveils its plans tomorrow, and CBS Corp. (CBS), owner of the most-watched TV network, will reveal its prime-time changes on May 16.

NBC added seven comedies to its schedule next year, including “Guys with Kids” from Jimmy Fallon, as the network seeks to air sitcoms four nights a week.

With an hour less of prime time each night compared to competitors, Fox will garner $2.03 billion in advertising commitments ahead of next season, 2 percent more than a year ago, Spencer Wang, an analyst at Credit Suisse in New York, wrote in a May 11 report.

CBS is expected to gain $2.78 billion in commitments, the most of the major networks, while ABC will collect $2.35 billion and NBC will receive $1.66 billion, Wang wrote.

News Corp., controlled by Chairman Rupert Murdoch, fell 0.4 percent to $20.14 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 13 percent this year.


FOX 2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8:00-9:00 PM                  BONES
9:00-10:00 PM                 THE MOB DOCTOR (new)

  THE FOLLOWING (new) joins in midseason.

TUESDAY
8:00-8:30 PM                  RAISING HOPE
8:30-9:00 PM                  BEN AND KATE (new)
9:00-9:30 PM                  NEW GIRL
9:30-10:00 PM                 THE MINDY PROJECT (new)

  THE GOODWIN GAMES (new) joins in midseason.

WEDNESDAY
8:00-10:00 PM                 THE X FACTOR (fall)
                              AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)

THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 PM                  The X FACTOR Results (fall)
                              AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 PM                 GLEE

FRIDAY
8:00-9:00 PM                   TOUCH
9:00-10:00 PM                  FRINGE (fall)

  HELL’S KITCHEN returns in midseason.

SATURDAY
7:00-10:30 PM                   FOX SPORTS SATURDAY (fall)

COPS returns in midseason.
ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF (new) will join late-prime in
2013.

SUNDAY
7:00-7:30 PM                     NFL Game(fall)
                                 ANIMATION DOMINATION (encores)
7:30-8:00 PM                     THE OT (fall)
                                 THE CLEVELAND SHOW
8:00-8:30 PM                     THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM                     BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM                     FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM                    AMERICAN DAD

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Edmund Lee in New York at elee310@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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