News Corp.’s Fox will add three dramas and four comedies to a September schedule that also includes Simon Cowell’s “X-Factor” talent competition.
“Terra Nova,” from Steven Spielberg, and “Alcatraz” from J.J. Abrams were also picked up, Los Angeles-based Fox said today in an e-mailed statement. The network will present its lineup today at the Beacon Theater in New York.
Fox Broadcasting Chairman Peter Rice is adding “X-Factor,” a U.K. ratings leader, to its schedule as the network seeks to widen its lead among viewers aged 18 to 49, a group prized by advertisers. The show gives Fox, which also broadcasts “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” a year-round talent competition line-up. “Idol,” the most-watched show on television, returns for an 11th season in January.
“Our goal is to achieve the same incredible level of success and fandom and spectacle that ‘X-Factor’ gets in the U.K.,” Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment at Fox, said on a conference call today.
Broadcast and cable networks are releasing television schedules this week ahead of meetings with their biggest marketers that will determine advertising rates.
NBC announced plans yesterday to add six comedies and six dramas, including the police procedural “Prime Suspect” starring Maria Bello, to its schedule starting in September.
“X-Factor” features Cowell alongside talent judges Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul. The winner of the competition receives a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music, Fox said.
After Cowell’s departure from “Idol,” producers tapped Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez as judges and renewed the show’s focus on music. “Idol” is drawing more viewers than a year ago, the first gain over a previous season since 2007.
News Corp., controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, fell 20 cents to $17.25 at 2:35 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The Class A shares had climbed 20 percent this year before today.
“Terra Nova” is a special-effects laden drama about a family who travel back in time to prehistoric Earth as part of an experiment to save the human race. The hour-long program, which will air Mondays, stars Jason O’Mara from “Life on Mars” and Stephen Lang from “Avatar.”
Zooey Deschanel, from the film “500 Days of Summer,” will appear in a comedy about a woman who decides to move in with three bachelors after a bad breakup. The tentatively titled “New Girl” will air Tuesdays between “Glee” and “Raising Hope,” a returning comedy.
“I Hate My Teenage Daughter” features Jaime Pressly, from “My Name is Earl,” and Katie Finneran as single moms who fear their privileged and indulged daughters are becoming like the girls who picked on them in high school.
Fox said the animated comedy “Allen Gregory,” with the voice of Jonah Hill, and “Napoleon Dynamite,” featuring the voices of the original film’s cast, will air on Sundays.
In January, Fox said it will air “The Finder,” starring Geoff Stults from “She’s Out of My League,” about an Iraq war veteran who helps people “find the unfindable.” “Alcatraz” centers on the mysterious return of the prison’s most notorious criminals.
Fox also said it’s making a new program starring Kiefer Sutherland. The show, “Touch,” is from Tim Kring, creator of “Heroes,” and scheduled to go into pilot production in June.