Today is 20th Century Fox’s turn at the TCA’s, and the network has a slew of announcements and updates for its programming in the coming months. Briefly:
- The limited event series 24: Live Another Day will have a two-hour premiere on Monday, May 5th. The miniseries sees the return of Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer for one last string of episodes, with Yvonne Strahovski co-starring.
- The new family comedy series Surviving Jack, starring Christopher Meloni, will debut on Thursday, March 27th, and the new action drama series Gang Related will launch on Tuesday, March 20th.
- The Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted revival series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey will premiere on March 9th on Fox and on March 10th on the National Geographic Channel. The 13-episode series is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and serves as a successor to Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos series.
- Fox’s post-Super Bowl episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will feature guest stars galore, including an appearance by Prince on the former.
- Fox has signed a multi-year deal with The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone) to develop new alternative comedy shows.
Hit the jump for all the details from the individual press releases.
FOX is announcing premiere dates for event series 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, and new series SURVIVING JACK and GANG RELATED.
The iconic pulse-pounding clock resets when 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY premieres with a special two-hour television event Monday, May 5 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and makes its time period premiere the following week on Monday, May 12 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The high-octane saga reunites the Emmy Award-winning team of executive producer Howard Gordon; star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland; co-creator Robert Cochran; executive producers Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury and Brian Grazer; and executive producer and director Jon Cassar. Set and shot in London, the suspenseful event series once again will follow the exploits of heroic agent JACK BAUER (Sutherland), as he attempts to thwart an unthinkable terrorist attack that could change the world forever. Retaining the real-time, nail-biting, fast-paced format with split screens and interweaving storylines, the highly-anticipated series also stars Mary Lynn Rajskub (“Firewall”), Kim Raver (“Revolution”) and William Devane (“The Dark Knight Rises”) reprising their original roles. Newcomers to the drama series include Yvonne Strahovski (“Dexter”), Giles Matthey (“Jobs”), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”), Michael Wincott (“The Crow”) and Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Judy Davis (“Life with Judy Garland”).
New comedy series SURVIVING JACK will premiere Thursday, March 27 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) following the AMERICAN IDOL XIII results show (8:00-8:30 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). From executive producer and Emmy Award nominee Bill Lawrence (“Spin City,” “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town”), SURVIVING JACK is based on best-selling author Justin Halpern’s autobiographical book, “I Suck at Girls.” Co-created and written by Halpern (“$#*! My Dad Says”) and Patrick Schumacker (“$#*! My Dad Says”), the series is set in 1990s Southern California, and stars Emmy Award nominee Christopher Meloni (“Man of Steel,” “42,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) as a man becoming a dad, as his son (Connor Buckley, “Deception”) becomes a man, in a time before “coming of age” was something you could Google. The series also stars Rachael Harris (“Suits,” NEW GIRL, “The Hangover”), Claudia Lee (“Kick-Ass 2,” “Hart of Dixie”), Kevin Hernandez (“The Sitter”) and newcomer Tyler Foden.
Gritty new action-drama GANG RELATED will have its series premiere on Tuesday, May 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following Part One of the two-night AMERICAN IDOL XIII Season Finale (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). Created and written by Chris Morgan (“Wanted,” “Fast Five”), GANG RELATED follows RYAN LOPEZ (Ramon Rodriguez, “Battle Los Angeles,” “The Wire”), a rising star in Los Angeles’ elite Gang Task Force – led by SAM CHAPEL (Emmy Award winner Terry O’Quinn, “Lost”) – who teams up with longtime Task Force member CASSIUS GREEN (RZA, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Californication”) to take on the city’s most dangerous gangs, including one that he swore an allegiance to as a boy. The series also stars Cliff Curtis (“Live Free or Die Hard,” “Training Day”), Sung Kang (“Fast Five,” “Live Free or Die Hard”), Rey Gallegos (“Sons of Anarchy,” “24”), Jay Hernandez, (“Last Resort,” “Hostel”), Inbar Lavi (“Underemployed,” “Street Kings 2: Motor City”) and Shantel VanSanten (“One Tree Hill,” “The Final Destination”). GANG RELATED is executive-produced by Morgan, Scott Rosenbaum (“The Shield,” “Chuck”), Brian Grazer (“24,” “8 Mile”) and Francie Calfo (“Those Who Kill,” “The Playboy Club”).
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and National Geographic Channel (NGC) announced today the global series premiere of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, the thrilling new 13-part series from executive producer/writer Ann Druyan and executive producer Seth MacFarlane (FAMILY GUY, “Ted”). The highly anticipated series will premiere in the U.S. on Sunday, March 9 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, and encore with all-new bonus footage and behind-the-scenes content on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) Monday, March 10 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT).
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY will also premiere globally around the world on the National Geographic Channels in 170 countries and 45 languages and Monday, March 10 on Nat Geo MUNDO in the U.S.
More than three decades after the debut of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” Carl Sagan’s stunning and iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, MacFarlane has teamed with Sagan’s original creative collaborators – writer/executive producer Druyan and co-writer, astronomer Steven Soter – to conceive the 13-part series that will serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series.
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY is hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. As with the legendary original series, the new COSMOS is the saga of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time. The series brings to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge, transporting viewers to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest – and the smallest – scale.
The series invents new modes of scientific storytelling to reveal the grandeur of the universe and re-invent celebrated elements of the original series, including the Cosmic Calendar and the Ship of the Imagination. The most profound scientific concepts are presented with stunning clarity, uniting skepticism and wonder, and weaving rigorous science with the emotional and spiritual into a transcendent experience.
FOX scores a comedic touchdown when special episodes of NEW GIRL and Golden Globe Award winner for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical BROOKLYN NINE-NINE air Sunday, Feb. 2, immediately after FOX Sports’ coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVIII.
Music royalty Prince will make a special guest appearance on NEW GIRL. In the episode, “Party Time” (airing approx. 10:30-11:00 PM ET/7:30-8:00 PM PT), Jess (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel) is ready to paint the town purple when a chance encounter finds her and best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) invited to a once-in-a-lifetime mansion party thrown by music legend Prince, guest-starring as himself. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Coach (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr.) are determined to crash the festivities, building toward an unforgettable ending. The episode also will feature special guest cameo appearances.
In the all-new “Operation: Broken Feather” episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (airing approx. 11:00-11:30 PM ET/8:00-8:30 PM PT), Jake (Andy Samberg, who won this year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) investigate a string of hotel robberies together, but their partnership is put to the test when he finds out she may leave the Nine-Nine to work in the Major Crimes unit with “The Vulture” (guest star Dean Winters). Meanwhile Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) and Sergeant Jeffords (Terry Crews) strategize to make the precinct more efficient. Fred Armisen (“Portlandia,” “Saturday Night Live”) and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Thiesmann guest-star, among other surprise appearances.
Continuing its strategy of innovating outside the traditional TV development process, Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) has entered into a strategic pact with multi-hyphenate comedy trio and Grammy Award-nominated performers The Lonely Island. Through the new company, The Lonely Island will oversee the development of comedy projects that will be incubated through digital platforms, such as Hulu and Roku, with the ultimate goal of becoming full series on FOX, FX, FXX or other networks.
“This is FOX’s third alternative development venture, and I’m ecstatic that we’re launching it with comedic geniuses The Lonely Island,” said Kevin Reilly, FOX’s Chairman of Entertainment. “I’ve admired Akiva, Andy and Jorma’s work for many years, and they share our desire to give creators more independence and the opportunity to take risks. These guys know what it takes to break through – whether online or on air – and they are the perfect partners to help us find the next generation of comedy hits.”
“Andy, Jorma and I are super excited to work with Mr. Reilly and everyone at FOX to make innovative and cool TV shows that might not otherwise make it through the normal development process. Reilly has given us a sandbox to play in, and we’ve brought our shovels, buckets, towels, sunblock, some old Grisham paperbacks, a Luna bar – wait – what was I talking about again?” said Akiva Schaffer.
“It’s vital that we foster more experimentation both on and off the Fox lot, so we can take more shots at identifying hits. We are committed to providing The Lonely Island all the support they need for success,” added Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, Senior Vice President of Multi-Platform Programming for FOX.
FOX’s partnership with The Lonely Island marks the network’s third multi-platform development initiative. In 2012, FOX launched ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF, its alternative animation unit. In 2013, the network announced a strategic deal with digital studio WIGS, created by television and feature film producers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia.
Friends since childhood (they hail from Berkeley, CA), comedic rap trio The Lonely Island – comprised of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone – coined their name from the cramped West Coast apartment they shared as comic start-ups. In 2005, the trio joined “Saturday Night Live” (Samberg as a cast member and Taccone and Schaffer as writers/directors). The Lonely Island are responsible for creating the popular “SNL Digital Shorts,” which re-invigorated the series and spurred many water-cooler moments. Some notable shorts include “D**k In A Box,” “Lazy Sunday,” “I’m On A Boat,” “Jack Sparrow,” “YOLO” and “The Natalie Portman Rap.” In 2007, the trio won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “D**k In A Box” and a Peabody Award for the 2008/2009 season. Taccone and Schaffer have also been honored with WGA Awards.