Adweek’s weeklong look at each broadcast network’s new fall shows kicks off today with Fox, which rose from No. 4 to No. 3 in the 18-49 demo last season. Although the network overtook ABC, it lost viewers in the demo compared to the previous season, and none of last year’s new crop of shows resonated with audiences the way Empire had a year earlier. (It’s one true “new” hit last season, its revival of The X-Files, won’t return to the lineup until Fox can coordinate the busy schedules of stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and creator Chris Carter.)
But buyers are much more excited about this season’s new offerings, giving them a more enthusiastic response during May’s upfront representation than any other network’s new lineup. And even though the freshman shows they’re most eagerly anticipating—24 reboot 24: Legacy and Star, another music-themed drama from Empire creator Lee Daniels—won’t debut until midseason to help fill the void left by American Idol’s departure, Fox seems to be on more solid footing than usual this fall thanks to some big swings and one very strong Pitch.
I’ll repeat this all week: Even though a pilot isn’t always the best way to judge a show’s potential, it’s frequently the only episode that audiences watch before deciding whether to stick around for more or cut bait forever, especially with so many new and returning shows competing for their attention. And it’s the only one that advertisers and buyers see before deciding where to direct their upfront dollars. So with all of that in mind, here are Fox’s four new fall shows, ranked from least promising to most promising.