year's Super Bowl is still fresh in our minds, but it's never too early
to look to the future, especially for TV fans. FOX will air Super Bowl
XLVIII on Sunday, February 2, 2014, marking the seventh time the network
has hosted the big game.
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While what teams will play in the NFL championship and who will get the halftime show are questions for a later date, I'm always curious to find out which show will get the coveted post-Super Bowl time slot. This year CBS gave it to Elementary
which got somewhat underwhelming ratings
, due largely to the extended blackout delay.
In the past, FOX has featured three kinds of shows with varying ratings.Hour-Long Dramas
: The network's first Super Bowl in 1997 was capped off with a season 4 episode of The X-Files
and in 2008 it was a season 4 episode of House
, both of which brought in around 29 million viewers.Hour-Long Comedy
: FOX's most recent Super Bowl in 2011 featured an episode of Glee
watched by nearly 27 million viewers.Half-Hour Comedies
: Most frequently FOX has featured comedies, whether it was an hour of Malcolm in the Middle
or episodes of The Simpsons
along with the premieres of Family Guy
and American Dad
. All of these only had 21-23 million viewers.
So what will 2014 have in store? That's a hard question because FOX has so little programming. I think it is unlikely FOX will go back to its established animated sitcoms or Glee
. I also doubt Touch
will even be around in a year and Bones
will be in the middle of its ninth season, which means it's doubtful they'd waste a prestigious time slot on a show in its twilight.The 20 Best Post-Super Bowl Episodes>>
That only leaves five options as far as I see it.New Girl
The ratings aren't huge, but New Girl
is the closest thing the network has to a solid comedy. It has a small yet devoted fan base and the post-Super Bowl spot could be just the boost it needs to gain some real momentum. I'd also love to see this happen just to find out what the writers would come up with. I think Schmidt c0uld definitely be an epic success with new viewers.The Following Season 2 Premiere
This show is doing pretty solidly in the ratings and it seems likely that FOX could renew it for a second season. If they do, and if it's held until mid-season, the Super Bowl would be the perfect platform to launch season 2 and really give it a bang.American Idol
The most successful post-Super Bowl programs in recent years are all reality shows, something FOX has never done. Yes, Idol
is old and the ratings are sagging, but maybe the Super Bowl could try to breathe new life into it for next year. The big problem is that seasons typically begin in mid-January so FOX would either delay the start or begin as usual then have a special episode after the Super Bowl, either the final auditions or the start of Hollywood Week.Masterchef
If FOX wanted to feature a reality show other than Idol
, this may be the best bet. The fourth season will air this summer and if FOX renews it for another year, maybe the post-Super Bowl slot could help turn it into a big hit for the network's winter schedule.A New Drama
Given FOX's lack of depth with its current programming roster, it seems likely that a new show could get the time slot. It's still way too early to know what FOX will have in store for its 2013-2014 lineup, but there are two ways to go.
First, it could take a new fall show that is doing OK in the ratings and give it a boost, like CBS did with Elementary
this year. The problem with this strategy is that, in the past seven years FOX has launched eight new dramas in the fall and seven of them were flops. Fringe
is the only one that lasted more than a season. The others include The Mob Doctor
, Terra Nova
, Lone Star
Second, FOX could wait until mid-season and use the Super Bowl to debut a brand-new show, one they obviously have a lot of confidence in. This is a dangerous strategy, however, because a new drama hasn't debuted after the Super Bowl since 1995 when ABC aired Extreme
starring James Brolin. The fact that you've never heard of it tells you how well that went, though to be fair, NBC had more success in 1993 with the premiere of Homicide: Life on the Street
.(Image courtesy of FOX)