The stakes are high as FOX places what appears to be some safe bets on several gangbuster original shows to round out their 2014 fall offering.
Utopia, an unscripted drama by the same people who brought us ratings success, The Voice, has already proven wildly successful elsewhere. The breakout comedy, Mulaney, is the brainchild of Saturday Night Live's Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney. Martin Short, another Emmy Award-winning comedian, also stars. What an explosive combination!
Time Slot: Tuesdays at 8pm and Fridays at 9pm and streaming on-line 24/7
Premise: Based on the already successful Dutch show of the same name, Utopia is an unscripted interactive show about 15 diverse pioneering people willing to abandon family, friends, processed food and electricity to attempt to build their own world from scratch - for an entire year. Participants must prove themselves an integral and necessary part of the group or risk being chosen voted off and replaced by someone entirely new. Utopia will air on Tuesdays and Fridays as well as streaming live 24/7. The nation will watch and interact as the year unfolds. What will emerge:"Lord of the Flies" or "Paradise Regained"
Prognosis: If you enjoy Big Brother, Fear Factor or The Voice, you're likely to get addicted to Utopia which is created by the same guy, John de Mol. The Dutch version of Utopia has already proven itself an instant sensation and the highest-rated unscripted show since its inception this past January. Since America loves reality television, Utopia looks like a shoe-in to become one of FOX's staples. And it sounds like it will air for twelve months straight.
Time slot: Sundays at 9:30
Premise: Mulaney is an original sitcom about a rising comedian working the stand-up circuit and looking for his big break. Loosely based on comedian John Mulaney's life, the half hour introduces us to his wacky friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around. A wrench is thrown in the mix when he takes a job as writer for nightmarish boss, the self-centered comedy legend and game show host Lou Cannon, played by Martin Short of SCTV fame. Hoping this will be his ticket to the big life, Mulaney grapples with the reality of where his life and relationships are headed.
Prognosis: Resplendent with show-stopping talent like Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live), Seaton Smith (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell), Zack Pearlman (The Inbetweeners) and Academy Award nominee Elliott Gould (M*A*S*H and The Oceans 11 franchise), Mulaney has been described as this this generations Seinfeld. Now, that's a pretty tall order, but if executive producers like Mulaney, four of 30 Rock's heavy hitters (Lorne Michaels, David Miner, Jon Pollack and Andrew Singer) and Louie's Dave Becky can't deliver on that promise,no one can ... especially since Mulaney is directed by Seinfeld's own Andy Ackerman.
Check out more trailers from the upcoming 2014-2015 TV season: