On Wednesday (June 21), FOX announced its slate of fall premiere dates. It's a schedule which, as expected, kicks off in the waning days of the summer, well ahead of the official, Nielsen-regulated start to the season.
Beginning on Monday, August 21, FOX will bring "Prison Break" back for its second season. On the same day, the network will introduce viewers to another heavily serialized drama, "Vanished." By the time September 16 rolls around, FOX will have launched seven new primetime and late-night shows.
FOX's early premature evacuation of offerings follows a pattern based around the network's yearly coverage of playoff baseball, which interrupts programming for most of the month of October, just as new shows on other networks are beginning to gain traction. As a result, FOX has taken to staging multiple schedules, one for the fall, built to cushion the havoc wreaked by baseball, and another for January, when "American Idol" triumphantly puts the network on its broad shoulders.
That's why fans looking for "King of the Hill" (delayed until the winter after NFL games stop making a mockery of the Sunday 7 p.m. ET hour) or "The Loop" won't find an August or September premiere date for those shows.
FOX has also scheduled slightly belated premieres for "Trading Spouses" (Friday Oct. 6) and "The O.C." (Thursday, Nov. 2), which will wait for "Duets" to finish its season.
Here is the complete list of FOX's August and September premieres (all times are ET):
Monday, August 21
8:00 p.m. "Prison Break" (Season Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "Vanished" (Series Premiere)
Wednesday, August 30
8:00 p.m. "Bones" (Season Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "Justice" (Series Premiere)
Thursday, August 31
8:00 p.m. "Duets" (2-Hour Series Premiere)
Tuesday, September 5
8:00 p.m. "Standoff" (Series Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "House" (Season Premiere)
Thursday, September 7
8:00 p.m. "Til Death" (Series Premiere)
8:30 p.m. "Happy Hour" (Series Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "Duets" (Time Period Premiere)
Friday, September 8
8:00 p.m. "Nanny 911"(Season Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "Duets Results Show" (Series Premiere)
Saturday, September 9
8:00 p.m. "COPS" (Season Premiere)
8:30 p.m. "COPS" (Season Premiere)
9:00 p.m. "America's Most Wanted" (Season Premiere)
Saturday, September 16
11:00 p.m."MADtv" (Season Premiere)
Midnight "Talk Show With Spike Ferensten" (Series Premiere)