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Does FOX Have the Best Comedy Development?--Part 1 of 6


Sports Comedies Are In

I’m going to make a prediction right now: I think FOX will get Thursday Night Football. They need it the most, they should make the effort to go after it the most. Such a package would be HUGE for the network—they would dominate Thursdays in the fall, and have a platform to advertise upcoming
sports-based comedies. I do think if they are not going to go back to Animation Domination, they should air a sports comedy out of football instead of The OT or The Simpsons, but since that won’t happen, will it happen on Thursdays? Certainly the night needs to be rebooted; this season many considered it to be their “throwaway” night. Let’s take a look at what they have:

·      Champion: The Jeff Beekman Story is a single-cam about an “underdog dad”. The catch—the entire series mocks sports analysis shows, full with commentary on his actions and decisions. Produced by ABC Studios, could FOX consider putting this on the air in turn of ABC Network being able to keep one or both of Last Man Standing/Fresh Off The Boat? It currently has a put pilot commitment.

·      The Pack is a comedy about a man who moves from Wisconsin into Manhattan, and often hangs out at a Green Bay Packers fan bar, depicting his life as he meets these people. Personally I find “Champion” to be more intriguing, and probably so does FOX: this one is awaiting a put pilot commitment as all FOX has order so far is a pilot script. It’s produced by CBS Studios, but CBS realizes it’s not a good fit for its own network.

·      Straight Outta Calabasas is the first sports-related comedy on this list to be produced by 20th Century Fox, so that may give it an edge if they decide to only pick up one. It’s about parents in LA as they find out that their son, 10, has basketball superstar potential. It has a put pilot commitment, and things are looking good so far. Then again it’s only December.

·      Untitled Brain Rubenstein Project is a single-cam that has two sitcom elements: it’s about a woman who has to balance her life as a Women’s College Basketball coach as well as a mom. It’s a single-cam that only has a script and no major production company has been attached yet, so I’m not betting on its chances so much as of now.

·      Untitled Chris Case Project depicts a former NFL player who has settled down with his girlfriend, a psychologist, while also taking on “her entitled, difficult children”. So…a family comedy, but FOX found yet another way to throw a sports-related character in there. Does not have a commitment yet beyond a script.

That’s FIVE sports-related comedies in development, on a network that currently has zero on air. What they do have are afternoon football games on Sundays that would be perfect to advertise them, and…maybe a Thursday Night Football package? They could definitely pick up one of these comedies and air it after The Simpsons on their Sunday night line up, but I think an even better idea would be to pair the two most promising ones up on Thursdays, starting November. That way they could have two full months to promote them during the highly-viewed football season. I could see the following being a legitimate possibility for next season:

Thursday
8-Rosewood
9-Champion: The Jeff Beekman Story
9:30-Straight Outta Calabasas
8pm would be their throwaway hour, with decently-rated Rosewood going up against The Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy rather than have the comedies to start off themselves. Plus, it has comedic elements that could help it properly take the baton over for Bones…which could be cancelled, Fridays, or midseason. I also like the idea of airing Champion right after football on Sundays since the timing would be appropriate, but that spot has been reserved for The OT and The Simpsons for eons.

What do you think? Does FOX have a future with sports comedies? Let me know in the comments below!