Fox hasn’t bounced Lone Star from its Monday time slot yet, and has confirmed it will air next Monday at 9p. I chalk that up to Fox being so stunned with the numbers it is somewhat paralyzed and needs to see another week of data to believe the numbers could be that bad. Will ABC too wait a week to announce scheduling changes for The Whole Truth?
Perhaps Fox hopes that clear of the premiere week hoopla, more will check it out. I could see it going up a little, but from a 1.3 that’s not saying much. I’d be surprised to see it bounce up to a 2.0, but even if it did, Fox has to be hoping for more post House. I think the extra week is just to give Fox more time to think about what to put there instead. In the event that Lone Star has an epic rebound, all the speculation will be moot. But until then...
What Should Fox Do?
It’s easy to say all other Fox shows are options, but realistically they are not. Fox isn’t going to screw with its Sunday night line up and based on one week of data there’s no chance it will mess with its Tuesday night or Wednesday night line up either. That rules out Glee, Hell’s Kitchen and the new sitcoms and leaves you only with only the Thursday or Friday shows or perhaps bringing Lie To Me off the bench sooner (its schedule to premiere Wednesdays beginning November 10).
I don’t see Fox moving Bones. House and Bones would be an awesome combo in my opinion as a viewer, but as a scheduler it’s more complex. Fox’s goal with Thursdays was to improve Thursdays, and last year it did. Bones proved to be a pretty decent anchor for the night and isn’t lead-in dependent. Of course Fox could always move Bones to Mondays at 8pm and switch House to 9pm, but that effectively is throwing in the towel on Thursdays. I don’t see that happening.
Fringe is lead-in dependent and would likely benefit from the move. I know Fox loves it some JJ Abrams as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure if it really is interested in propping up Fringe.
It's easy to say that Fox favors Fringe over Human Target, but it might simply be the case that Fox was looking at Thursdays and happy with the relative year over year improvement last year and just didn't want to mess with it.
It seems easier to simply move Human Target to Mondays at 9pm and see how it does. If you move Fringe, you are screwing with the schedule on three nights, at least if you assume Lone Star would initially move to Fridays displacing a Friday show that would likely move to Thursdays if you just moved Fringe. That's a quite a bit of early jockeying.
Of course, Lone Star as a lead-in isn't going to help The Good Guys much, but The Good Guys was not destined for greatness (and I can't see any chance of it moving to Monday nights). If you're going to throw in the towel, throwing it in on Friday makes more sense than Mondays or Thursdays. And whether you flip-flop the time slot for The Good Guys doesn't matter much.
My guess is Human Target takes Lone Star's slot. A case can be made for Lie to Me but if you do that, you're screwing with the Wednesday schedule beginning in November.
What should ABC replace "The Whole Truth With"?
Much less complexity for ABC than Fox.
It won't happen but I'd love to see a "Primetime: What Would ABC Do?" that focuses on the very question of what to replace The Whole Truth with!
Realistically, Primetime: What Would You Do? should be in the running as a replacement even if it isn't the sort of move that would be popular in a Hollywood filled with writers and producers who feel entitled to do scripted drama at 10pm. Those same writers and producers whined incessantly about The Jay Leno Show...only to make ratings dreck like The Whole Truth and The Forgotten.
Still, I don't see Paul Lee giving Hollywood the finger this early in his tenure. I'm going with the consensus pick of Body of Proof.