Fox’s upfronts 2018-9 – a rundown and clips from the new shows – The Cool Kids, Last Man Standing, Rel, The Passage and Proven Innocent

Proven Innocent Fox
PROVEN INNOCENT: L-R: Guest star Liza Colón-Zayas, Russell Hornsby and Rachelle Lefevre in PROVEN INNOCENT on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adrian Burrows/FOX

All through ‘upfronts’ week, TMINE will be revealing the new shows that are going to be hitting US TV screens from September 2018

Yesterday, we got a look at NBC’s upfront presentation and today, we’re getting a look at Fox’s new shows. Fox isn’t in quite as safe a place as NBC is in the ratings, so unsurprisingly there are a few more new shows in its schedule than NBC’s, with three extra comedies and two more dramas lined up – The Cool Kids, Last Man Standing, Rel, The Passage and Proven Innocent. Perhaps more surprisingly, your eyes aren’t deceiving you and you’re not the victim of one of my lazy copy-and-paste accidents – one of those new shows was cancelled over a year ago by ABC.

Want to know more and exactly when these (and the surviving old shows) will be airing, as well as look at trailers for all of them? And do you want to get TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes? Then follow me after the jump if at least one of those things interests you…

The Cool Kids

The Cool Kids

The Short Version

Old people misbehave… resulting in amazing comedy.

The Long Version

From executive producer Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and starring Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show, In Living Color), Emmy Award nominee Martin Mull (Veep, Roseanne), Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace, American Horror Story) and Emmy Award winner Vicki Lawrence (Mama’s Family, The Carol Burnett Show), The Cool Kids is a multi-camera comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule in order to have fun – because, at their age, what do they really have to lose. Hank (Grier) is the leader of this motley crew, a gruff, opinionated, 21st century Archie Bunker who will go to any lengths to have a good time. His loyal, but less than helpful, friends include Charlie (Mull), a bumbling storyteller who constantly goes off on tangents about some bizarre, barely believable episode from his life; and Sid (Jordan), a naysaying, pill-popping hypochondriac who shoots down every scheme, but still gets roped in. Complicating matters is Margaret (Lawrence), a brash, confident woman who forces her way into their group and refuses to leave because she’s not going to take crap from anyone – especially not these three. But what unites them all is their shared belief that they’re not done yet – not by a long shot. Growing old with dignity is for chumps. Our self-proclaimed “cool kids” are determined to make the third act of the lives the craziest one yet.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Apparently whoever wrote this thought the idea that old people being naughty was in and of itself hilarious, particularly if those old people are gay. It’s not. It’s really not.

Jokes, please, people.

Last Man Standing on Fox

Last Man Standing

The Short Version

You can probably just read The Long Version.

The Long Version

Multi-cam comedy Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen, comes to Fox. A fan-favourite for six seasons, Last Man Standing stars Allen as Mike Baxter, a married father of three girls, who tries to maintain his manliness in a world increasingly dominated by women. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, the series also stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

I already reviewed this back in the day when the show first started. It might have changed massively since then; it might be completely the same. Whichever it is, ABC cancelled over a year ago and now Fox has resurrected it. However, Fox feels a much better fit for the show, which probably skewed a bit more to the right than the traditional ABC fare, so it might do well in its new home.

The trailer had a bear in it, though, so maybe I’ll watch it, assuming it’s a new regular.

Rel on Fox
REL: Lil Rel Howery in REL on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Matt Salacuse/FOX


The Short Version

Sassy black people being black and sassy. And having their hair cut and/or praying.

The Long Version

Based on the life of Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Insecure, The Carmichael Show), Rel is a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a loving husband and father living on the West Side of Chicago, who finds out his wife is having an affair. And not just any affair. An affair with Rel’s own barber. Quite easily the worst person for your wife to sleep with, because as hard it is to find a good spouse, it’s even harder to find a reliable barber. Plus, with the barbershop being one of the epicentres of neighbourhood gossip, Rel finds his embarrassing business is known by everyone, including the Pastor (also played by Howery), before Rel can even process the emotions himself. Offering Rel support – that is, when they themselves aren’t butting heads – are Rel’s tough-talking, no-BS best friend, Brittany (Jess “Hilarious” Moore, Wild ’N Out), and his recently out-of-jail younger brother, Nat (Jordan L Jones, NCIS: Los Angeles, Wisdom of the Crowd), as well as Rel’s prideful dad (Sinbad, A Different World, The Sinbad Show, Jingle All The Way), who perhaps has taken the barber news even harder than Rel. After his beloved kids move to Cleveland with their mom, Rel must begin the difficult task of rebuilding his life as a long-distance dad. He also jumps back into the dating pool – and often finds himself the victim of his own well-intentioned hubris. But, ever the optimist, he continues his search for love, respect… and a new barber.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Black people! What do they like? Church! Barbers! Sassiness! That’s not lazy writing, is it?

Thanks, I’d rather watch re-runs of Desmonds.

The Passage on Fox
THE PASSAGE: L-R: Saniyya Sidney and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in THE PASSAGE on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Dietl/FOX

The Passage

The Short Version

The Strain but with illegal medical experimentation and if they managed to keep the vampires behind closed doors… for a bit.

The Long Version

Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, The Passage is an epic, character-driven thriller written by Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights). Executive-produced by Emmy Award winner and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator) and writer/director Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield), The Passage focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney, Fences, Hidden Figures) is chosen to be a test subject, Federal Agent Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Pitch) is the man who is tasked with bringing her to Project Noah. Ultimately, however, Wolgast becomes her surrogate father, as he tries to protect her at any cost. Brad and Amy’s journey will force them to confront Project Noah’s lead scientist, Major Nochole Sykes (Caroline Chikezie, The Shannara Chronicles), and the hardened ex-CIA operative in charge of operations, Clark Richards (Vincent Piazza, Boardwalk Empire, Rescue Me), whom Brad trained. It likewise brings them face-to-face with a dangerous new race of beings confined within the walls of Project Noah, including former scientist Tim Fanning (Jamie McShane, Bosch, Bloodline, Sons of Anarchy) and death-row inmate Shauna Babcock (Brianne Howey, The Exorcist). In seeking out any allies he can find, Brad also turns to his former wife, Dr Lila Kyle (Emmanuelle Chriqui, Entourage, Murder in the First), for help. But as Project Noah’s scientists hone in on a cure that could save humanity, these new beings begin to test their own powers, inching one step closer to an escape that could lead to an unimaginable apocalypse.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

Looks as dumb as box of rocks and with all the excitement of NBC’s Believe. Admit it, you’d forgotten about Believe, it was that exciting.

Proven Innocent Fox
PROVEN INNOCENT: L-R: Guest star Liza Colón-Zayas, Russell Hornsby and Rachelle Lefevre in PROVEN INNOCENT on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adrian Burrows/FOX

Proven Innocent

The Short Version

Lawyer with lovely hair tries to exonerate wrongly convicted people.

The Long Version

Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Danny Strong (Empire) partners with David Elliot (Four Brothers) to tell the emotional story of one woman’s fight for the innocence of others, as well as her own. Proven Innocent follows an underdog criminal defence firm led by Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre, Under the Dome, A Gifted Man), a fierce and uncompromising lawyer with a hunger for justice. There is no one who understands the power of setting an innocent person free more than Madeline. At age 18, she was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, Levi (Riley Smith, Frequency), in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession, a household name and a national cause célèbre. Madeline runs the firm with her partner, Easy Bourdreau (Russell Hornsby, Seven Seconds, Grimm), the very lawyer who helped set her free after seven years in prison. Their team also includes investigator Bodie Quick (Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men) and communications director Violet Bell (Tony Award winner Nikki M James, BrainDead, The Good Wife, The Book of Mormon), who runs a true-crime podcast that follows each investigation. While a hero and a victim to some, Madeline’s bold and bullish tactics earn her a number of enemies – especially Gore Bellows (Brian d’Arcy James, 13 Reasons Why, Spotlight), the prosecutor who initially put her away and still believes in her guilt. Despite Bellows’ ceaseless quest to see her behind bars again, Madeline will continue to defend others, even as she fights to maintain her innocence and searches for the real killer in her own case.

TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes

As always, I’ll be watching for Rachelle Lefevre. Looks a bit dreadful, though, and some of those character names look like the show is trying to satirise itself before it’s even started.

Fall schedule

New programmes in UPPER CASE


8-9 PM — The Resident
9-10 PM — 9-1-1


8-9 PM — The Gifted
9-10 PM — Lethal Weapon


8-9 PM — Empire
9-10 PM — Star


7:30-8 PM ET/ — Thursday Night Football Pregame Show
4:30-5 PM PT
8 PM-CC ET/ — NFL Football


8-8:30 PM — LAST MAN STANDING (all-new episodes)
9-10 PM — Hell’s Kitchen


7:00-10:30 PM — Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football


7-7:30 PM — NFL On Fox
7:30-8 PM — The OT / Fox Encores
8-8:30 PM — The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM — Bob’s Burgers
9-9:30 PM — Family Guy
9:30-10 PM — REL