UPDATE (via Deadline): Fox has added drama The Frankenstein Code, formerly known as Frankenstein, to its fall lineup. The series, executive-produced by The X-Files‘ Howard Gordon, centers on Jimmy Pritchard (Rob Kazinsky), a morally corrupt retired cop given a second chance at life when he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, Pritchard will have to choose between his old temptations and his new sense of purpose, according to Fox’s press release.
While inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel, the show is obviously not a straight adaptation. It’s written and created by Rand Ravich (Crisis) and also boasts Homeland helmer Michael Cuesta as an exec-producer and director on the pilot.
Orders for a Minority Report series and drama Lucifer are expected soon.
ORIGINAL: With Fox’s upfront presentation scheduled for May 11, the network has kicked off series commitments with orders for one drama and three comedies. Medical drama Rosewood, Rob Lowe comedy vehicle The Grinder, John Stamos-led comedy Grandfathered and mini The Guide to Surviving Life are Fox’s first series orders for the fall.
Morris Chestnut (V) stars in Rosewod as the titular character, a private pathologist who works out of sunny Miami. His high-tech lab allows him to find clues on murder victims that other pathologists would usually fail to see, and this unique insight makes him highly in demand with law enforcement. Though his job is morbid, the doctor has an unflagging optimism to how he approaches life, which baffles and infuriates the jaded female detective he’s often partnered with.
Looking at Rosewood from an analytical perspective, it’s yet another medical-themed drama, suggesting that Fox remains determined to find a Grey’s Anatomy-sized hit for its lineup, even after the embarrassing failure of Red Band Society. It’s also another crime drama, which doesn’t bode well for lackluster freshman Backstrom. Chestnut’s casting might also indicate a push by Fox to get even more minority leads onto television after the runaway success of Empire.
The Grinder finds Parks and Recreation alum Lowe returning to television but jumping networks from NBC to Fox. His show centers on a TV lawyer named Dean Sanderson, whose nickname serves as the show title. Though Sanderson’s legal work will play into the show, it’s being advertised as a family comedy and co-stars Fred Savage.
Grandfathered, which had been considered a lock for a series order ever since Stamos got involved, focuses on a lifetime bachelor who gets the one-two punch to end all one-two punches when he learns he’s not just a father but also a (wait for it) grandfather. Grappling with drastically changed circumstances, the bachelor embarks on a new relationship with the family he never knew he had, only to encounter issues of communication between generations.
Finally, six-episode comedy The Guide to Suriving Life follows two people (Jack Cutmore-Scott and Meaghan Rath) who are newly out of college but a long way from settling down. It’s attracted huge amounts of buzz throughout the pilot season, and many are predicting that the little show could become fall’s breakout hit.
Out of those pickups, Rosewood sounds regrettably generic and Grandfathered far too contrived, but The Grinder and The Guide to Surviving Life could (based on very early impressions) have potential to go the distance. Lowe is an incredibly likable lead, and if the show is as marketable as him, Fox is likely going to be very happy with the ratings. Meanwhile, The Guide to Surving Life takes a look at a period in two people’s lives that most sitcoms usually skip over. If the writing is strong, there could be something there worth watching.
Tell us, which out of those, if any, has your attention?