Next year will truly bring the end of an era: “American Idol” will air its 15th and final season.
The groundbreaking singing competition series, which paved the way for so many other reality shows over the last decade, has plans to air a “season-long celebratory event,” Fox announced Monday when revealing its fall schedule for the 2015-2016 television season. The latest combination of judges — Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban — will return, along with host Ryan Seacrest.
“It was not an easy decision — ‘American Idol’ has a been such a vital part of Fox for its run,” Fox Television Group CEO Gary Newman told reporters on a conference call Monday morning. “We spent a lot of time talking with producers about the future of ‘American Idol’ and collectively we all aligned to the conclusion that it was time to bring the show to an end. But we really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory … it’s going to be a true season-long celebration.”
Fox is primed to make a splash in the winter with another big premiere: A new chapter of “The X-Files” with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on Sunday, Jan. 24, following the NFL NFC championship game. In addition, the network’s longest-running scripted comedy, Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl,” is taking a break until midseason (to accommodate Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy) and returns Tuesdays in January.
Despite a midseason debut this year, massive hit musical drama “Empire” is back in the fall on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. It follows new drama “Rosewood,” about a brilliant pathologist who uses his “drive to live life to the fullest” (really) to help the Miami police department uncover difficult clues.
With the departure of “The Mindy Project,” Tuesdays are all brand-new starting with “Grandfathered,” starring John Stamos as a carefree bachelor who discovers — surprise! — he’s a father and a grandpa. Then Rob Lowe is back with “The Grinder,” about a TV lawyer (Lowe) whose show gets canceled, so he moves back home and joins his brother’s (Fred Savage) actual law practice. The night wraps with Ryan Murphy horror-comedy anthology “Scream Queens,” described as a mix of “Heathers” meets “Friday the 13th” when a murder takes place at a college sorority.
The debut of “Minority Report,” based on the 2002 Tom Cruise cop thriller, airs Mondays after comic book series “Gotham,” which returns for a second season. Don’t worry “Bones” fans — the 11th season is safely nestled on Thursdays leading into a new time slot for “Sleepy Hollow.” Sunday night animation nights with (with the third season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” sandwiched in there) remains the same, as usual.
New shows saved for midseason include “Lucifer,” about a devil who gets bored in hell and moves to Los Angeles (brace yourself for lots of jokes about that one); “The Frankenstein Code,” following a disgraced 75-year-old ex-sheriff who dies and comes back to life as a 35-year-old with superpowers; “The Guide to Surviving Life,” an ensemble comedy about a group of recent college graduates; and “Bordertown,” another sure-to-be-controversial Seth MacFarlane animated series centered on “two very different families living in a fictional Southwest desert town on the U.S. — Mexico border.”
Here’s the full schedule:
8 p.m. Gotham
9 p.m. Minority Report
8 p.m. Grandfathered
8:30 p.m. The Grinder
9 p.m. Scream Queens
8 p.m. Rosewood
9 p.m. Empire
8 p.m. Bones
9 p.m. Sleepy Hollow*
8 p.m. Masterchef Junior
9 p.m. World’s Funniest
7 p.m. Football Night in America
7:30 p.m. The OT/Bob’s Burgers
8 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. Last Man on Earth
* Moved to a new time slot