For the first time in years, Fox will launch a fall lineup in mid- to late September alongside most of its rivals.
Though few Fox programs will debut during the official start-of-season "premiere week" beginning Sept. 21, most of the network's primetime programs will begin within a few days of the traditional launch period.
This is a change in strategy from recent years. Fox kicked off its season on Sept. 1 last year. In 2007, Fox debuted one premiere on Aug. 30 and other shows in early September. In 2006, Fox's lineup started rolling out Aug. 21.
Several factors go into deciding a premiere schedule, but one reason for the switch is that Fox expects fewer baseball pre-emptions next season in October. The network has typically debuted shows in late August or early September to give programs a longer running head start before Major League Baseball coverage interrupted its lineup.
One outlier in the plans is the debut of new late-night program "The Wanda Sykes Show," which will launch Nov. 7.