I'll update this post later today, after Fox officially announces its fall lineup around noon EST via conference call.
It appears to be good news for many of the shows I like on the bubble, including "Chuck," "Dollhouse" and "Better Off Ted." The rest of the networks will announce later this week.
UPDATED: Fox announced its 2009-10 schedule with a conference call this morning.
Changing its strategy just a bit, Fox won't be doing a major reshuffle of its shows once the midseason starts. Unlike previous years, when shows like "House" and "Bones" would change nights to make way for "American Idol," Fox now plans to air "So You Think You Can Dance" in those time slots on Tuesday and Wednesday, keeping "House" on Monday and "Bones" on Thursday.
The strategy, the Fox execs said, is to shore up Fox's newest hits "Lie To Me" (which switches to Mondays at 9 p.m.) and "Fringe," which goes to the toughest timeslot on the airwaves, Thursdays at 9 p.m. (against ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and CBS' "CSI.")
Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Entertainment, said "The door is open on Thursday nights," citing declining ratings for "Grey's" and "CSI" as well as the very strong finish "Fringe" had over its final month.
Here's the schedule:
House 8-9; Lie To Me 9-10
So You Think You Can Dance 8-10 p.m.
So You Think You Can Dance 8-9 p.m.; Glee 9-10 p.m.
Bones 8-9 p.m.; Fringe 9-10 p.m.
Brothers 8-8:30 p.m.; Til Death 8:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; Dollhouse 9-10 p.m.
Cops 8-9 p.m. (2 episodes); America's Most Wanted 9-10 p.m.; The Wanda Sykes Show 11-Midnight
The Simpsons 8-8:30 p.m; The Cleveland Show 8:30-9 p.m.; Family Guy 9-9:30 p.m.; American Dad 9:30 -10 p.m.
During the midseason, "24" replaces "Lie To Me" on Mondays; "American Idol" airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m.; "Past Life" debuts on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.; "Human Target" airs 9 p.m. on Wednesdays; and "Sons of Tuscon" airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m., bumping "Cleveland" to 9:30 p.m. and "American Dad" to 7:30 p.m.
"Glee" debuts tomorrow night as a sneak peak. It's a comedy set in the world of high school choirs. "The Cleveland Show" is a spinoff of "Family Guy." "Brothers" is a sitcom starring Daryl "Chill" Mitchell ("Ed"), CCH Pounder ("The Shield") and former NFL star Michael Strahan.
"Human Target" is a thriller based on a popular DC Comics graphic novel, starring Mark Valley ("Fringe") and Jackie Earle Haley ("Watchmen"). "Past Life" is a drama that meshes deja vu with detective drama, inspired by the book "The Reincarnationist."
"Sons of Tucson" is described in the vein of "Malcolm In the Middle" about three brothers who hire a schemer to stand in as their father, starring Tyler Labine ("Reaper").
Much of the call surrounded the surprise renewal of "Dollhouse," which was very much on the bubble. But the Fox execs credited the talent of creator Joss Whedon and the show's time-shifted ratings as factors.
"This is a bet on Joss Whedon," Reilly said, joking that he'd have 110 million e-mails today if the show had been cancelled. "He has an unbelievably loyal fan base. It's one of the biggest time-shifted shows on TV. ... We think we can grow the show."
Another big storyline over at Fox, which once again won the 18-49 demographic for the fifth year in a row, is the situation at "American Idol." Simon Cowell has suggested he might step aside. When asked the number of judges for next season, the execs would only say that it's something they will look at after the season is over.
MONDAY'S BEST BETS: CBS wraps up its comedy lineup tonight with the finales of "Rules Of Engagement" (two episodes at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.), "HIMYM" (8:30 p.m.) and "Two and a Half Men" at 9 p.m. "Mother" finishes the season in good form as Ted faces a decision about his future. They are followed by the season finale of "CSI: Miami" at 10 p.m.
ABC launches a new "Bachelorette" (ABC, 9 p.m.) after "Dancing With The Stars" at 8 p.m.
"24" (Fox, 8 p.m.) wraps up tonight with a two-hour finale.
"Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m.) doesn't wrap up tonight; it's actually got a few episodes to go. But "Gossip Girl" (CW, 8 p.m.) and "One Tree Hill" (CW, 9 p.m.) do finish their seasons tonight.
On cable, "Greek" (ABC Family, 8 p.m.) is new.