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Fox's next season, July 4 marathons and more

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The biggest news when Fox revealed its 2012-13 schedule this spring was that it was moving "Glee" to Thursdays. This gives the network a music-themed night of shows on Thursdays (it's paired with "The X Factor" and "American Idol"), but it also opens up Tuesdays for an all-comedy block.

That's why three of the five shows the network will debut next year are sitcoms. Here's a look at those offerings, plus the two new dramas:

"Ben & Kate": Sitcom. 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Nat Faxton ("Bad Teacher") and Dakota Johnson ("Beastly") are odd-couple siblings who become roommates when a trouble-making brother moves in with his Type-A younger sister to help raise her 5-year-old daughter (Maggie Jones, "We Bought a Zoo"). Also in the picture are their respective best friends, played by Lucy Paunch ("Dinner for Schmucks") and newcomer Echo Kellum.

The show comes from Dana Fox, who created "New Girl," which follows this show on the schedule. She's joined by Jake Kasdan (Lawrence's son), who worked with Faxton and Paunch on "Bad Teacher" and is an executive producer on "New Girl."

"The Following": Crime thriller. Mondays midseason.

According to Fox's press release on this show, "The FBI estimates there are currently over 300 active serial killers in the United States." Creator Kevin Williamson ("Scream") takes that figure and posits what would happen if these killers were to communicate with one another and create a mass alliance.

James Purefoy is the leader of these killers, a Death Row escapee who's on a new murder spree. He's hunted by Kevin Bacon, as the physically and mentally damaged FBI profiler who caught him the first time around.

The show is being held until midseason so its 15 episodes can air without interruption.

"The Goodwin Games": Sitcom. Tuesdays midseason.

Becki Newton ("Ugly Betty"), Scott Foley ("Felicity," Jennifer Garner's ex) and T.J. Miller ("She's Out of My League") star as estranged siblings competing to inherit the multi-million dollar fortune of their deceased father (guest star Beau Bridges), who has left behind a series of challenges to help them rediscover themselves, reconnect with each other and become better people.

Melissa Tang ("Beginners") plays the estate lawyer administering the competition, and standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael is a stranger also vying for the fortune. The show comes from Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris, the creative team behind "How I Met Your Mother."

"The Mindy Project": Sitcom. 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Created by and starring "Office" star and scribe Mindy Kaling, this sitcom follows an OB-GYN who has it together professionally, but is a mess when it comes to her personal life. (Think Bridget Jones). The title was already changed once, and with one as generic as this, it may change again before the fall.

The show also stars Anna Camp ("The Help") as her BFF, and Chris Messina ("Julie & Julia"), British comedian Ed Weeks, Zoe Jarman ("Huge") and comedienne Dana DeLorenzo as her colleagues. Ed Helms ("The Office"), Bill Hader ("SNL") and Richard Schiff ("West Wing") will appear on a recurring basis.

"The Mob Doctor": Medical drama. 9 p.m. Mondays.

The title pretty much says it all: Jordana Spiro ("My Boys") stars as a young doctor with ties to the Chicago mob. She's a surgeon by day, but by night moonlights as a doctor for the mob to pay off her brother's gambling debt.

The cast also includes William Forsythe ("Dick Tracy") as the mob boss, Zach Gilford ("Friday Night Lights") as her boyfriend, Zeljko Ivanek ("The Event") as her boss and Jesse Lee Soffer ("As the World Turns") as her brother.

•••

Because the Fourth of July is in the middle of the week, there aren't as many marathons as there would be if it were a long holiday weekend, but it wouldn't be a holiday without some, so here's what's scheduled:

ABC Family: "America's Funniest Home Videos," 11 a.m. (12 hours)

Animal Planet: "Call of the Wildman," 1:30 p.m. (16.5 hours)

BBC America: "Star Trek: The Next Generation," 8 a.m. (21 hours)

BET: "The Game," 8 a.m. (16 hours)

Bravo: "Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding," noon (5 hours; complete season)

CMT: "My Big Redneck Vacation," 10 a.m. (12 hours)

Comedy Central: "Comedy Central Celebrates America," 9 a.m. (9 hours; patriotic episodes of shows including "30 Rock," "South Park" and "Futurama")

E!: "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," 3 p.m. (7 hours)

History: "The Revolution," 7 a.m. (13 hours, chronicling the founding of America)

Spike: "Band of Brothers," 9 a.m. (parts 1-6, 6 hours)

Syfy: "The Twilight Zone," 8 a.m. (21 hours)

TLC: "Undercover Boss," 1 p.m. (9 hours)

TMC: Patriotic movies, 7:15 a.m. (includes "1776," 5 p.m., and "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 8 p.m.)

TNT: "The Mentalist," noon (8 hours), plus reruns of the first four "Dallas" episodes, 8 p.m.

USA: "NCIS," 10 a.m. (13 hours)

•••

July 4 specials

ESPN: "Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest," 3 p.m.

PBS: "A Capitol Fourth," 8 p.m. Performers include Phillip Phillips, Javier Conlon, Josh Turner and Kool and the Gang. Plus Team USA Olympic tribute and National Symphony Orchestra tribute to Gene Kelly. Hosted by Tom Bergeron hosts.

NBC: "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular," 9 p.m. Performers include Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney. Regis Philbin hosts.

ABC: "Boston Pops Firework Spectacular," 10 p.m. Jennifer Hudson performs with the symphony. Michael Chiklis hosts.

WGN: "Chicago's Summer Blast," 10:30 p.m. Fireworks from Navy Pier.

•••

Scripted series premieres: "Anger Management," 9 p.m. Thursday, Comedy Central (sitcom with Charlie Sheen as an angry anger management counselor); "Twenty Twelve," 9 p.m. Thursday, BBC America (Olympics mockumentary); "Gravity Falls," 9:30 p.m. Friday, Disney (animated adventures of siblings in an odd small town).

Other series premieres: "Trip Flip," 9 p.m. Thursday, Travel (off-the-beaten-path vacations); "Brand X," 11 p.m. Thursday, Comedy Central (Russell Brand talk show); "Shark Wranglers," 10 p.m. Sunday, History Channel (Great White expedition); "Four Houses," 10 p.m. Monday, TLC (home decor competition); "Haunted Highway," 10 p.m. Tuesday, Syfy (paranormal investigations); "America's Lost Treasures," 9 p.m. Wednesday, National Geographic (artifact appraisal).

Season premieres: "Wipeout," 9 p.m. Thursday, ABC; "Wilfred," 10 p.m., and "Louie," 10:30 p.m.; "Awkward," 10:30 p.m. Thursday, MTV (season 1 marathon begins at 3:25 p.m.).

Returning: "Rookie Blue," 10 p.m. Thursday and "Secret Millionaire," 8 p.m. Sunday, ABC.

Season finales: "Insane or Inspired," 10 p.m. Friday, Syfy; "Tanisha Gets Married," 10 p.m. Monday, Oxygen; "The Catalina," 8 p.m. Tuesday, CW.

Specials: "BET Awards," 8 p.m. Sunday, BET; "Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops 2012," 9 p.m. Sunday, Comedy Central; "Endeavor," 9 p.m. Sunday, PBS ("Inspector Morse" prequel); "The Real Housewives Top 20 Reunion Moments," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Bravo.

U.S. Olympic Trials on NBC: swimming, 8 p.m. Thursday through Monday; women's gymnastics, 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Of note: Leading into the premiere of "Anger Management," FX has a 12-hour marathon of "Two and a Half Men" starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Movie of note: "Gone with the Wind," 8 p.m. Tuesday, TCM.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.


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