Critic’s Notebook: When Every Fox Show Becomes a Procedural, It Gets Very Boring

On Friday morning at the Television Critics Association press tour, Fox chairman and CEO Dana Walden declared that the network is not in a creative rut when it comes to drama series structuring.

“I certainly don’t feel like it’s a rut and I would say that the way that we’ve approached our development and I think throughout the history of Fox, the procedural elements are secondary to who the characters are and what those relationships are. So when I think back to Ally McBeal or 24 or The X-Files, they all took place in a world where there is a storytelling engine that is procedural, that’s helpful to storytelling but is always balanced with what’s going on with human beings in their lives and very heightened situations. So no, I would say no rut.”

Facts suggest otherwise.

For the 2015-16 season, Fox has or has had seven dramas in which the core premise can be boiled down to: quirky civilian contractor(s) aid law enforcement.

It’s a resilient and effective formula, and Fox didn’t come close to inventing it. You take somebody with no business fighting crime, but a particular set of skills, and you pair them with somebody committed to law and order and you get instant drama and, more importantly, instant weekly procedural structure…

Read the rest of this article from The Hollywood Reporter.