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'Alcatraz' To (Kind Of) Replace 'Terra Nova' At Mid-Season

New series will flip-flop with 'House' to take later time slot

Apparently Fox remembers ABC's history with "Lost." And the lesson learned? Don't put anything after a J.J. Abrams production.

The supposed "Lost" curse seem to affect any show that served as a lead-out for the series. Inexplicably, no show seemed to survive in that slot, no matter how much hype was behind it.

That's probably not the real reason why Fox decided to move "House" to the lead-in slot on Mondays to replace "Terra Nova" and put "Alcatraz" in the later slot. But you have to admit, it does make a good (and mysterious) lede to a story involving Abrams.

The time-traveling prison break series will get its debut Jan. 16 with a two-hour special before taking over the Monday 9 p.m. slot the following week. "Alcatraz" is almost a second chance for Fox and the genre, after "Terra Nova" premiered to respectable audiences, but a size much lower than expectation.

How far the show will go into the spring depends on a lot of factors. Production had stopped temporarily to allow showrunner and series co-creator Elizabeth Sarnoff to be replaced. That involved some reshoots as well, which slowed down the production cycle, and put some of the series order in jeopardy.

Now it will depend how audiences respond to the series. Fox has been pushing the show through its normal channels, including a video released last week. But Mondays have been tough for Fox, especially having to compete against a strong comedy lineup from CBS as well as "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC.

However, if it can pull in an audience larger than both "Terra Nova" and "House," it might be one of the saving graces for Fox this season. That means it must muster at least a 4.9 rating/7 share, the average "Terra Nova" has received so far through last weekend in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co.

One very positive thing to note about the network: Fox is the only one of the five to have not cancelled a show yet this season. While both "Terra Nova" and "The X Factor" debuted to disappointing ratings, they were still pretty strong, and helped buoy the rest of the schedule.

"Alcatraz" is getting the first shot at Mondays, with the new Kiefer Sutherland series "Touch" from "Heroes" creator Tim Kring moving in by March.

For more on Fox's midseason lineup, check out our sister site Inside Blip by clicking here.

"Alcatraz" stars "Lost" alum Jorge Garcia, Sarah Jones and Jeffrey Pierce.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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