With only 15 hours of primetime to program, Fox has a built-in advantage in case of a prolonged strike. Add to that the January return of “American Idol,” which can go on as many as three nights a week, and Fox looks as strike-proof as one can be.Fox already runs a schedule with six hours of unscripted programming, and five of them — “Kitchen Nightmares,” the Thursday combo of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and Saturday’s “Cops” and “AMW: America Strikes Back” — are expected to continue beyond January, when most fall scripted series will run out of fresh episodes.Additionally, Fox’s staggered fall rollout left it with six fresh scripted series for midseason. Then there is the network’s reality chief, Mike Darnell, who consistently has delivered reliable performers on the fly.But while Fox is in the best position of all broadcast networks in face of a writers strike, it also faces the biggest predicament with the real-time drama “24.” By week’s end, the show will have completed about a third of its 24-episode order. If a strike starts as soon as next week and lasts several months, there will be no chance to… Read full this story
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