Fox

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - EN­TER­TAIN­MENT -

Fox will mark its on-air mile­stone this week­end with Fox’s 25th An­niver­sary Spe­cial (Sun­day at 7 p.m.), a celebrity-filled cel­e­bra­tion hosted by Ryan Seacrest and fea­tur­ing ap­pear­ances by stars from many of the net­work’s most pop­u­lar and in­flu­en­tial shows.

Fox will also re-air the pi­lot of Mar­ried... With Chil­dren (Sun­day at 6 p.m.), fol­lowed by a re­broad­cast of the re­cently aired mile­stone 500th episode of The Simp­sons (6:30 p.m.).

In prepa­ra­tion for Fox’s big quar­ter­century blowout, here’s a look back at the time­line and ti­tles that made the home of Homer what it is to­day:

Mar­ried... With Chil­dren (198797) — clearly in­tended to serve as the anti- Cosby sit­com, this coarse and em­phat­i­cally dumbed-down com­edy made it clear that Fox was stak­ing out new ter­ri­tory.

21 Jump Street (1987-90) — an am­bi­tious cop drama that of­fered an early in­di­ca­tion of Fox’s youth-serv­ing strat­egy; launched the ca­reer of a young­ster named Johnny Depp.

The Tracey Ull­man Show (1987-90) — a bet­ter-than-av­er­age sketch-com­edy of­fer­ing that’s mostly re­mem­bered now as the show that spawned The Simp­sons.

It’s Garry Shan­dling’s Show (198890) — a bound­ary-break­ing ef­fort that cre­ated the tem­plate for all those sit­coms that break the fourth wall and speak di­rectly to the au­di­ence.

The Simp­sons (1989-present) — re­de­fined TV com­edy; re­vived prime­time an­i­ma­tion; sim­ply put, Fox’s most im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming.

Bev­erly Hills 90210 (1990-2000) — com­bined youth­ful soap­i­ness with se­ri­ous-is­sue ex­plo­ration, and by do­ing so, cre­ated the blue­print for two gen­er­a­tions of teen/20s dra­mas.

In Liv­ing Color (1990-94) — edgy and racially in­clu­sive sketch com­edy that cre­ated a ca­reer spring­board for Jim Car­rey, Jen­nifer Lopez and pretty much every­one named Wayans.

Mel­rose Place (1992-99) — a strug­gling, som­bre 90210 spinoff that be­came a pop-cul­ture phe­nom­e­non when

Post-par­tum im­pres­sion (1987-90)

OTHER NOTE­WOR­THY TI­TLES: Amer­ica’s Most Wanted, Cops, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose

The (some­times) ter­ri­ble tod­dler years (1991-2000) Heather Lock­lear joined the cast and turned it into an over-the-top soapfest.

The X-files (1993-2002) — per­haps the first cult-favourite sci-fi show to de­velop a sig­nif­i­cant main­stream fol­low­ing; com­bined com­plex sto­ry­lines and de­tailed mythol­ogy with mod­ern­day who­dunit case­work and just the right mea­sure of Mul­der/scully sex­ual ten­sion.

King of the Hill (1997-2010) — demon­strated that The Simp­sons’ suc­cess wasn’t just a fluke; set the foun­da­tion for Fox’s long-run­ning Sun­day-night An­i­ma­tion Dom­i­na­tion block.

Ally Mcbeal (1997-2002) — weird, wacky, ab­surd, sexy and un­apolo­get­i­cally silly; one of the ’90s most suc­cess­ful gen­er­a­tors of next-day wa­ter-cooler dis­cus­sion.

That ’70s Show (1998-2006) — Fox’s first hugely suc­cess­ful main­stream sit­com; launched the ca­reers of a hand­ful of pre­vi­ously un­known teen ac­tors, in­clud­ing Ash­ton Kutcher, Mila Ku­nis and Wilmer Valder­rama.

OTHER NOTE­WOR­THY TI­TLES: Ned and Stacey, Martin, Party of Five, Mil­len­nium, Mal­colm in the Mid­dle, Fu­tu­rama, Bos­ton Pub­lic, MADTV

Ado­les­cent angst to all grown-up (2001-present)

Fam­ily Guy (1999-2002; 2005-present) — a unique car­toon phe­nom­e­non; can­celled af­ter three rat­ings-chal­lenged sea­sons, then re­vived af­ter box-set DVD sales proved there was still an ap­petite for more.

24 (2001-10) — a tick­ing-clock thriller that al­most ended be­fore it be­gan; 24’ s orig­i­nal prèmiere date (Oct. 30,2001) had to be pushed back when real-life events on 9/11 made the no­tion of a ter­ror­ism-driven drama a bit ques­tion­able. When it ar­rived, Jack Bauer turned out to be a very ad­dic­tive char­ac­ter.

Temp­ta­tion Is­land (2001-2003) — makes this list for no­to­ri­ety, not qual­ity; prime ex­am­ple of Fox’s on­go­ing ef­fort in the early 2000s to con­tin­u­ally lower the bar with taste­less re­al­i­tyTV ti­tles, in­clud­ing the likes of Joe Mil­lion­aire, Mar­ried By Amer­ica, Who Wants To Marry a Multi-mil­lion­aire?, My Big Fat Ob­nox­ious Fi­ancé and The Swan.

Amer­i­can Idol (2002-present) — the 900-lb. go­rilla of the re­al­ity/ com­pe­ti­tion genre; has pretty much guar­an­teed Fox vic­tory in the postChrist­mas rat­ings ev­ery sea­son since its ar­rival; launched the ca­reers of Kelly Clark­son, Car­rie Un­der­wood, Chris Daugh­try and oth­ers.

Ar­rested Devel­op­ment (20032006) — never achieved the rat­ings it de­served, but still ranks as one of the best sit­coms of the 21st cen­tury.

House (2004-present) — by trans­form­ing a dither­ing Brit com­edy player into a huge prime-time drama star, cre­ated one of the most com­pelling med­i­cal shows of the past few decades; headed for a sure-to-be-fit­ting send­off next month.

Glee (2009-present) — pro­duc­ers who had tried be­fore to cre­ate a prime-time mu­si­cal ( Cop Rock, Viva Laugh­lin) were ba­si­cally laughed out of prime time; this fresh, of­ten-campy ef­fort hit all the right notes and be­came a Tv/itunes phe­nom­e­non.

New Girl (2011-present) — Zooey Deschanel be­came 2011’s sit­com “It” girl; huge crit­i­cal buzz and solid rat­ings earned this promis­ing sit­com an early re­newal for 2012-13.

The X Fac­tor (2011-present) — nowhere near the earth-shak­ing suc­cess its pro­ducer, Idol alum­nus Si­mon Cow­ell, pre­dicted, but still gives Fox a for­mi­da­ble full-sea­son pres­ence in the re­al­ity/com­pe­ti­tion field.

OTHER NOTE­WOR­THY TI­TLES: Un­de­clared, The Bernie Mac Show, The Tick, Fire­fly, Won­der­falls, Bones, Prison Break, The O.C., So You Think You Can Dance, Prison Break, Fringe, Rais­ing Hope, Touch

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