Fox has found its solution for the “Monarch”-shaped hole left in its post-NFC Championship time-slot after moving the Susan Sarandon-led drama’s premiere to the fall.
Instead of debuting the new show after the Jan. 30 NFL game, which the broadcast network has delayed due to complications posed by producing it during the pandemic, Fox will air a fresh episode of Gordon Ramsay’s new cooking competition, “Next Level Chef,” immediately after it at 10:00-11:05 p.m. ET/7:00-8:05 p.m. PT.
Per Fox, “In this special episode, Ramsay and his fellow mentors, Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais, serve up a Sunday Brunch challenge, during which each remaining chef must create a next-level dish that incorporates both sweet and savory elements in just 45 minutes. Find out who will rise to the occasion and who ends up with egg on their face when one aspiring chef goes home.”
Following this one-off airing, “Next Level Chef” will continue to air in its usual Wednesdays at 9/8c spot.
The choice to give “Next Level Chef” the post-NFC slot makes sense for Fox, as the unscripted series has fared pretty well in the Nielsen ratings since its Jan. 2 debut and Fox only has two new scripted midseason shows that have already begun airing: The drama series “The Cleaning Lady” premiered on Jan. 3, while the comedy series “Pivoting” aired its first episode on Jan. 9. “Monarch,” with its star-studded cast and musical elements, was poised to be the network’s big launch of the season, as evidenced by its choice post-NFC Championship debut. A fall premiere date for the show has yet to be determined.
Fox pulled “Monarch,” which boasts Sarandon and Trace Adkins among its cast, from its midseason schedule Thursday. The drama was originally meant to premiere after the NFC Championship game on Fox and then shift to Tuesday nights beginning Feb. 1 for the remainder of its first season. Instead, the show will now premiere as part of the broadcaster’s fall 2022 schedule.
Though “Next Level Chef” is taking care of the post-NFC Championship problem, programming for the Tuesday time slot has not yet been announced.
“Monarch” follows America’s “first family” of country music, including mother Dottie Cantrell Roman (Sarandon), father Albie Roman (Adkins) and daughters Gigi Taylor-Roman (Beth Ditto) and Nicolette “Nicky” Roman (Anna Friel), and son Luke Roman (Joshua Sasse). The Romans are a dynasty in the music world, but at the start of the series, uncomfortable truths from the past bubble to the surface, threatening everything they have built. The main cast also includes Martha Higareda, Emma Milani, and Iñigo Pascual.
According to an individual with knowledge of the production, “Monarch” will continue production in Atlanta into the spring as planned.