NEW YORK - Fox, facing the ebbing ratings power of "American Idol," is betting big on its first miniseries showcase starting with a limited-edition "24," and shows from heavyweight producers Seth MacFarlane and J.J. Abrams to invigorate its schedule.
The network is making its largest original-programming investment yet with a crop of 11 new series along with a miniseries from filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan for the 2013-14 season, said Kevin Reilly, Fox Entertainment chairman, on Monday.
After changing the TV landscape with "American Idol," Fox is jumping on the miniseries bandwagon that started rolling with the History channel's hits "Hatfields & McCoys" and "The Bible."
Although producers of "24" had contemplated bringing the canceled show back with a big-screen movie, they decided that Fox's planned "event series" would be the right place for it, Reilly said.
The miniseries, "24: Live Another Day," will clock in at half the original series' running length, and the 12 episodes will be chronological but will skip some hours, he said. It likely will kick off the event franchise in the summer.
The next announced miniseries is "Wayward Pines," from Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense"). Based on the best-selling novel "Pines," it stars Matt Dillon in what Fox called a "mind-bending thriller" about the search for missing federal agents in an Idaho town. It will air in midseason.
The Associated Press
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