In the era of President Barack Obama, Fox TV's 2009-10 schedule will feature more new shows starring people of color than all the television networks combined could manage last fall.
The roster includes Brothers, a comedy starring Ed alum Darryl "Chill" Mitchell and former NFL star Michael Strahan, and The Cleveland Show, a Family Guy spin-off originally scheduled for this season centered on a black family.
Most important, comic Wanda Sykes, who wished liver failure on Rush Limbaugh during the White House Correspondents' Dinner, gets a chance to make that request nightly, hosting a late-night roundtable talk show starting in November that will compete against the first half-hour of Saturday Night Live each week.
"If you look, it's a pretty monochromatic landscape in late-night television," said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly in a conference call with journalists Monday, likely referring to the fact that network TV's six late-night comedy/talk shows are hosted by six white males.
Last fall, Fox's The Cleveland Show was the only new series starring a character of color on network TV; the network eventually delayed the show to fall 2009, ordering more episodes.
• St. Petersburg native Monica Raymund likely gets another year of employment, as her series Lie to Me was picked up for fall.
• Cult favorite Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled, while cult favorite Dollhouse was renewed.
• Summer competition So You Think You Can Dance airs again in the fall, mirroring Fox's midseason schedule with American Idol in January.
• Fox executives wouldn't speculate on the future of Idol's fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, saying they would evaluate the show after this season ends.