Today, the network confirmed that on Tuesday, February 26, MasterChef Junior will be premiering — effectively taking the place of Lethal Weapon, which will be wrapping up its season 3 run one week prior. Meanwhile, the 9:00 p.m. timeslot will be occupied starting on this same day by Mental Samurai, the obstacle course for the mind (that’s how Fox is describing it) hosted by Rob Lowe.
So why go with an all-unscripted lineup on Tuesday nights? Basically, this is Fox attempting to do something in order to stop some of the bleeding that they’ve had on this night for years now. Lethal Weapon and The Gifted are not proving to pack all that much of a tremendous ratings punch and clearly they want to find some other way to get viewers on board with some of their shows. Getting series like these two on the air is a way to potentially counter-program against some of the other stuff that is airing on this night including This Is Us, The Flash, NCIS, and more.
Also, unscripted programming is something that Fox is really loving at the moment given the super-solid performance of their Wednesday lineup, led by the biggest hit that they’ve had all season in The Masked Singer. There is a clear awareness on their part now that they need to find a way to get some sort of steady audience and reality programming may be the way to do this. All of this is the network trying to brace itself for losing another two hours of original programming this fall, when they are going to have SmackDown on Friday nights. That means, in turn, that they will need to find another home for Last Man Standing / The Cool Kids. Our guess, at least for now, is that these two shows will relocate to Tuesdays and then Fox will use the other hour on the night for a show like MasterChef Junior, Mental Samurai, or maybe something else that they conjure up. The future is not looking altogether bright at the moment for either Lethal Weapon or The Gifted, but we don’t want to say that either is officially canceled as of yet. They just don’t have all that much in the way of a clear path forward right now with everything that is standing in their way.
For a little bit more news on premiere dates and the like, all you have to do is check out our official CarterMatt Premiere Guide.
What do you think about MasterChef Junior premiering in February, and a lineup that consists of this show and Mental Samurai? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: Fox.)