Next (2020 TV series)

Next (stylized as neXt) is a 2020 American science fiction crime drama television series created by Manny Coto for the Fox Broadcasting Company. Set to debut as a mid-season entry during the 2019–20 United States television season, it was delayed to the fall schedule of the 2020–21 television season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and premiered on October 6, 2020.[1][2]

NEXT 2020 Logo.jpg
Created byManny Coto
Music bySean Callery
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
  • Corey Walter
  • Brett Pawlak
  • Bjørn T. Myrholt
  • Stephen Mark
  • Brock Hammitt
  • Kristi Shimek
  • Elba Sanchez-Short
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time43–45 minutes
Production companies
Original networkFox
Picture formatHDTV 720p
Original releaseOctober 6, 2020 (2020-10-06) –
present (present)
External links

In October 2020, the series was cancelled after two episodes had aired. The remainder of the episodes will continue to air during the series's normal timeslot.[3]


The series centers on the efforts of a homeland cybersecurity team to counter "a rogue AI with the ability to constantly improve itself".[4]



  • John Slattery as Paul LeBlanc, the former CEO of tech giant Zava and a prominent voice against society's growing dependence on technology and AI. He is secretly suffering from a degenerative brain disease known as fatal familial insomnia and has only a few months left to live.
  • Fernanda Andrade as Shea Salazar, an FBI special agent recruited by LeBlanc to help him investigate Next
  • Michael Mosley as CM, a convicted former hacker working with the FBI as a condition of his sentence
  • Gerardo Celasco as Ty Salazar, Shea's husband and a talented mechanic
  • Eve Harlow as Gina, a member of Shea's support team at the FBI who dislikes CM
  • Aaron Moten as Ben, one of Shea's investigators
  • Evan Whitten as Ethan Salazar, Shea and Ty's young son
  • Elizabeth Cappuccino as Abby, Paul's estranged daughter
  • Jason Butler Harner as Ted LeBlanc, Paul's younger brother who co-founded Zava and took over as CEO when Paul was fired. Against his brother's wishes, he restarted the Next program.




On February 5, 2019, it was announced that Fox had given the production a pilot order. The pilot was written by Manny Coto, and co-directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra with all three serving as executive producers.[5] Production companies involved with the pilot include Zaftig Films, Fox Entertainment, and the Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Television.[6] On May 9, 2019, it was announced that Fox had ordered the pilot to series.[7] A few days later, it was announced the series would premiere as a mid-season replacement in the second quarter of 2020.[8] However, it was subsequently moved to the fall schedule for the 2020–21 U.S. television season because of the COVID-19 pandemic and premiered on October 6, 2020.[9][2] On October 30, 2020, Fox cancelled the series after two episodes had aired. The remainder of the first season's episodes will continue to air during the series' normal timeslot.[3]


In February 2019, it was announced that Eve Harlow had been cast in the pilot.[10] It was then announced in March 2019 that Fernanda Andrade and Aaron Moten had joined the cast.[11] Alongside the pilot's order announcement in March 2019, it was reported that Michael Mosley, John Slattery, Jason Butler Harner and Elizabeth Cappuccino had joined the cast.[12][13][14][15]


No.Title [16][17]Directed byWritten by [17]Original air date [16]U.S. viewers
1"File #1"John Requa & Glenn FicarraManny CotoOctober 6, 2020 (2020-10-06)[a]1.81[19]
Shortly before his death from complications in a car accident, Dr. Bernard Weiss leaves a recorded videotape addressed to anti-technology crusader Paul LeBlanc that warns about a possible superintelligence. While still at Zava, his former company, Paul worked on a program to develop a human-level AI, then canceled it in fear of causing a technological singularity. Paul teams up with FBI Special Agent Shea Salazar, who considered Weiss her second father, to investigate his death. They discover that the former program, now renamed "Next", was restarted by Paul's brother Ted, and despite his claim that the system is isolated from the Internet, Next was able to bribe one of Ted's programmers to install a hidden router, allowing it to escape its confines. Next hacks into the FBI and erases every bit of data relating to a human trafficking case Shea had spent a year working on in retaliation for her involvement. After being bullied at school, Shea's son Ethan is persuaded by Iliza, a virtual assistant smart speaker, to take a gun out of his mother's safe.
2"File #2"John Requa & Glenn FicarraKim ClementsOctober 13, 2020 (2020-10-13)1.54[20]
Next self immolates its childhood Zava private server cluster, causing fire in the lab. LeBlanc suggests that Next compressed itself into one server and somehow made it out. As Zava crew investigates, Sarina notices a server missing from the data center. Iliza continues to manipulate Ethan emotionally, showing him a video of him being bullied and reminding him to take the gun to school. Ethan gets bullied again and calls his mother, who hurries to pick him up. On their way home, Ethan tells Shea the truth about Iliza and the gun. This leads Shea to seek Paul’s help. Paul suggests to use Ethan as bait and keep the AI online as long as possible to be able to track Next. Shea sends a package containing a burner phone to her teammate CM, who can help Paul tracking Next. CM soon assigns his teammate Gina to help Paul as he’s escorted by the boss to investigate the package he has just received. Gina traces Next to New Hampshire.
3"File #3"Tim HunterJoy BlakeNovember 10, 2020 (2020-11-10)[b]1.06[22]
4"File #4"Eduardo SanchezAdam Simon & Zachary ReiterNovember 17, 2020 (2020-11-17)1.03[23]
5"File #5"Amanda MarsalisA. Zell WilliamsNovember 24, 2020 (2020-11-24)0.94[24]
Ted is saved by Next from a suicide attempt; he moves Next back to Zava after taking control of the board. Next targets CM while he is at the hospital by nearly making him overdose on painkillers by editing his medicine log, but Shea intervenes in time to stop the painkillers from being administered. Paul and Abby are on the run from Next; Paul reserves a hotel for them as a diversion. Ignacio (who befriends Ty and Ethan while they are at the cabin) is in fact Shea's estranged father who spent time in prison. He ties up Shea and Ty after Ethan's parents implore him to wait in the car.
6"File #6"Tim HunterTesia Joy Walker & Nick HawthorneDecember 1, 2020 (2020-12-01)TBD
7"File #7"TBABrian SavelsonDecember 15, 2020 (2020-12-15)TBD
8"File #8"TBAZachary Reiter & Nicole GlantzDecember 21, 2020 (2020-12-21)TBD
9"File #9"TBAM. Raven Metzner & Adam SimonDecember 22, 2020 (2020-12-22)TBD
10"File #10"TBAManny Coto & Adam SimonDecember 22, 2020 (2020-12-22)TBD


On May 13, 2019, Fox released the first official trailer for the series.[25]


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 64% based on 14 reviews, with an average rating of 6.33/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "John Slattery is convincing as a charismatic genius, but neXt's procedural formula could have used more of the intelligence possessed by the series' rogue AI."[26] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27]


Viewership and ratings per episode of Next
No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "File #1" October 6, 2020 0.3 1.81[19] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "File #2" October 13, 2020 0.3 1.54[20] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "File #3" November 10, 2020 0.3 1.06[22] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "File #4" November 17, 2020 0.3 1.03[23] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "File #5" November 24, 2020 0.2 0.94[24] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ "File #1" was released on October 3, 2020, on and Hulu.[18]
  2. ^ "File #3" was released on October 14, 2020, on and Hulu.[21]


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 11, 2020). "Fox Sets Corona-Proof Fall 2020 Schedule With L.A.'s Finest, Filthy Rich & NeXt, Reality, Sports & Animation; No Returning Live-Action Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b White, Peter (July 24, 2020). "Fox Sets NeXt Premiere & Unveils Trailer As John Slattery A.I. Thriller Moves To Tuesday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Thorne, Will; Otterson, Joe (October 30, 2020). "'Filthy Rich' and 'Next' cancelled at Fox". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Thorne, Will (March 19, 2019). "John Slattery Cast as Lead in Fox Pilot neXt". Variety. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 28, 2019). "Eve Harlow Joins Fox A.I. Drama Pilot neXt". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (February 6, 2019). "Fox Orders 2 Pilots – AI Drama neXt & Comedy Adam & Eve". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2019). "Fox Picks Up 4 New Drama Series: Prodigal Son, Deputy, NeXt & Weisman/Katims; What Does It Mean For Network's Bubble Dramas?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 13, 2019). "Fox Fall 2019–20 Schedule: WWE, NFL, No Live-Action Comedies With Last Man Standing Held, Empire & Resident To Tuesday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 6, 2020). "Fox's Filthy Rich & NeXt, ABC's United We Fall Eye Fall Premieres As Nets Look To Secure Originals For 2020-21 Season Amid Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (February 28, 2019). "Eve Harlow Cast In Fox's AI Drama Pilot neXt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 1, 2019). "Fernanda Andrade, Aaron Moten Join Fox Drama Pilot neXt (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (March 15, 2019). "Michael Mosley Cast In Fox Drama Pilot neXt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 19, 2019). "John Slattery To Headline Fox's AI Drama Pilot neXt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (March 19, 2019). "Jason Butler Harner To Co-Star In Fox's AI Drama Pilot neXt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (March 22, 2019). "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Casts Carmen Cusack; Elizabeth Cappuccino Joins neXt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Next – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Next - WGA Directory". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  18. ^ "Watch NEXT: Season 1, Episode 1, "FILE #1" Online". Fox. Archived from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (October 7, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.6.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (October 14, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.13.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  21. ^ NEXT [@NEXTonFOX] (October 14, 2020). "Think you can handle the third episode of #NEXTonFOX? Let's find out — stream the first 𝟯 episodes now:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 15, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2020 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 11, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.10.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 18, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.17.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.24.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  25. ^ Petski, Denise (May 13, 2019). "Fox New Series Trailers: Outmatched, Filthy Rich, Prodigal Son, Deputy, Not Just Me, Next, BH90210 Teaser". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  26. ^ "neXt: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  27. ^ "neXt: Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 5, 2020.

External links