Australian media mogul UsefulNotes/RupertMurdoch came to America in the 1980s in order to buy out the Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox film studio and give it a sibling TV network. Murdoch purchased the Metromedia group of six independent stations in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas-Fort Worth]], UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC, and UsefulNotes/{{Houston}} to serve as the nucleus of the network.

Some of these stations had formerly been a part of the Creator/DuMont Network, which came on the air in the late '40s as the nation's third television network. Several problems, like ownership complications, problems keeping talent, and NBC and CBS making sure that they got all the good stations, [[NetworkDeath did it in]] slowly. Creator/DuMont was finished off by the quick rise of Creator/{{ABC}} in 1954 from an also-ran to a money-making also-ran who could hang in there patiently. For the next thirty years, all attempts at creating a fourth television network (not counting Creator/{{PBS}}, which nobody does anyway, since it operates on a completely different business model and doesn't have the same production woes as other networks) were met with little success, and most of the former group of Creator/DuMont stations ended up part of Metromedia, which eventually began to run strong independent stations from the '60s and into the '70s and '80s.

(Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox had also owned 50% of an early fourth television network attempt, [[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTA_Film_Network NTA Film Network]]. Its flagship, New Jersey-based WNTA, later became NET affiliate WNDT, which later became Creator/{{PBS}} affiliate WNET. Its Los Angeles affiliate KTTV became one of Fox's O&Os at its founding in 1986, and is still so as of 2017.)

However, Rupert Murdoch had plenty of clout (and cash) on his side, and unlike the failed leaders of fourth networks past, was bound and determined to make Fox successful. By purchasing the Metromedia stations, he could easily influence other stations in other markets to give Fox a try, and have owned-and-operated stations that always cleared the network's programming, no matter what (with the possible exception of breaking news). He had to forfeit his Australian citizenship due to regulations disallowing foreign investors from owning more than a small part of an American television station or networks, meaning he was "all in" on a bet that a fourth network could attain success. Fox would make or break him.

The Fox network began broadcasts in 1986 in Series/LateNight with the ''Late Show with Creator/JoanRivers'', but it was more of a whimper than a bang. [[Series/TheTonightShow Johnny Carson]] [[IHaveNoSon disowned]] his former guest host Rivers completely, providing a kiss of death (she was never forgiven by Carson) to the show before it ever began. She lasted less than a year before the show would die a slow death with guest hosts. (Among them was Arsenio Hall, who became popular enough to sign a syndication deal with Paramount after the end of the series.) Fox has never done well in late night and eventually gave the time back to their affiliates (after ''The Wilton-North Report'' nearly broke up the network completely), and the less said about Chevy Chase's [[OldShame short run on Fox, the better]].

Fox truly launched in April 1987 in primetime, making its name with edgy, risque TV shows like ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'', ''Series/InLivingColor'', and the pioneering RealityShow ''Series/{{COPS}}''. In 1993, they shocked the industry by picking up the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Football_Conference NFC]] contract for over a billion dollars. The network then signed up with stations owned by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Communications New World Communications]], owner of stations in several NFC markets (it had previously been Storer Communications of UsefulNotes/ToledoOhio, a major owner of TV stations, distribution firms and cable systems, only for the stations and distribution assets to be sold to the remnants of New World Pictures, once a BMovie company started by Creator/RogerCorman, then the former owners of Creator/MarvelComics). While Creator/{{ABC}} and Creator/{{NBC}} were hurt by this loss, it had truly devastating effects on Creator/{{CBS}}, the former holder of the NFC package, who had to move to lower-tier UHF stations in several cities (such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WGCL-TV channel 46 in Atlanta]], initially set to affiliate with Creator/TheWB, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WDJT-TV channel 58 in Milwaukee]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWJ-TV channel 62 in Detroit]][[note]]the last of which doesn't even produce local news and hasn't for virtually all of its time as a CBS station, unheard of for a Big Three station in what remained a Top 10 market well into the new millenium[[/note]]). To add insult to injury, Fox also signed over football commentators (such as Pat Summerall, John Madden, Terry Bradshaw, Dick Stockton, and James Brown) from CBS in addition to plundering its affiliates. The combination of the New World deal and the football contract in the early '90s were responsible for cementing Fox's status as being on par to the three major networks, and sent CBS into a DorkAge that it would take a decade to get out of. (It also helped set off some DisasterDominoes through the TV industry.)

This helped accelerate another trend Fox stations were stumbling onto. See, part of Rupert Murdoch's strategy was to program ''just'' [[LoopholeAbuse under the minimum number of hours to be considered a "network" by the FCC, and so avoid numerous restrictions the FCC placed on "networks".]] So rather than program primetime from 8-11 PM like the Big Three networks did, Fox would only program primetime from 8-10 PM. When the New World stations and other former Big Three affiliates switched to Fox, they found that the ratings for their late news surged once they moved from 11 to 10 and weren't competing with the other Big Three affiliates' newscasts (something a number of Fox's charter affiliates had long benefitted from). Soon, virtually all Fox stations, including some that had never had news departments before, were airing news in the 10 PM hour to great success, further cementing Fox's reputation as a peer of the Big Three networks but all but assuring Fox would never program the 10 PM hour itself. Many Big Three affiliates also tried to get in on the action by programming 10 PM newscasts on UPN, WB, or independent stations.

By the late 2000s, thanks to the success of ''Series/AmericanIdol'', Fox was running neck-and-neck with a now-resurgent CBS for first place in the ratings, eliminating any doubt as to its position on American television. The network is often stereotyped (rightfully or wrongly) for being [[TheFireflyEffect overly trigger-happy]] [[ScrewedByTheNetwork in terms of cancelling shows]], which has been mocked by ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' (itself a victim of this), [[http://www.reallifecomics.com/archive/080226.html among others]]. This was especially JustForFun/{{egregious}} due to some of the shows gaining cult followings long after their cancellation, namely ''Family Guy'', fellow animated sitcom ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', space western ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', and mockumentary-sitcom ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment.'' (The four shows were all eventually revived by FOX themselves, Creator/ComedyCentral, the movie ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', and Creator/{{Netflix}}, respectively.)

Another source of controversy surrounding Fox, alluded to above, is that its content has historically [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar pushed far]] [[HotterAndSexier more boundaries]] than its broadcast competition, making it a frequent target of MoralGuardians. ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' character Bart Simpson was seen as promoting juvenile delinquency, ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' was subject to a boycott attempt by a Michigan {{housewife}} due to its raunchy content (which [[StreisandEffect only increased its ratings]]), and trashy {{reality show}}s like ''The Swan'', ''Married by America'', ''Temptation Island'' and ''Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?'' managed to disgust nearly everyone. In TheNineties, Fox was also famous for running [[{{Mondo}} shockumentaries]] like the ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293702/ When Animals Attack!]]'' specials and ''World's Wildest Police Videos''.

Creator/FoxNewsChannel also dominates [[TwentyFourHourNewsNetworks cable news]], coming in as the number-one rated cable news network in 2007, formerly hosting the number-one rated cable news TalkShow, ''Series/TheOReillyFactor'' (which held the spot for one hundred months in a row until O'Reilly was terminated by the network in April 2017 for sexual harassment allegations), and grossing more viewers than the other cable news networks combined. However, it is always important to note that Fox and Fox News are completely different operations, and even some of the network's affiliates go out of their way to make sure that viewers know that in their local news coverage. ''Fox News Sunday'', however, is a staple of Sunday mornings on the network, and State of the Union Addresses and Presidential election coverage on the network are produced by Fox News. Sister cable network Fox Business Network is a SpiritedCompetitor to CNBC with a much deeper pro-business slant.

Creator/FoxKids utterly dominated children's television throughout TheNineties, and they, Creator/KidsWB, and WesternAnimation/TheDisneyAfternoon waged war for the hearts and minds of American children through what could be considered one of the finest and last moments for children's broadcast television programming. Unfortunately, the block suffered as a result of the New World deal; most of the new VHF affiliates didn't want anything to do with the block, especially the weekday afternoon portion. Most of these stations would find new affiliations as well, either with the network Fox displaced, or with the fledgling Creator/{{UPN}} or Creator/TheWB, resulting in Fox Kids either being time-shifted or relegated to smaller independent stations in many markets. Fox would then buy the [[Creator/ABCFamily Family Channel]] in 1997, but, without a clear strategy for either Fox Kids or Fox Family, both would be doomed. By 2001 Fox had sold out most of the Fox Kids library and Fox Family itself to Disney and ended the broadcast block in 2002. For the next six years the time was leased out to Creator/FourKidsEntertainment, until a conflict between the two ended in a breakup and 4Kids taking their ball to Creator/TheCW, leaving the Saturday morning time to a network-programmed block of {{Infomercial}}s which is completely ignored by everyone, including, it seems, Fox.

Fox, through their cable division, also runs a number of general networks, including Creator/{{FX}}, FXM (which was similar to Turner Classic Movies, but with solely older films from the Twentieth Century Fox libraries during the day, and recent films with more commercials at night), FXX (a comedy-oriented spinoff of FX), and the National Geographic Channels: both the original network and National Geographic Wild (which replaced the Fox Reality Channel). Spanish viewers are targeted with the upstart Fox Life (formerly Utilisima) network, and from 2012-2015, the broadcast [=MundoFox=] network, which drew from the network's deep reserve of Latin American and European Spanish programming. (Fox pulled out of the [=MundoFox=] network, which lumbered along an additional year after until its end at the start of December 2016.)

Fox also owns a number of regional sports networks, most of which are now branded "Fox Sports (insert region here)", with some owned by [=DirecTV=] under the branding ''Root Sports''). This began in the 90s as ''Fox Sports Net'', with the acquisition of the Prime Network and [=SportsChannel=] [=RSNs=] from Liberty Media and Cablevision, respectively. They also acquired a few others from other companies. During the mid-2000s the net began to break apart, with several stations being bought out by Comcast and rebranded, and others stopping their alliance with FSN. They also ran Fox Soccer Channel (which would later morph into FXX, in September 2013), but still run Fox Soccer Plus, which broadcasts portions of Series A, Barcelona FC and the UEFA Champions League in the hopes that the beautiful game will catch on in America eventually, a bet that paid off, as Fox will be the US English language broadcaster of the 2018 and 2022 [[UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup World Cup]]. (It lost the rights to the UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague to NBC Sports in 2013.) Also owned by Fox is Fox Sports 1, a relatively new all-sports network seeking to challenge ESPN's dominance (it was previously known as Speed/SPEED Channel (and, before that, Speedvision), and was more known as UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}'s official network), and companion network Fox Sports 2, which was previously known as Fuel TV, and showed mainly extreme sports. In 2011, Fox began carrying the [[UsefulNotes/UltimateFightingChampionship UFC]], which is considered a major step in legitimizing that sport further, and sees some programming on Fox Sports 1 and 2.

On a smaller note, Fox also has their hands in radio via Creator/ClearChannel, which distributes two networks from them; Fox News Radio, which provides a traditional radio news service to radio stations with FNC anchors, along with a few full-fledged talk shows. Fox Sports Radio is the SpiritedCompetitor to the larger Creator/{{ESPN}} Radio, with mainly sports talk, but no play-by-play rights outside of local stations affiliated to them which have their region's teams (although it has picked up some national play-by-play rights, like the UFC, as a side effect of some of Fox's larger rights deals in recent years). There is a simulcast of the audio portion of the ''Fox NFL Sunday'' pre-game show. A lesser program, ''Fox All Access'', was one of those weekend shows that aired on pop music stations and played current tracks and promoted Fox shows and films; it used to promote Creator/FoxKids programming (known as the Fox Kids Countdown) until that block's passing in 2002, and finally faded away in June 2012.

The Fox name is used for several Murdoch-owned channels across the world, including the British/Irish channels Fox and Fox+, and the Fox Life suite of channels in Europe and South America. In Australia, the name is used both for the [=Foxtel=] cable and satellite television service (half-owned by News Corp) and their general entertainment cable network, which is sandwiched between Creator/SevenNetwork and Creator/NineNetwork and named Fox 8 in an attempt to establish parity between them and the broadcast networks, as well as an Australian version of Fox Sports.

In 2017, Murdoch reached a deal to separate the Fox network from the 20th Century Fox production assets, sending them to Creator/{{Disney}}. Despite initial speculation that Murdoch would operate the network with a lessened emphasis on scripted entertainment in favor of sports, reality, and news programming, the network intends to stay in the entertainment business going forward, potentially even launching a new television studio separate from post-merger Disney.

!! Shows on Fox:

* ''Series/NineOneOne''
* ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'': One of the very first shows on the network. Made Creator/JohnnyDepp a star.
* ''Series/TwentyFour''
* ''Series/AlienNation''
* ''WesternAnimation/AllenGregory''
* ''Series/AllyMcBeal''
* ''Series/AlmostHuman''
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' (seasons 1-10)
* ''Series/AmericasMostWanted'' (seasons 1-23)
* ''Series/AmericanIdol''
* ''Series/AndyRichterControlsTheUniverse''
* ''Series/{{APB}}''
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''
* ''WesternAnimation/AxeCop''
* ''Series/{{Backstrom}}''
* ''Series/TheBenStillerShow''
* ''Series/BeverlyHills90210''
** ''Series/MelrosePlace''
* ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers''
* ''Series/{{Bones}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Bordertown}}''
* ''Series/BostonPublic''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheCentsables''
* ''WesternAnimation/CityHunters'' (Also a co-producer with AXE products, on the FOX Latin American Channels)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'': Spin-off of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
* ''Series/{{Cops}}'' (seasons 1-26)
* ''Series/{{Cosmos}}: A Spacetime Odyssey''
* ''Series/{{dads}}''
* ''Series/DarkAngel''
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''
* ''Series/{{Empire}}''
* ''Series/{{The Exorcist}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Now the second-longest-running animated sitcom on the network, thanks to the cancellation of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' and ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' [[ChannelHop moving to TBS]].
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}''
* ''Series/TheFollowing''
* ''Series/FortuneHunter''
* ''Series/FreakyLinks''
* ''Free Ride''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' (seasons 1-5; the movies are made for DVD and the rest of the series aired on Creator/ComedyCentral)
* ''Series/GangRelated''
* ''Series/GetALife''
* ''Series/{{Ghosted}}''
* ''Series/{{The Gifted|2017}}''
* ''Series/{{Glee}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/GolanTheInsatiable'': Featured on Animation Domination High-Definition.
* ''Series/GregTheBunny'' (first season only)
* ''Series/TheGrinder''
* ''Series/GroundedForLife'' (seasons 1-2)
* ''Series/{{Gotham}}''
* ''Series/HellsKitchen''
* ''WesternAnimation/HighSchoolUSA'': Featured on Animation Domination High-Definition.
* ''Series/HotelHell''
* ''Series/IHateMyTeenageDaughter''
* ''Series/InLivingColor'': The network's first SketchComedy show. Also the first (successful) acting gig for Creator/JimCarrey (who, prior to ''ILC'' was a struggling stand-up comic who was passed up for ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' and starred in the short lived sitcom ''The Duck Factory''). A revival was planned for this show in 2012, but test audience reaction was negative and the project has been shelved.
* ''Series/TheInside''
* ''Series/JoeMillionaire'' (2003) and ''The Next Joe Millionaire'' (later the same year)
* ''Series/{{Justice}}''
* ''Series/{{KVille}}''
* ''Series/KindredTheEmbraced''
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': The second-longest-running animated sitcom on the network (13 seasons from 1997 to 2009 [[note]]with Creator/AdultSwim airing four unaired episodes in 2010[[/note]]. ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is currently tied with this show for second longest running cartoon.
* ''Series/KitchenNightmares''
* ''Series/LAToVegas''
* ''Series/LeeDanielsStar''
* ''Series/TheLastManOnEarth''
* ''Series/{{Lucifer 2016}}''
* ''Series/LethalWeapon2016''
* ''Series/MADtv'': The longest-running sketch comedy series on FOX, and ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'''s longest running [[DuelingShows rival show]] at 14 seasons (1995-2009). A revival series is shown on Creator/TheCW since 2016.
* ''Series/MakingHistory2017''
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''
* ''Married by America'' (2003)
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren:'' The network's longest-running live action sitcom. Was the first acting gig for Ed O'Neill (now on ''Series/ModernFamily'' as a dad, but not the kind that his character Al Bundy was), Katey Sagal (now on ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy,'' but outside of playing Peg Bundy, was also known as the voice of Turanga Leela on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}},'') David Faustino (who now does voicework on ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra,'') and Christina Applegate (who now does Broadway). Also considered the only show in American television not to have JumpedTheShark thanks to the addition of Ted [=McGinley=] (whose appearances made ''Series/HappyDays'' and ''Series/TheLoveBoat'' suffer [[note]]though some viewers will tell you that ''Happy Days'' and ''The Love Boat'' peaked long before that[[/note]]).
* ''Series/{{Martin}}''
* ''Series/MasterChef''
* ''Series/TheMick''
* ''Series/{{Millennium}}''
* ''Series/MillionDollarMoneyDrop''
* ''Series/TheMindyProject''
* ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''
* ''My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé'' (2004)
* ''WesternAnimation/NapoleonDynamite''
* ''Series/NedAndStacey''
* ''Series/NewGirl''
* ''Series/NewYorkUndercover''
* ''Series/TheOrville''
* ''Series/PartyOfFive''
* ''Series/Pitch2016''
* ''Series/ThePitts''
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePJs'' (first two seasons; the rest of the episodes aired on The WB)
* ''Series/PrisonBreak''
* ''Series/RaisingHope''
* ''Series/RedBandSociety''
* ''Series/TheResident''
* ''Series/{{Rosewood}}''
* ''Series/{{Scream Queens|2015}}''
* ''Series/{{Second Chance 2016}}''
* ''Series/ShotsFired''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': The longest-running animated series ever, not just on FOX, but also American television. Also one of the most popular and most profitable shows on the network.
* ''WesternAnimation/SitDownShutUp''
* ''Series/{{Skin}}''
* ''Series/SleepyHollow''
* ''Series/SoYouThinkYouCanDance''
* ''Series/SonOfZorn''
* ''Series/{{STAR}}''
* ''Series/StrangeLuck''
* ''Series/TheStreet''
* ''Surviving Jack''
* ''Temptation Island'' (2001)
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles''
* ''Series/TerraNova''
* ''Series/That70sShow''
** ''Series/That80sShow''
* ''Series/TheTick2001''
* ''Series/TilDeath''
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'': A short-lived sitcom about the dysfunctional life and times of stand-up comedian Creator/ChristopherTitus. Despite being canceled, the show has a cult following.
* ''Series/{{Touch}}''
* ''Series/TheTraceyUllmanShow''
* ''Series/TruCalling''
* ''Series/{{Undeclared}}''
* ''Series/TheWarAtHome''
* ''Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?'' (2000)
* ''Series/{{Wonderfalls}}''
* ''Series/TheXFactor''
* ''Series/TheXFiles''