Live-Blogging the Fox Executive TCA Session
July 14, 2008 9:54 AM
"So You Think You Can Dance?" has just let out, and we're awaiting the arrival of Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. The over/under on the phrase "business as unusual" being uttered is set at three. I will take the under.
10:05 a.m.: "Fringe" question: Fox made the call to J.J. Abrams and offered him a series from day one. "I think this one is gonna deliver the goods," Mr. Reilly says.
10:08 a.m.: The strategy is to be focused in the fall. Fox was going to focus on two shows next season regardless of a strike, Mr. Reilly says.
10:09 a.m.: Tim Roth has been cast in "Lie to Me."
10:10 a.m.: A December pilot screening has been set with Fox, as opposed to a massive slate in May. They will screen at least eight projects in December.
10:11 a.m.: This two-hour "24" prequel in November is really going to be a good piece of business, he says. By the way, the title of the "24" prequel is "24: Exile."
More Reilly material after the jump, including talk of "The Simpsons" coming to an end and Fox's move in the upfronts.
10:12 a.m.: A throwback to the old style of celebrity variety show is a good thing for Fox. "I think this is zigging where the other guys zag," Mr. Reilly says. That is SO close to "business as unusual," but I just can't count it yet.
10:13 a.m.: What does Mr. Reilly think of "The Moment of Truth?": "I think there is one thing I'd say about 'The Moment of Truth': This is Fox," he says.
10:17 a.m.: "24" prequel is a separate day, but it tees up the coming season.
10:18 a.m.: Staying young on Fox: "I do believe that with new shows, you can age it down," he says. It's as simple as keeping shows revitalized. Animation is a big part of that.
10:20 a.m.: Fox came in last in gay visibility, according to GLAAD, for its second year in a row. Reilly said previously he would strive toward improving that. Fox has several shows moving forward with gay characters, he says.
10:23 a.m.: How about diversity on Fox? "It is woven into the fabric of what we do every day in terms of creating characters and casting characters," he says. What Fox has in the pipeline has very diverse characters, but this fall was dinged by the strike, considering the major minority character on Fox is Cleveland from "The Cleveland Show."
10:27 a.m.: Who knows how many more seasons of "The Simpsons" there will be, he says. Little-known fact: "The Simpsons" has been on for approximately 1 billion seasons, give or take.
10:28 a.m.: In order to mix things up, Fox won't take comedy pitches in offices, but rather on the writers' turf, like their home or a restaurant. "Boldly Going Nowhere" is a single-camera comedy from the folks behind "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." "It's like 'The Office' in space," Mr. Reilly says.
10:31 a.m.: Three African American actors have been cast for "The Cleveland Show." Mr. Reilly says it wasn't in response to the fact that Mike Henry, who is white, plays Cleveland.
10:33 a.m.: "Sit Down, Shut Up": Mr. Reilly won't comment on the writers' negotiations with the show. Doesn't want to affect the negotiations. Mitchell Hurwitz will probably stay, but some writers will leave.
10:36 a.m.: Fox has moved its upfront from later in the week to Monday. It's no grand statement, Mr. Reilly says, but rather because the week ends on Memorial Day. He doesn't want ad buyers mentally checked out.
10:37 a.m.: That does it.
Mr. Reilly did tread close to our magic phrase, but the counter is still at zero. We've also recorded an interview with Mr. Reilly that should be up at TVWeek.com sometime later today. This post will be updated with that link when it magically appears. Next up: "Fringe."