TV Upfronts: THR Live-Blogs Fox's Presentation

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Upfronts: THR Live-Blogs Fox's Presentation
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TV Upfronts: THR Live-Blogs Fox's Presentation

After announcing its fall and midseason schedule and reviving 24 as a 12-episode limited series during a morning conference call with reporters Monday, Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly presented his lineup to Madison Avenue ad buyers during an afternoon presentation at the Beacon Theatre. Follow along with The Hollywood Reporter's Editor-at-Large Kim Masters as she live-blogs the presentation from inside the theater.

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4:16 The presentation opens with a montage on the changing nature of the business with talking wonks and creative (including J.J. Abrams, Liz Meriwether, Mindy Kaling, Ryan Seacrest and James L. Brooks). But Fox is different, fresh, edgy, fun! Enter Kevin Reilly and sales guy Toby Byrne. "Things are changing," Reilly says. "It's an amazing time of transition." After the well-reported troubles with American Idol and The X Factor, he admits: "This was not our best year" but adds, "We will be No. 1 again next season." As with NBC, there's lots of talk about selling cross platforms. Reilly and Byrne tout the youth of the Fox audience and say their network is a dominant No. 1 in terms of social media. Cable may be good, Reilly says, but broadcast still dominates in top shows. Reilly also says Fox is closing in on year-round programming. Now the new shows.

4:45 Montages resume as talent talks comedy, new and not. A large group of talent from the network's new and returning comedies takes the stage for a second. New Girl scene-stealer Max Greenfield (Schmidt) takes the mike while the stage clears. He clowns around -- sleeveless after giving his jacket to an audience member -- before introducing Seth MacFarlane live-action comedy Dads. The slacker dads moving in with their sons plays kind of flat. Fox is after guys this go-round after seeing its female-themed Tuesday comedy block struggle this past season. With men the priority, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a cop comedy starring Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher is up next. The latter plays the tough boss, Samberg the talented rascal cop. This one gets a somewhat warmer reception. Next up is Enlisted, starring The Finder's Geoff Stults in a half-hour about screw-up soldiers in training. It's pretty broad. With some of these shows, it's hard to see how they'd sustain themselves over more than a couple of episodes. But Enlisted is relegated to Fridays, so there's that. Reilly is also high on Christopher Meloni in Surviving Jack as a replacement show. Guessing this doesn't last as long as Law & Order: SVU. The clips are notoriously hard to judge but comedies should be clippable and these didn't seem to light up the room. Fox feels uncharacteristically low key.

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4:59 Sports before drama with the Super Bowl on Fox this time! Fox scores the biggest applause yet when the Michael Strahan says the network is giving scarfs to everyone in the audience. Reilly follows that up with digital talk. He notes everyone knows most digital content "stinks" but Fox is working on a better version. Clips from comedy sketch show, animated block, comedy. And back to primetime. Reilly says American Idol is still a top five show. Stars from Fox's unscripted roster take the stage, including Simon Cowell, who promises changes to The X Factor's format and asks archly, "Where's randy?" Ryan Seacrest replies, "Ask Kevin." The exchange draws audible laughs from the theater and a colorful response from Gordon Ramsay

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