Simon Cowell’s talent contest failed to generate the ratings that Fox needed, and execs expected. “We went into the competition round [hoping] to get fresh energy,” COO Chase Carey told analysts in a conference call. “And it was a disappointment for us. It didn’t occur.” That’s one reason why “we didn’t have a great fall…Clearly that was disappointing for us.” Fox execs wanted to regroup after a “choppy October” with the run up to the election, the World Series, and Hurricane Sandy. “We hoped to relaunch Mob Doctor and other shows,” Carey says. “We thought we could bring them back to a better place. That didn’t occur.” Now “we need to have shows break out.” He isn’t pointing any fingers. “Sometimes you’re going to have a tough three months….But we feel like we’ve got a really good team.” Can American Idol, which returned last month, turn things around? “Idol is in early stages, very much a work in progress,” he says.