EXCLUSIVE: Execs at the home of Sleepy Hollow, Glee and The Mindy Project had a message today for showrunners and agents: Diversity is the new ka-ching. “Not only are you going to have more chances of a show being made here, more chances of a show being a success on TV, more chances of making it into syndication, more chances of a show selling globally and making you millions of dollars, but you are going to bring more viewers to our air and keep us in business,” Fox Broadcasting COO Joe Earley told a group of the company’s brass, as well as agents, producers, and media coalitions. Usual good intentions aside, that good-for-business mantra was the primary thrust of the third annual invite-only confab, called “Seizing Opportunities” this year.
And the Zanuck Theater on the Fox lot certainly had a lot of people who do business with each other on hand Thursday. Earley co-hosted the event with Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly; Fox TV’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman; Fox Animation’s Vanessa Morrison; FX’s John Landgraf, Eric Schrier and Nick Grad; Fox TV Distributions’ Mark Kaner; and Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley. Unlike past Fox diversity conferences, the agencies were represented for the first time too, with WME’s Rick Rosen, UTA’s Jay Sures and CAA’s Joe Cohen as co-hosts as well. ICM’s Pete Stone, Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, Mindy Project EP Jack Burditt, 3Arts partner and former 30 Rock EP David Miner and Gang Related EPs Chris Morgan and Scott Rosenbaum also were among the 150-plus attendees for the 90-minute session. Don’t Trust The B—- creator Nahnatchka Khan was there on a Walden-fronted panel with her producing partner Melvin Mar and restaurateur Eddie Huang, whose memoir Fresh Off The Boat is the basis of a 20th TV comedy project the trio are behind and ABC has given a put pilot commitment to. From the non-industry world, reps from the National Hispanic Media Coalition as well as the National Latino Media Council and the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, both of which have clashed with Fox in the past, were there too.