While most of the attention during Fox‘s TCA executive session was on American Idol and newly announced judge Mariah Carey, the network’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly was able to touch upon a few other subjects.
– Despite declining American Idol ratings, Fox still won the 2011-12 season in adults 18-49, the network’s eight consecutive victory. But its streak may end next season, Reily said. “We may not win the season this year, but I can tell you at the very least it will be close,” he said, pointing that CBS will have both the NFL’s Super Bowl and AFC Championship Game. But even if it loses the ratings race for the season, “we are going to have a good year, we are teeing up for the future” with strong new shows, Reilly said.
– Asked why there was not a single broadcast drama among the best drama series Emmy nominees this year while the nominated shows had been pitched to broadcast networks before landing on cable, Reilly noted that “cable hits would not make it in network universe.” As for broadcast’s Emmy drought in the category, “seminal shows like House and 24 have cycled out,” he said. “Next year we will have some.” Asked later to elaborate, Reilly pointed to midseason Fox drama Touch, which had a rough first season, and its new dramas, declining to name titles. (Fox’s new dramas are the Kevin Bacon-starring The Following, which has a strong early critical buzz, and The Mob Doctor.)
– The X Factor will likely name its host(s) within the next week or two. The network and Simon Cowell are still considering scenarios with one and two hosts, Reilly said. Asked about X Factor‘s modest first-season ratings that led to a casting shakeup, Reilly noted that the reality series still helped Fox log one of its strongest falls. “I’d much rather have Simon and the X Factor with us than against us,” he said. On the new judging panel, “I think people are going to be surprised at how feisty Britney Spears is. She really lays it on the line.”
– Asked after the panel to address Bones star David Boreanaz’s comments that he may leave the long-running dramedy after the upcoming season, Reilly said that negotiations with the actor are ongoing and “I expect that he will be back.”
– On Glee, Reilly confirmed that the show’s regulars will return but will have a different level of involvement. “We really have a core of some of the returning actors and new actors and limited deals with other actors joining throughout the season here and there,” he said. As for the show’s setup next season that follows both the New Directions Glee club in Ohio and Rachel Berry’s new life in New York, “episodes will cut back and forth between Ohio and New York,” Reilly said, adding that Fox brass are very happy with the first few scripts.