Advertisers celebrated the revival of Tim Allen’s multi-cam comedy Last Man Standing, at Fox’s Upfront presentation this afternoon, resuscitated after its untimely plowing under by ABC two seasons back.
But, what with the addition of Thursday Night Football to the New Fox’s schedule, sports personalities bragging about rings and MVPs, and golly-goshing about New York City and why its subway smells that way gobbled up a lot of time.
A few hours earlier, Madison Avenue celebrated the rescue of comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine by NBC, after Fox gave it the hook. And eight years after Fox opened a single-camera comedy block on Tuesday, the network is virtually out of that business, opting instead for an Allen-anchored three multi-cam comedy block on Fridays.
Ryan Murphy came to boast about the success of his drama 9-1-1 and unveil new cast regular Jennifer Love Hewitt for Season 2.
And Jamie Foxx deserves some kind of trophy for his heroic effort to warm up the Beacon Theatre crowd.
Here’s how it went, ET time:
4:25 PM: Fox advertising chief Joe Marchese gets things underway, fashionably Fox-late. Unveiling JAZ pods as in Just the A and Z position in ad breaks.
Jamie Foxx walks out and insists advertisers “Give it up for Joe!!” Joe just wants to get off stage gracefully.
“You all crazy right now. Settle down!” Foxx tells advertisers as they sit unmoved in their seats. “I think I read the crowd wrong. I don’t think they know the song. Give them something appropriate” he tells his DJ.
Rolling Stones produces similar crowd reax. “No for The Stones?! ” Fox’s Beat Shazam star marvels. “You don’t like The Stones!?” He tries “Play That Funky Music White Boy” and prances around stage.
“Boy you all are tight! Play something else – we’re gonna get them!”
Bon Jovi’s “Hold On” does not do it either.
“Give it up for almost having a good time!” Foxx raves. “Play some Garth Brooks!”
4:40 PM: Foxx introduces Fox co-chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman.
They walk through their stats, including audience 10 years than the CBS, which gets a laugh from the hall.
More stats. Including one of which Newman says “That’s so New Fox I don’t even know what it means.” Best line of Upfront Week to date.
4:55 PM: Ryan Murphy takes stage to tout 911’s ratings. “We intend to build on this success in Season 2 ,” he says, bringing out on stage Jennifer Love Hewitt to join Angela Bassett and Peter Krause.
4:57 PM: Homer Simpson brought out to talk about Season 30 of The Simpsons, now the longest running scripted show in TV history. It just passed Gunsmoke, which is lucky because CBS just picked up a Gunsmoke reboot, Homer said. “It’s a little young for their viewers but I wish them luck.”
5:00 PM: Tim Allen thanks Fox for “making the bold move to bring Last Man Standing to Fox…You should see the complicated process” to move the series from one network to another. “I say let’s go kick some Nielsen ass,” he says.
5:07 PM: Dana and Gary say last year’s Emmy winner Bob’s Burgers “deserved to move to the center of Fox’s Emmy heavy Sunday slate, between The Simpsons and Family Guy.
5:09 PM: Massive groan in the hall when Dana and Gary introduce photo of Lethal Weapon’s new cast member, Seann William Scott, replacing Clayne Crawford.
5:11 PM: Wednesday a “great night of explosive drama,” Gary Newman says of Lee Daniels’ Empire and Star. Then he turns things over to Fox Sports to talk Thursday Night Football.
5:14 PM: Joe Buck comes out to promise Fox Sports “will be No. 1 again,” and announce the Supreme Court had just ruled sports betting “is no longer illegal,” encouraging the crowd to applaud when the “degenerates” in the theater clapped.
5:36 PM: Giants quarterback Eli Manning explains some important pointers for surviving New York City. No. 2: Just because a play is nominated for a bunch of Tony Awards doesn’t mean it’s good. No. 4: The subway is supposed to smell like that.
5:38 PM: Sean “Diddy” Combs comes out to pitch The Four. “It was little risky getting back into the vocal competition genre,” Diddy says of himself. “We plan on revolutionizing the ads,” he promises advertisers. More where that came from. Eventually, Dana Walden comes back out on stage, signaling it’s time to move on. “Do you want us to leave,” Diddy asks after they run out of small talk. “I want you to leave,” Dana says. “Okay — we’re new to this!” Diddy says good-naturedly.
5:45 PM: Dana Walden introduced clip for next Cosmos edition. “Don’t you feel a little bit smaller for just watching that?” she beams.
5:50 PM: Walden ends their pitch to advertisers introducing a long-ish trailer for The Passage, exec produced by Ridley Scott, based on Justin Cronin’s trilogy of same name about a medical facility where scientists experiment with a virus that could cure all disease or wipe out the human race. After which, The Four’s Meghan Trainor performs. so Fox can end on a more upbeat note.