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Kevin Reilly announces two development seasons for FOX - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 14th 2008 6:03PM
Kevin Reilly of FoxBetween the sessions for So You Think You Can Dance and Fringe, FOX Entertainment president Kevin Reilly happily took answers from the gathered critics. Perhaps the most interesting piece of news he unleashed on us was that the network is officially going to have two development seasons: the traditional one that ends in May with the upfronts, and a new one that ends in December, which will position the network to air pilots in the January/February time frame, a time Reilly called the network's "high season." (Which it is, of course, given the presence of the BCS and American Idol).

In fact, Reilly has eight pilots currently in development for consideration in December, far more than he had for this past May, due to the writers' strike and other reasons. Other interesting bits after the jump.

  • Asked about bringing in J.J. Abrams and his project, Fringe, Reilly described the show as an "X-Files, Indiana Jones kind of a thing." He went on to say that "this show just feels right. Sometimes with big show-runners it's all hype and no delivery. This one is going to deliver the goods."
  • He thinks the strike was good for some shows, namely 24. The show will be "rockin' and rollin'" into the next season.
  • Two shows in development for mid-season that Reilly was especially impressed with was Lie to Me, a drama that just cast Tim Roth in the title role, and Boldly Going Nowhere, the previously-announced "Star Trek meets The Office" show being put together by the guys from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He thinks the show "will be a great stake in the ground for next generation of comedy. It's the funniest script I've read in a long time."
  • He's very impressed with how Hulu has been coming along, and the network may use the service as a development tool, where they can air shows and gauge the audience before ordering a pilot for air.
  • Speaking of which, Reilly is concerned that the lack of comedies on network TV are leading creators to get "skittish" when they pitch ideas to networks. So, in an effort to shake things up, he and his executives are "not going to take most of our pitches on our office, we'll meet the writers on their own turf." Also, perhaps inspired by some of the viral videos made by writers during the strike (and the Jimmy Kimmel / Sarah Silverman "I'm F--ing" series), "we'll commission some things, pay writers a little money to go shoot something before they come in, even if it's not for air."
  • He told the critics that he "wouldn't read too much into" the fact that the fall has few pilots across the board. He doesn't think this is going to be an ongoing situation, just something that was created by the strike. He even thinks that the TCAs are still a good idea. But he may have just been kissing our butts.
  • On the state of Sit Down, Shut Up, the Mitch Hurwitz-produced program whose writers walked out due to a contract dispute, Reilly said things are being finalized on a deal. "Some writers will leave, some will stay. Hopefully, even by today, we'll go forward with a writing staff."
  • About the questionable content of The Moment of Truth: "i'll say this. This is FOX. We never give up our DNA. I'm gonna continue to do quality scripted shows. This season will be a big step forward for that. But FOX is free to do those kind of things (like Moment).and we'll continue. No exuses for it." The "FOX DNA" theme kept popping up during questioning, and Reilly gladly defended it time after time.

More conferences coming up this afternoon, including a Fox News conference with (cue ominous music) Karl Rove. Should be fun.

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I'm looking forward to seeing the Sunny in Philadelphia Set in Space show :-)

Second the calls for an AD movie tho, damn shame it was cancelled. In fact it's tragic - we could be on season 6 now, COME ON!!!!

July 15 2008 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ditto that Hermano!!

July 14 2008 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

KEVIN REILLY: I know it's not in your department, but if there's anything in your power you can do to encourage more Arrested Development (film, new series, special, etc) well... the comedy world will owe you buddy

July 14 2008 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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