Reviving '24' and Shifting to Year-Round Programming
As part of his plan to shake-up the industry and abandon pilot season, Reilly shifted Fox to a more year-round calendar of original scripted fare that kicked off with the revived limited series 24: Live Another Day. Fox's summer slate features eight original series including scripted drama Gang Related, Masterchef and Riot.
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and Preaching Patience
While Reilly's niche comedies may be critical hits -- rookie Brooklyn Nine-Nine earned a Golden Globe win and statuette for star Andy Samberg -- the half-hours haven't brought big business to the network. Instead, Reilly has remained patient, renewing The Mindy Project for a third season after two very modestly rated seasons.
'The Cleveland Show' and Embracing Animation
While others have tried to limited success, Reilly developed and launched The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers and Seth MacFarlane's upcoming Bordertown, investing heavily in animation for what proved to be a hugely successful Animation Domination block on Sundays. That lineup will shift come fall when scripted half-hours Brooklyn Nine-Nine and rookie Mulaney join break up the party.
'Fringe' and the Sci-Fi Revival
Reilly greenlit the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi drama starring Anna Torv and Josh Jackson and remained loyal to the Warner Bros. Television series for five seasons, despite declining ratings. After acknowledging that the network was losing money on the heavily mythologized perennial bubble show, he renewed it for an abbreviated 13-episode final season. Fringe was just one of the sci-fi series Reilly greenlit -- and remained patient with -- during his tenure. Others include The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, among others.
'Glee's' Early Preview and Ryan Murphy
The executive who greenlit Nip/Tuck at FX got into the Ryan Murphy business early and helped catapult the writer/exec producer into one of today's most successful showrunners. Reilly also had the foresight to preview musical Glee behind the season finale of American Idol in May, giving birth to a worldwide phenomenon. Reilly is credited with giving the network note to give the glee club a villain -- thus creating Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester.
Abandoning Pilot Season
The executive shook up the TV industry when he declared pilot season dead in January at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, calling the broadcast development system "inefficient." Instead, he focused on straight-to-series orders (like ancient Egypt drama Hieroglyph), shorter seasons and a 52-week original programming season in a bid to shake up the industry. In his exit memo to staff, Reilly held the course, writing: "Don't go back to pilot season!"
Investing in Gordon Ramsay
Fox and Reilly inked chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay to a multiyear deal and expanded his unscripted empire to include five series: Masterchef, Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef Junior and Hotel Hell. Many of those series have been used all over the schedule to fill holes from ratings-challenged scripted fare.
'The Following' and the Short-Order Model
The Kevin Williamson drama was picked up for 15 episodes, helping to draw top talent like star Kevin Bacon and helped usher in the broadcast networks' "limited"/"event series" model. Fox found success this year with another similar short-run series in Sleepy Hollow, the network's only returning drama for 2014-15, with Reilly previously telling press he wished he had more than a 13-episode freshman run.