Q&A: Kevin Reilly
President, Fox Entertainment
Kevin Reilly: We're going a little more female. We're doing this batch of series in May and another batch over the summer. Our live-action half-hour business needs to be jump-started. Moving "Bones" to Thursday is building into a strong night for us. That's something we'll strategically be continuing to support next year.
THR: What's your strategy to jump-start your live-action comedy brand?
Reilly: I think strategically, if we have something we feel like we could jump-start in the fall schedule, we'll put a comedy in there and spend a lot of marketing against it to give it some protection. I was actually very down on the whole single vs. multicamera for a while; I'm actually liking it now. I've had a couple of good multicamera ones with "Two Dollar Beer" and "Ab Fab," and I've got a couple single-camera family shows, so I think we've got a couple of good comedies.
THR: There's been rumblings the next season of "24" will be its last. What's your feeling?
Reilly: Creatively, the show is very vital right now, and the whole unit would like to keep it going in some way. I know Kiefer is very passionate about the idea.
THR: Could the show continue without Kiefer Sutherland?
Reilly: It's hard for me to imagine the show without him. He's an executive producer. We may contemplate introducing another character who could potentially carry the bulk of the story line, but right now there's no expectation of that; it's very much in the abstract.
THR: Can "Terminator" or "Dollhouse" financially make sense as broadcast shows next season if their ratings don't improve?
Reilly: Advertisers have liked the shows. Both shows are doing well on a c7 basis. It's too early to rule them out.
THR: What is the future of RemoteFreeTV?
Reilly: The jury's still out. We've gotten outstanding viewer feedback. I think the year hasn't helped. Fortunately, "Fringe" was a keeper. Can you sell the real estate for free? If we don't do it on a full series, we might use it for a special episode or stunt something. So we'll keep it in the mix in some fashion.
THR: You've been consistent in ordering new pilots throughout the year and greenlighting new series several time a year. Will that continue?
Reilly: Absolutely that will continue. We've already got a couple things, big things, big pieces picked out for the summer.
THR: Should "American Idol" continue tweaking its format next season, or are this season's changes enough for now?
Reilly: I think we'll get through this season and then reassess.
THR: There's a perception that "Lie to Me" and "Fringe" have been dependent on being paired with strong lead-ins. Is that fair? And even if it is fair, does it matter?
Reilly: No, it's not fair, and no, it doesn't matter. That's good television. "Fringe" has established a really dedicated audience, and "Lie to Me" is also very charming. Look across the board at 10 o'clock. Look at Thursday night, with the "Grey's Anatomy" lead-in and the "CSI" lead-in. Nobody forces anybody to watch a show even with a lead-in.
THR: What are you going do with "Moment of Truth"?
Reilly: It's not really a priority right now. It was not the world's most expensive show, so I think it probably will find its way to the schedule at some point. It could be utilized in the summer at some point, but frankly it's not something that's going to break the bank.
THR: In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently this season?
Reilly: I'm pretty happy with the way the year has gone. The strategy of successfully moving "House" to Monday, with "24" reinvigorated; launching two new dramas, and they're successful. We've had a fair amount of success with all these moves.
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