Upfronts 2012: THR Live-Blogs Kevin Reilly's Fox Presentation
Get minute-to-minute updates from The Hollywood Reporter's Editor-at-Large Kim Masters as the network entertainment president tells advertisers about its big push for comedy and the new "X Factor" judges.
Make that no degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.
4:08 p.m. Fox starts out running a clip package. They have lots of hits to clip. New Girl interspersed with Mindy Kaling, Kevin Bacon and other new stuff.
The network presents the stars of Fox, all on stage—Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson from Idol, Bones guys, Seth Macfarlane with Mila Kunis from Family Guy, yes—Kevin Bacon. Lea Michele and whole passel of Glee folks get big cheer. Gordon Ramsay and Master Chef folks. Mindy Kaling and crew from The Mindy Project. Row after row. Zooey Deschannel and the New Girl dudes. The Raising Hope clan. Fox has talent. Seacrest is hosting. “This is the Fox upfront!” with Idol music. He introduces head of sales—after the break. Just kidding. Here’s Toby Byrne.
4:15 p.m. Byrne says Fox hits “the millenial generation” squarely. Its audience’s median age is getting younger. Fox is set apart by its concentration of viewers under 40, he says. And he says, “Although Idol is down this year . . . Idol is still standing tall” and is “a pillar of our schedule.” And Fox has a lot of sports, too.
4:22 p.m. Seacrest returns and comments that Byrne has “great skin.” Eh? TV chief Peter Rice emerges and praises has a graphic showing the biggest hits on cable and illustrating the comparative might of Fox shows generally and Idol in particular. He talks about the network’s reach in the digital space and in social media. He says Fox has more than 230 million fans in social media. Hitting that social media theme hard.
4:30 p.m. Seacrest is back to introduce “the biggest star” on the network. Again with the Idol shtick... “After the results are in... The biggest star at Fox is... Really?” Can you guess? It’s Kevin Reilly.
4:36 p.m. Network president Kevin Reilly says he finally has the comedy lineup of his dreams. He flashes back to New Girl clips and introduces Ben and Kate. The comedy looks kind of New Girl-esque, with a family, which would not be a bad thing. Seems to be getting some laughs. Looong clip package. Big applause.
4:45 p.m. Reilly introduces "one of wittiest most adorable women I've ever worked with." Both Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschannel come on stage. Cute. Kaling tells deschannel that Kevin Reilly is "hot" and "his body is amazing." Clips from The Mindy Project. NBC passed on this. She plays a gynecologist with relationship issues. Kaling is appealing but this one doesn't seem to play as strong with the advertisers as Ben and Kate.
4:50 p.m. Midseason replacement The Goodwin Games. Three siblings compete for the family fortune. Dead dad is Beau Bridges. Again, looks like it could work but so far, Ben and Kate got the most love. Reilly jabs at "about 200 comedies" at we're introduced this morning (by NBC) but says Fox has the goods" in comedy. Getting to X Factor now. Big build...
4:55 p.m. X Factor = Britney Spears + Demi Lovato. Reilly introduces Simon Cowell, LA Reid and the ladies. "Well, we delivered," Cowell says. Introduces the talent. The crowd cheers. LA Reid says , "Come on. You have to make more noise than that." the audience does. Ditto Lovato. Spears manages to say she's excited. Simon says, "This year we are seriously going to kick butt." If the ladies are going to sing, it's not now.
5:01 p.m. Reilly talks Glee, moving to Thursdays. Sings its praises--ha ha. The show will follow some kids to theater school in NY. It'll be "a show within a show." No word on who'll be in the show. Amber Riley isn't here, though. Reilly talks up Friday night briefly. This is where Kiefer Sutherland finds himself in Touch. Reilly also mentions a Saturday late-night animation bloc. Saturday night programming has always eluded Fox. Maybe this'll do better than Spike Ferensten. On to new drama Mob Doctor. That name seems a little on the nose. The show about the lady doctor who must do the mob's bidding seems to play just okay. Now The Following, the Kevin Bacon show. OMG creepy. Serial killer cuts out victoms' eyes. Ewww. Kevin Bacon's not an FBI agent any more. But guess what? He must do what the law man must do.
5:15 p.m. Reilly's done. Less than an hour and 15 minutes! Nice! Seacrest declares that after the final vote, Reilly is safe. Here comes Randy Jackson. He introduce Mary J. Blige. What? Why? Oh well. One Love. Fox is over and out. Short, sharp. It's nice to be mighty.