This month at the Television Critics Association press tour, FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly shared his thoughts on some of the network’s most popular shows.
Fortunately Reilly is an outspoken fan of the genre series Fringe. Thanks to his support and fan encouragement, he made the final decision to renew the show for another season. At the TCAs he shared his outlook for the upcoming season: “I don’t expect Fringe to grow. It’s a pretty complex show. If Fringe can do exactly what Fringe did last year, we’re going to be very happy. They’re right in the pocket creatively once again.” He understands going into season 4 that the ratings probably won’t grow past the stabilization that took place last year when the show moved Friday nights. As long as the cult following remains true to the series, I trust that Reilly will let Fringe run its course until the creators decide it’s time to end the story on their terms. He describes Fringe as “a creative show that deserve[s] to be on the air.”
Many expect that the upcoming season of House will be its last. Reilly commented on the speculation: “I can’t confirm that it’s the last season [though] we’ve talked pretty publicly about the potential for that. I’ve spoken to [the producers] and they want to go out strong, so we’re going to revisit that later in the fall.” In a recent interview with TVLine, House creator David Shore admitted that he’s not approaching this season as if it’s the last. He said, “Fox wants another season. I think enough of our fans want another season. [Universal Media Studios] wants another season. It may well be [the final season]. And we will know earlier rather then later because I want to do [the ending] right.” Reilly mentioned that if FOX were to drop the show before Shore has properly concluded the series, Universal Media Studios (the production house behind the show) might opt to shop it to other networks. But don’t bet on that happening. Either FOX will say they’re willing to renew the show later this fall, or they’ll advise Shore to start wrapping things up and mark season eight as the last.
After cancelling the breakout comedy Breaking In last season, FOX quickly extended the cast options so that if they were to figure out a way to bring it back from the dead in a timely manner the cast (consisting of Christian Slater, Brett Harrison and Odette Annable) would remain attached to the program. Reilly confirms that Breaking In will be a contender for the network’s two-hour midseason comedy block. It will battle returning series Raising Hope and newcomers I Hate My Teenage Daughter, New Girl, Little In Common, and Family Album for a spot. “We will revisit what makes that two-hour block later in the fall and make a decision [on Breaking In],” said Reilly.
Reilly also took time to comment on the recent Glee controversy involving graduating stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith. “I think it has taken on a little more heat and momentum than it in fact is. This show is a big management undertaking. There are many successful shows on the air that have genuine controversy and fighting. That has really not been the case. It is a good group of people with [different] personalities.” He confirmed that Rachel, Kurt, and Finn will be graduating at the end of the season 3 and that a spinoff series starring these characters might be developed. “We collectively decided to revisit [the spinoff] in the back half of the [season] when it should be visited. It got out [in the media early] and then got a little bit crazy.” These comments support what Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy told Deadline this month. Reilly also visited the rumored fractured relationship between Murphy and other co-creator Brad Falchuk. “Those guys get along really well. Brad is the most even-keeled, mild-mannered guy in the world. And Ryan is who he is. And that’s why we love him. He is a creative force… When that spinoff came around, I think his wheels started turning… and this got out. And I think the second it did, I think all of us were really surprised at how it took on a life of its own. This is something that was probably a two-day issue, that somehow it has taken on a bigger life.” Reilly went on to describe how the upcoming season will be “focused” and “back to basics.” He maintained, “There aren’t going to be any big guest stars, there aren’t going to be any tribute [episodes]. We’re focused on our core characters and relationships. [There will be] an incredibly clean arc. There will be a graduation at the end [of the season]. We know the three characters who will be graduating. How that’s going to play out I’m not going to say. There are some surprises; it’s not going to be predictable.”
Last, Reilly also made sure to share his excitement over the Tim Kring (Heroes) pilot starring Kiefer Sutherland (24) called Touch. He describes the pilot as “extraordinary” and says Sutherland’s role is “a new character but it does have some dose of Jack Bauer in it.” The show has yet to be scheduled and Reilly held that he “can’t confirm [the series order] yet, but [they're] staffed on Touch and they’re writing scripts now.” He added, “Look, to be honest with you, if the pilot was lousy, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. But I think the pilot is potentially great.” In case you forget, the show will focus on a father (Sutherland) who discovers that his autistic, mute son (David Mazouz) can predict events before they happen. Danny Glover costars as “a professor and expert on children who possess special gifts,” reports TVLine. Lookout for Touch to premiere in midseason.