Fox Boss Shares His Expectations for Fringe, Thoughts on Future of Bones and House

It won’t take out-of-this-world numbers to make Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly feel good about Fringe‘s Season 4 renewal. “I don’t expect Fringe to grow; it’s a pretty complex show,” Reilly conceded to reporters at the network’s Television Critics Association summer press tour gathering.

Although Reilly welcomes first-timers to get caught up on the sci-fi series and jump in as new viewers, “If Fringe can do exactly what it did last year, we’re going to be very happy,” he maintained. After all, one of the perks of being a network that thrives on the monster success of American Idol “is that you can support creative shows that deserve to be on the air.”

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In addition to sharing his expectations for Fringe and weighing in on Glee‘s seemingly endless controversies, Reilly also surveyed the futures of two long-running shows, House and Bones.

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Sharing his prognosis for House, he said, “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.” Should Fox ultimately pass on renewing House, Universal Media Studios, which produces the medical drama, may elect to shop it elsewhere.

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Bones, meanwhile, appears to be on much more solid ground, even though only 13 episodes are expected this season, due to Emily Deschanel’s maternity leave, the late start dictated by same, and the plan to share its Thursdays-at-9 time slot with spin-off The Finder. “We’ve been pretty darn happy with the performance of Bones,” especially as the now-relocated CSI began to wane, Reilly effused. “God bless Bones that they have delivered” to to Fox a solid relationship-procedural hybrid.

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Other topics covered by the Fox boss:

* Breaking In, which stars Christian Slater and at first pass did not get renewed for a second season, still is a contender to be a part of a four-comedy midseason block.

* Reilly indicated that the network would be satisfied if The X Factor this fall “can do half” the numbers American Idol typically tallies at midseason.

* John Walsh is confirmed to be seeking a new home for America’s Most Wanted, which after a 23-year run will not air on Fox every Saturday night. “It came to a point where it just wasn’t [financially] possible anymore,” Reilly explained, touting AMW as one of Fox’s “legacy shows.” “We need to use that real estate to play with some other [programming].”

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* Reilly has utmost faith that the EFX-heavy Terra Nova will be able to deliver, on time, its 13-episode freshman run. But even if the Steven Spielberg-produced drama proves to be wildly successful, Season 1 will not be extended. For Season 2, however, Terra Nova is contracted for 22 episodes.

* Reilly indicated some disappointment in the current ratings for So You Think You Can Dance, but noted, “It’s still a Top 10 show that has a loyal and consistent audience. We need to freshen up our summer [line-up], and I do anticipate next summer we will, but So You Think You Can Dance will still be a part of it.”