Fox Boss Kevin Reilly Steps Down on the Heels of a Disappointing Season

Fox Boss Kevin Reilly Fired

Fox’s Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly is stepping down on the heels of a lackluster season, it was announced on Thursday.

Reilly will depart his post, which he has held since 2012 (after joining Fox in 2007), by the end of June. The Los Angeles Times first reported the news.

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Only three of the nine series Fox premiered since fall 2013 (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sleepy Hollow and MasterChef Junior) earned renewals, with the fate of midseason launch Gang Related technically TBD though assuredly grim. Meanwhile, American Idol and Glee — once the network’s mightiest players — both waned, slipping to series lows.

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In a statement, Reilly said, “21st Century Fox is a great company that has provided me with choice seats at the head table of pop culture over two very rewarding stints both at FBC and FX, and I am grateful to have benefited from the leadership of [Fox Networks Group CEO] Peter Rice, [News Corp. CEO] Chase Carey and [News Corporation founder] Rupert Murdoch…. Peter and I have been discussing this transition for a while, and now with a robust new slate of programming for next season and strength in the FBC ranks, it felt like the timing was as right as it could be.”

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As mentioned above, Reilly is exiting after a difficult ratings season for Fox, in which the network was “flat for the season [to date], a little flatter in some ways than I want to be,” he acknowledged in January at the TCA Press Tour. “Some of our mature shows are down a little deeper than I would have hoped. So it’s been a mixed bag….”

For the 2013-14 TV season, Fox placed second in the demo (behind NBC) and fourth in total audience (averaging 7.35 million viewers). Of the 10 highest rated and most watched series, Fox — with American Idol waning — only claimed The OT. That said, Sleepy Hollow emerged as the No. 3-rated new drama, while Family Guy was among the Top 5 returning comedies.

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108 Comments
  1. torimelching says:

    Bring back ENLISTED!!!!!!! I would like Surviving Jack also.

    • John says:

      If yesterday’s announcement was about Reilly leaving, can today’s announcement be that ENLISTED is coming back? Isn’t FOX interested in developing hit shows? Isn’t that what running a network is supposed to be all about? Pair ENLISTED with BROOKLYN and watch what happens.

      • torimelching says:

        I would love it to come back. But with B99 being on an already full Sunday I don’t think it will be paired with that. Even if Enlisted was a mid-season show I would be happy. Apparently Enlisted and Almost Human are key factors in him resigning…so we will see.

    • chistosa says:

      Disagree. I saw it once only and it was an insipid, insulting mess.

  2. c-mo says:

    Maybe if he would have moved Enlisted to a better timeslot, it could have been 4 of 9…just sayin…

  3. Cassandra says:

    Can the new boss bring back Almost Human?

    • MelindaB says:

      Please, please, please? And Firefly? (OK, I know it’s not gonna happen. But I’m obliged to hope, being a Browncoat and a Fillionaire.

    • MaryLou says:

      Bring back Almost Human! Fox never treated that show right, and it certainly didn’t help by screwing around with the order of the episodes. It was one of the best new shows of the season. I think they might find that a lot of fans of shows they cancelled have wiped Fox off their list of networks to watch because of poor decisions these past couple of years.

      • Sandy Shapiro says:

        Almost Human was an amazing show on so many levels. But, sadly it was treated like a poor relation right from the beginning, I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the network execs decide schedules.

    • Huskygrl says:

      That was my first thought – can the new person PLEASE by smart enough to bring back Almost Human? I don’t even care when they show it, I will find a way to watch it live, I promise!!

  4. Margaret says:

    Quit moving shows like Bones around. Bones is your best show in my opinion and you keep moving it. It’s like you want your shows to fail.

    • Sarah says:

      @Margaret

      Let’s hope they don’t move it (or at least as much) this coming season.

    • klown says:

      As annoying as the frequent moving of Bones is, the fact that they have enough faith in the show to know that it will do well enough to succeed, no matter where it airs, is the opposite of wanting it to fail.

    • MaryLou says:

      I have never seen a show moved around so much. We love Bones, but it seems that Fox doesn’t care that the fans can’t find it half the time.

      • Nope. Sure, they move Bone’s time slot around alot, but it’s always only ever on the same ONE channel, right? If you cant find it by glancing at that ONE channel’s weekly line-up that should, and I timed it, take about 5 minutes, then you have other, more urgent problems to deal with. But maybe you don’t have access to the internet, or a newspaper, or a tv guide, maybe you can’t read. Finding a TV show’s time slot should REALLY not be a challenge for a grown-up person. Finding love, your car keys, someone to have a baby with or if that fails, a good milkshake, THOSE are challenges!

      • Jo says:

        They move Bones around all the time but the fans follow the show where ever it goes and it’s going into it’s10th season. They need to wake up and give Bones the respect it deserves and give it a permanate day. It’s a great show with a fabulous cast.

  5. lkiniowa says:

    Good. He set up a lot of shows to fail – like Almost Human by airing the episodes out of order. I think all decisions he made over the last couple of months should be wiped out.

  6. Helen says:

    Should have kept Enlisted. I am glad that Bones is still doing pretty well for its 9th season! Hopefully Glee picks up soon. I feel like FOX has made some ignorant moves this season – moving Bones to fridays then back to Mondays(confusing many people), and putting Enlisted on FRIDAYS!

    • dcl33 says:

      I highly doubt that Glee is gonna pick up much. With what they said 6th season is gonna be about its gonna pretty much where it is atm. 2mil viewers or less

  7. Samantha says:

    If they had paired Enlisted with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I think it would have done phenomenally better. Who premieres a new show on Friday?! That’s where you send shows to die, which it obviously did. And canceling Almost Human was a terrible idea. It did better than Glee which is guaranteed at least part of another season. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Fox has yet again made horrible programming.

  8. Tricia says:

    Couldn’t do that before he cancelled Enlisted?

  9. Keep in mind this is also the guy that gave the Fringe team an opportunity to end the show their way. I think this is a big loss for Fox, yes there were some mistakes the last two seasons. But I thought their 2014-15 slate looked good.

  10. Alichat says:

    I still don’t understand why they cancelled Almost Human. And Enlisted needed to air on another night.

  11. Ames says:

    Fox renewed The Mindy Project and i am sure this guy had something to do with that so… bummer but at least i get a 3rd season ( and maybe a 4th w/ syndication possibilites) of my fav show!

  12. Margaret E says:

    NBC Dracula did better ratings wise than Hannibal.But Hannibal get a renewal.NBC president. Of entertainment should remove himself as well,because he has no idea what he is doing.
    Dracula deserve a second season,I know this is way off the topic but it had to be said.

    • Josh says:

      Dracula was critical panned, Hannibal is critical lauded. The ratings weren’t big enough difference either. Critical lauded, higher Emmy chances is also better than low ratings, no buzz, no chances at Emmys. And NBC is probably desperate to have a chance for an Emmy given that there more successful dramas are poorly written/attacked drivel like Chicago Fire/PD

      • Jennifer Dahlstrom says:

        So Josh you prefer bloody pointless killing to an action show? You have no taste if you prefer Hannibal to Chicago Fire

    • lululime says:

      NBC has some sort of licensing or production deal with another company so that it shares the cost of creating Hannibal. It doesn’t spend all that much money on the show itself, which is why it looks beautiful and also easy to renew because they aren’t in the red on it.

  13. Dragonfly says:

    So can they uncancel Almost Human now?

    • Annie says:

      I wish they would. Fox talked about wanting year round programming. Keeping Almost Human would have been a good start.

  14. Don S. says:

    That’s unfortunate. Kevin’s a solid network exec and has been a great representative for Fox throughout his time there. I hope he finds himself in the mix elsewhere, soon. TV is better with him than without him.

  15. rehabber says:

    First they screw up Almost Human like they did Firefly by showing eps out of order, then they cancel it. It was the only show I was watching on Fox.

  16. B Conway says:

    Oh please bring back Almost Human! I was really getting into that show. Come on Fox give it another chance! Oh and STOP MOVING BONES around!

  17. hummingbird says:

    I barely watch anymore since AMW and Cops were taken off. It was highlight of my Saturday night. Thankfully Bones is still around. Miss Almost Human too.

  18. sammy banner says:

    No one wants to watch tv anymore with these new stupid seasons. you begin to watch and then it is over. its crap!

  19. Morgan Sneed says:

    please keep Glee. Glee has helped me through a lot of issues and i would not be where i am today without glee. if they cancel glee i will never watch fox again. that i can promise.

  20. Becky says:

    He cancelled Surviving Jack – good riddance!

  21. Curt says:

    it seems to me that if Kevin Reilly had asked a sampling of us viewers, he would have seen this coming way off. Seriously like just 20 normal folk

    Glee is tired and old now, the reality/talent shows are becoming worn
    How wrapped up in his little world is he?

    good shows shot down instead? Almost Human and Enlisted. No blame on scheduling, just poor ‘rose’ glasses view

  22. Margie Clark says:

    Let’s see, Fox kept on changing “Bones,” until it felt the show was on a merry-go-round. “Almost Human” was taken off. Stop switching show times/days and bring back Almost Human. Give me a reason to not watch the other stations.

  23. Jill Moy says:

    Fox is a glutten for punishment, renewing American Idol, which had a season with sub-par talent at best….A TRAIN WRECK! You can’t renew on basis of previous years! Ratings were worst ever and Harry Connick, Jr. Made a mockery out of the show. JLO was shown as much as the singers! There was one highlight this year, JLO dancing and singing…horrible singing and with those big ox legs, she looked fat and moved around like an elephant! Her performance of I LUH YA PAPI was the comedy even of the season, her banging her head and lip syncing to the music! If you missed it, check it out…you’ll bust a gut laughing! Could be dangerous to your health!

  24. Karen says:

    That what they get for cancelling Almost Human. Get someone in there with the vision to see how their programming should be improved. Learn from past mistakes and give more genre shows the respect they deserve.

  25. kirads09 says:

    Just a huge “ditto” to every comment in support of Almost Human. Maybe this change will allow them to rethink their decision.

    Mine is love/hate relationship with Fox.

    Love that they are gifting us with 24LAD Very rare a show gets something like that.
    LOVE Sleepy Hollow
    The Following. Love the lead actors.

    STILL hate what happened with Zach on Bones. Best.Squintern.Ever I also agree that they should give Bones a good time slot and leave it there instead of all over.

    As far as ANY singing competition show, haven’t watched one since AI S2 (#TeamClay)
    Hope AI’s dwindling is a sign these shows are losing the interest of viewers as I think they are crap.

    My favorite Fox shows?
    Fringe
    Touch (well, 1st season only)
    Terra Nova
    Alcatraz
    Almost Human
    – seeing a pattern here? All cancelled now.

    • Phyllis says:

      I’ll second the above comments. Fringe was best show ever and Almost Human was very good. I hate when they cancel shows after 1 season. Hope they bring someone in with at least a clue as to programming.

    • dcl33 says:

      LOVED fringe. Walter being high 24/7 was the best thing…
      I am still pissed they canceled Terra Nova. That was s damn good show, and it was just getting even better before they canceled it. Stupid stupid stupid

    • Niejan says:

      Terra Nova!! Oh the sadness

      • kirads09 says:

        Which was made much worse I think by ending on a HUGE cliffhanger. Remember them finding that ship in the badlands (kinda LOST like). There was NO opportunity for closure at all. Same with Alcatraz. Miss them the most because of that.

    • GaMtGrl says:

      Definitely see that pattern!

    • Lo says:

      Don’t forget Firefly and Family Guy, though Family Guy got picked up anew when DVD sales of S1 skyrocketed.

    • MaryLou says:

      Totally agree.Terra Nova was their first big fiasco of late, and then it was all downhill from there. Alcatraz had possibilities, but of course, they had to cancel it. Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow were the two best shows that premiered this past season, and while I’m thankful for Hollow’s return, I hate them for what they did to AH. Why couldn’t they have given AH the same chance that they did for SH? Give it a shorter season, at least we would still have it. I’m so disappointed with AH’s cancellation, I doubt if I’ll ever watch another new series on Fox again for fear it will be cancelled. Good riddance to Reilly.

    • Huskygrl says:

      Oh man, I forgot about Alcatraz! So another pox on their houses for that show too!

  26. trudat says:

    Too bad he didn’t leave before he ruined “Enlisted” chances, burying it on Friday, ignoring it, and treating it horribly. great series, great cast, terrible exec. Good riddance

  27. Ryan says:

    Is he responsible for the plan to air Utopia twice a week this fall?

  28. Tim O'Brien says:

    The idiot let funny and quality shows like Enlisted, Surviving Jack & Almost Human go & gave the green light to I Wanna Marry Harry. Just sad !!

  29. Pat says:

    Maybe, just maybe if they had given Almost Human and Enlisted a chance then it would have been five out of nine. American Idol and Glee are at their lowest but let’s just keep renewing them because at one time they were are mightiest. This makes a lot of sense, do you think???

  30. Niejan says:

    Well that’s excellent news. He won’t be missed. If only he had gone before Almost Human got cancelled. What a shame really.

    • S. says:

      Nobody would’ve renewed it. (Or Enlisted). Not a new president certainly. It was on thin ice as it is. New network presidents are always weird about keeping someone else’s new show. They wanna make their own mark. It’s a real shame. Honestly if I had to pick a favorite network president, Reilly seems to be the one that’s most likely to give a low rated show with potential a chance–in terms of quality it usually pays off too. If Enlisted, Almost Human, etc. had a shot with anybody, it was gonna be him.

  31. Rita Sioros says:

    CBS is so good with advertising all of their shows & so does ABC. NBC football. They use all the cast in a good fun way when advertising. Fox doesn’t show the best in their shows as far as advertising. The only one I watch is Bones which never gets the credit it deserves. Then they have it all over the place and I liked The Finder except the bathroom scene. American Idol was good the first few years then the judges were over themselves. Glee is okay but the story lines?

  32. Diz says:

    Good, now renew Almost Human you idiots.

    • Tran says:

      Too late. Fox isn’t going to renew Almost Human for another season. Don’t know what the network is going to do with 24 even though the real time thriller is good enough to have just one limited series after it literally ended in 2010.

  33. Name This Tune says:

    This is the guy who thought I Wanna Marry Prince Harry was the way to energize viewers.

  34. Scott Johnston says:

    I think the metaphor is “rat deserting a sinking ship”. In this case after throwing all the cheese overboard.

  35. GaMtGrl says:

    He shouldn’t have cancelled Almost Human. You can’t get ratings if you don’t allow shows to have time to find an audience.

    • Annie says:

      Absolutely agree. The show has gained a larger fan base since March. Online viewing increased and it started airing overseas.

  36. Dana says:

    Does this mean the Tina Fey produced show Cabot College now stands a chance of being picked up to series? It’s been in limbo. I was looking forward to that one.

  37. This guy allowed Fringe to go on till its conclusion in Season 5….but he’s the guy who cancelled Almost Human
    He granted the wonderful Mindy project an early renewal for season 3…..But only gave it 15 episodes when it’s now outrating full-season-awarded Glee and New Girl
    He’s responsible for the crazy but fabulous Sleepy Hollow being on the air……But he’s responsible for 2 episodes of reality show ‘Utopia’ per week next season
    Ordered some of the more exciting looking pilots to series……But is saving almost all the best looking ones for mid season
    Diversified the FOX slate- Mindy Project, Empire, Sleepy Hollow, Red Band Society…..but then has the lead of Hieroglyph- which is set in ancient Egypt- be a white guy, leading a very whitewashed cast. The show looks like fun, and I will check it out because it’s not right to judge when I haven’t seen much of the actual show, but really, the whitewashing already seems unnecessary
    Under him, B99 got the post super bowl slot and lots of FOX support…..but also, the talent-filled, immediately hilarious Surviving Jack was cancelled after 7 episodes and Enlisted was never really given a chance
    It’s not fair to immediately rag on him for all he’s done that we don’t like this season, because he clearly supported some smaller but treasured shows other networks (e.g CBS) wouldn’t, but man, some of FOX’s decisions last season just don’t make sense. I don’t know if I should be overjoyed he’s out or terrified as hell of whoever he’ll be replaced with.

  38. This season, FOX lacked the must watch dramas that all the other networks could boast- CBS’ The Good Wife of course, NBC’s gorgeous Hannibal and ABC’s now-trashy-but-still-must-watch-live Scandal. The closest it got to was Sleepy Hollow, and while I love it with all my heart (and the finale certainly was must-watch), it just isn’t the same kind of necessary viewing these other shows were.
    Other than that it was all rubbish reality shows and under appreciated niche comedies.

  39. Renee says:

    Should of happened years ago.

  40. Ally Oop says:

    Next year’s crop of new shows looks great. And Idol’s fall had more to do with America’s fatigue of singing shows than anything else.

  41. Ally Oop says:

    Surviving Jack could have been a hit…sigh.

  42. Lia says:

    FOX will not “uncancel” any show. The 2014-15 season is not changing now.

  43. He *should* be fired, if only for his decision to cancel Almost Human. Heads should roll for losing this gem!

  44. rob says:

    He ruined Enlisted and Surviving Jack – good riddance.

  45. Jeanna says:

    Maybe he got fired for cancelling Almost Human. If so, maybe they’ll realize how stupid that was and bring it back!

  46. I’m glad Sleepy Hollow is coming back! The Leftenant is the bomb!

  47. SherryB says:

    Gang Related literally just has started, 2nd episode was tonight, give it a chance for goodness sake. Stop cancelling shows because certain age groups in certain areas don’t watch. Like Almost Human, didn’t even have a chance to find an audience before getting axed..American Idol has been done for except the funeral for several seasons now, the feuding diva’s really shot the ratings and people stopped watching and haven’t returned..Lose some of the stupid,over done “reality shows” I hate Hell’s Kitchen for one..

    • MaryLou says:

      I watched Hells Kitchen 1 season, it was alright, but I’m really not into watching idiots making bigger idiots of themselves pretending that they know how to cook. I do like Gordon Ramsey’s other series, though, Kitchen Nightmares, and don’t have a problem watching it. But aside from that, Fox can take their reality shows and dump them on their networks head, because they are nothing but garbage.

  48. SherryB says:

    And leave time slots ALONE! We can’t watch what we can’t find.. I am glad this guy is gone, maybe someone with some sense will take over..

  49. maggie says:

    Almost Human….. Flrefly…… heck, I haven’t forgiven FOX for cancelling John Doe.

    • MaryLou says:

      That’s right, I’d almost forgotten about John Doe! It seems that while Fox is quick to add new shows that are different to their schedules, they don’t have much faith in them and are quick to cancel them. They shouldn’t waste our time by building an audience then dumping their shows so quickly, that’s why their ratings are down, people are starting to remember and don’t want to take a chance at watching a show that will be quickly cancelled.

  50. Deborah Kaplan says:

    From some of the comments I have read here, I also wish Fox would bring back Almost Human.
    It was one of the best new shows for the Fall season. They should have given it a second season.

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