New Fox Bosses Foresee No Rash Decisions, Face One Burning Question

New Fox Bosses Walden Newman

Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who long have lorded over 21st Century Fox’s production studio, 20th Century Fox Television, now will double up on their domain by running the Fox broadcast network, replacing the recently resigned Kevin Reilly.

RELATED | NBC Wins the 2013-14 TV Season, for First Time in 10 Years; CBS Is Still Most Watched

During their tenure as presidents and then chairmen and CEOs for 20th Century Fox Television, Walden and Newman shepherded such successes as Fox’s Glee, New Girl and Sleepy Hollow, FX’s American Horror Story franchise, Homeland (for Showtime) and Modern Family (For ABC).

Even though Fox is coming off a disappointing season — only three of the nine series premiered since fall 2013 earned renewals, while onetime behemoths American Idol and Glee slipped to series lows — Newman told reporters during a Monday conference call, “We don’t intend to do anything rashly” once he and Walden take the reins later this month. Instead, Walden says the plan is to, over time, “see what works, what doesn’t work and make some recommendations.”

RELATED Fox’s Fall Schedule: Gotham on Monday, Bones‘ Big Move, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Cops New Sunday Slot

Though there’s a synergy to be appreciated by having the same people running a studio that produces programming and a network with a primetime slate to fill, the flip-side is the perception that the two Fox divisions will do business exclusively with each other — a notion Walden and Newman repeatedly dispelled.

“This by no means will result in every 20th [Century Fox Television] show getting picked up or every 2oth pilot getting ordered [by Fox],” Walden said. Rather, “The best shows are going to win.” (Yet in the case of a “tie,” she allowed, “the competitive edge will lie with our studio because typically there are financial incentives” for a network to own its programming.)

But Fox will “always be a home to hits from outside studios,” she maintained, continuing the model which has allowed the network to host series such as House (which was produced by NBC Universal) and the buzzy freshmen dramas Gotham (from Warner Bros. TV) and Red Band Society (c/o ABC Studios).

In plotting the network’s future, Walden said, one of the pair’s priorities is to “attract back to broadcast some of the great creators who have had better experiences in cable and digital… to woo great creators to network television.”

What free piece of advice would you like to offer the incoming Fox bosses?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

51 Comments
  1. Moment says:

    Good luck to them, they have a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild Fox’s programming into a force to be reckoned with again. Absolutely everything is down on the network, they could start by renewing 24 lol.

  2. gadgetdon says:

    Advice? (1) Run shows in the order they were written to be in (and more importantly, the timeline the stories take place. (2) Don’t play “let’s move the show” quite so often, unless something really isn’t working out – and then do be willing to move it. (Intelligence did great in its pilot time slot, died in the one it was moved to – maybe it should’ve been moved back.) (3) Give shows a chance to build an audience.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Exactly. And dont forget 4) You want to woo back the creative that works on cable? Let them do it there way like they are on cable. They dont want their material edited for network TV, they dont want the grit/darkness/sexiness/etc removed, they dont want another cook in the kitchen, they dont want their series seasons stretched to 22 episodes a season cause the first 10 episodes were a hit…if they come in with a mini-series, let it be a mini-series dont have them re-write it into a series. I can only imagine all the reasons id rather be a writer/creator/show-runner on cable than network.

      • Ben says:

        If I were a writer (and I’d love to be) I’d be fine writing within the bounds of a rule book and writing 22 episodes – its interference after you have written within that rule book that really gets me.

    • Angel says:

      Yes! Airing shows out of order drives me crazy! FOX is the worst about this, as seen with Almost Human and even going back to shows like Firefly and Wonderfalls, which made so much more sense when I watched them on dvd.

    • Timmah says:

      #3 in particular. So many quality shows in the 80s and 90s took a couple of seasons to find audiences but eventually became big hits because they were too good to be ignored. This doesn’t happen anymore because if you don’t get big ratings in the first season (or even after a few episodes sometimes) you’re finished.

      • Olivia says:

        Exactly. It drives me crazy and more than often I wait and see if a show gets renewed before starting to watch it. And I guess many people do that now, which ironically lessen the numbers even more. I’m tired investing in DOA shows personally. The past 5 years have been the worst on that matter, and all the networks are to blame.
        Cable tv is where it’s at now, for all the reasons mentioned above.

  3. Amanda says:

    Bring back Enlisted!

  4. Dragonfly says:

    Give me back my Almost Human!

  5. Cookely says:

    Two words-Joss Whedon

    • Linda says:

      I don’t get the fascination with Joss Whedon. Apart from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, most of the shows he’s done since then haven’t caught on to the same extent.

  6. Cookely says:

    Two words- Joss Whedon

    • Moment says:

      He’ll be attached to ABC/Marvel for at least the next 5 years. He’ll have at least another 3 seasons of Agents of Shield, and likely another Avengers movie after the second. Fox wouldn’t be able to get him, he’s too busy.

    • Olivia says:

      After what Fox did Firefly and Dollhouse? Hell no. I hope Joss will not even acknowledge their existence again.

      • Fernanda says:

        THIS

      • Davey Elmer says:

        Kevin Reilly actually treated Joss fairly and gave DH a shot that it would not have gotten had he (Reilly) not been in charge.

        As far as advice for the new bosses at the network goes, I want to echo the ‘give things a chance unless it’s painfully obvious that they’re not going to work’ and ‘air things in the order they’re meant to be’ sentiments.

      • Meg says:

        Oh Firefly… I still get sad thinking about that show.

  7. Todd says:

    This has got to be good news for 24.

  8. Nicole says:

    How about letting comedies have more than just a few episodes to impress. Like surviving jack was really funny and only aired 7 episodes. Or how about giving the mindy project a full season pick up after that terrific finale.

    • herman1959 says:

      Ditto. I had heard so much (all good) about Surviving Jack, and I was looking forward to seeing it, but I was too slow. I couldn’t believe it was cancelled so soon since the reviews and TVLine postings were so positive. If you believe in a show, PLEASE give it a chance.

  9. Lauren says:

    I just want the Mindy Project to be safe. One of the best comedies on tv right now, and criminally underrated.

    • I.R. Evangelista says:

      They need to fix everything in the supporting cast.

    • Moment says:

      You are right about Mindy being under rated. Not many people watched Season 2, it even dipped below 2 million viewers a few times, which explains the 15 episode pick up for Season 3.

      That said, if it has a strong start, there’s no reason why they won’t order another 7-8 episodes.

  10. NoOceanInKansas says:

    To me, Fox has the worst track record for programming. I think of Fox as the “adult cartoon” or “American Idol” network, although I do watch Bones. If you want to watch something after 9 p.m., better go to another channel because it’s also the “local news” channel. Bring back smart, well-done shows like Almost Human. Could not stand Enlisted, one of the dumbest shows ever. Wait, it was on Fox…..

  11. Drew says:

    Is there any way to undo the Lone Star mistake? It was on the air for one week (two episodes)! The X-Files took longer than that to catch on. Same with 90210.

  12. I.R. Evangelista says:

    Now this is a good time to fix both Glee and The Mindy Project with these two new bosses!

    First of all both shows need to return to a 20-episode order each for their upcoming seasons.

    Then, actress Jayma Mays should return to Glee as a reduced guest.

    Then, actress Zoe Jarman has to stay put in The Mindy Project as a reduced guest and nothing bad further.

    Then, we need a cranky old actor to get added in The Mindy Project in order to play a cranky old man doctor character.

    Then, both actresses Anna Camp and Amanda Setton should return to The Mindy Project as reduced guests.

    Finally, the final erratic young actress will enter The Mindy Project as a recurring guest for the second half of this upcoming season in order to play an erratic young woman nurse character.

    Time is running out, so let’s do it!

    • Johnnice says:

      As far as Glee goes, they’re expected to only film 13 episodes, whether it’s 11 plus a 2 hour series finale or 13 regular length. Jayma was restricted in her Glee appearances due to her series regular role on freshman hit The Millers. Hopefully she’ll come back for the series finale and maybe another episode. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any probable ways to fix Glee, since the root of the show’s problems is the writing. It’s too late for a clean slate and the original three writers have all but moved on to other projects.

  13. TV101 says:

    I actually believe Walden and Newman over other execs who has fallen into similar roles — because Walden and Newman have been repeatedly saying this for YEARS before now. They look for the best place for the material. Clearly something that is right for CBS is not always going to be right for FBC. Oh they’ll still run most things through the “mothership” (FBC) if you can even call it that anymore but ultimately they’re not going to go to the time and expense giving it to FBC if it can be co-owned and a better success somewhere else. Tricky? Yes. Can they do it? Yep. I’m not worried about these two so much as I am about the companies underneath them in general if that makes sense. It becomes very confusing. So I hope they setup both places a bit better than when some of their competitors tried this move and then recoiled years later. But now its 2014 and a move like this does make sense. It does seem like there needs to be a third person somewhere though just looking at the two big organizations they are going to control. Time will tell. Wishing them continued success.

  14. joel says:

    Keep 24.
    Don’t move B99

  15. Mike says:

    Renew 24

  16. cycworker says:

    If you have to bring Glee back at all, cut it to 6 episodes. Heck, a 2 hour movie would do it. The damage done to Glee is not repairable.

  17. azu says:

    Start with renewing almost human

  18. Johnnice says:

    I suppose the current Fox stars have further incentive to keep Walden and Newman sweet on them. In some circumstances, there will be one less step to get a show to series.

  19. lovegoodtv says:

    True, Fox’s cancellation as well as renewal decisions were mind-boggling as of late tot say the least.

    Definitely keep GANG RELATED. Loved it from the start and so far loved every episode.
    I agree with the many others who are still mourning the loss of ALMOST HUMAN. Would love to get it back if at all possible.

    OTOH — why hold on to NEW GIRL? Why hold on to BONES? I used to love BONES, but so many mistakes were made and now it’s just a boring shell of its formerly exciting and smart self. To bring this show up again would require serious changes. Let some of the main cast go in order to bring in fresh and less boring blood. Kick annoying Daisy to the curb as well.

    THE FOLLOWING, though promising, also made nonsensical decisions which resulted in a lame second season. I was surprised it got renewed at all based on that season. They killed off the most exciting wild card character in season 1, kept the most hated character around only to kill her off when nobody really cared about her anymore and to top it all off they brought back the dumb wife. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they celebrated violence with psychopathic twins that clearly weren’t fleshed out at all. Shock-value alone won’t win you any viewers – at least not now, with way too many horror-shows around as is….

  20. kirads09 says:

    My Advice: Focus on QUALITY programming over QUANTITY. Less reality and animation.
    Give new shows more of a chance to find their place and audience. NEVER EVER again cancel a show on huge cliff hangers. (ALCATRAZ and TERRA NOVA anyone?) – heartbreaking not to get any closure.

    MY DEAPEST WISH: Bring back Almost Human.

  21. KC says:

    First, Almost Human and Enlisted are NOT coming back – get over it.
    A lot of current shows (Mindy, Bones, etc.) are probably gone after this season.
    I’m not sure I agree with giving a show 2 seasons to “find the audience”. TV is about money – bottom line. If a show doesn’t ‘click’ with 7 episodes, yank it. These 2 have a lot of work to do to have FOX rise again, but I think they can do it.

  22. Meg says:

    Just keep Mindy. It was SO good last season, and I’m hoping it’s given a chance, and given 22 episodes.

  23. dman6015 says:

    Why bother giving them advice. They’ll just ignore it all and do what they’ve always done. The network is pathetic.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,841 other followers