Press Tour ’12 Live-Blog: FOX Executive Session with Kevin Reilly

Our FOX TCA Day began with a “Touch” panel which was really about “24” and “Heroes.”

Then we moved on to “Alcatraz,” which was really a panel about “Lost.”

Now? It’s time for FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, who I assume will only be asked about his time running NBC.

Click through…

11:08 a.m. Kevin Reilly begins his panel by announcing that he’s actually going to be watching the Falcons-Giants game on his phone throughout. Sepinwall looks jealous.

11:09 a.m. FOX is going to be debuting a Saturday “alternative animated” late-night block. Like Adult Swim only on FOX.

11:11 a.m. The animation announcement successfully preempted our question stream, keeping our initial questions from relating to “Fringe,” “House” or “Terra Nova.” Very tricky, FOX.

11:14 a.m. Interestingly, the digital chatter is still going. This is pretty impressive.

11:14 a.m. Finally our first fresh question. We’re talking “House.” “I think we’ve just been avoiding it. To be honest with you, it’s hard to imagine the network without ‘House,'” Reilly says. They’ve agreed to put off a decision until after the first of the year and they haven’t had said meeting about the fate of the show yet. “Honestly, we simply haven’t made the decision,” Reilly insists. “Should this be the last season, it’s not going to be an unceremonious  finish,” Reilly says, adding that he hopes it’s a decision they’ll make it together.

11:16 a.m. “It could and that’ll be their business,” Reilly says on the possibility of “House” moving to NBC if FOX decides not to move forward. 

11:17 a.m. “We’ve done a good job of avoiding some of these big decisions until after the session,” Reilly says of the future of “Terra Nova.” He said, “It was an exciting bet to take” and he insists that “Terra Nova” worked and that “a distinct audience” stuck with the show and enjoyed it. “The fact is, if this is all we produced, we made money off it, the studio made money off it, the audience enjoyed it,” Reilly swears.  He has focus group evidence that the show has a family audience. “I love the cast. I love some of the episodes. I love some of the ideas that were there,” Reilly says, while also admitting that creatively, the show was “hunting.” The problem is that FOX has fewer holes in its lineup. “It does need to get back into production over the next month,” he hints.

11:20 a.m. Reilly is “thrilled” with “The X Factor” and the boost it gave FOX fall. “It’s its own show. It’s its own energy. It’s its own spectacle,” Reilly says, promising that there are changes coming, but Reilly doesn’t know what they will be. Reilly wants to note that the hosting gig on a show like this is harder than meets the eye. “Whether Steve’s the guy or not, it comes under the heading of ‘growth in general,'” Reilly says.

11:21 a.m. And what about Ryan Seacrest’s future on “Idol.” “It’s very hard to imagine the show without Ryan,” Reilly says, calling this “a tough negotiation.

11:22 a.m. “That time has come and gone,” Reilly says of the possibility of a “House” spinoff, but he notes that FOX isn’t in such a desperate place that they need to keep the show alive in some form. 

11:23 a.m. Does Reilly have any concerns about market oversaturation regarding music talent shows? “I expect ‘Idol’ will be down this season,” Reilly says, but he tells us not to read anything into that, emphasizing that it’s just an 11-year-old show and shows like that drop. “There have been many ‘Idol’ stories that have been filed prematurely,” Reilly says. He adds that until the audience gets bored, audiences aren’t tired of the shows. “When the audience is bored, we’ll know it’s over,” Reilly says. “There’s no magic number, but you’ll watch the trend line and you’ll know.”

11:26 a.m. Reilly thinks that “Dance” is still a creative tentpole for FOX’s summer. “We wanted to get a few more shows on over the summer,” Reilly explains, promising that audiences will like the new “So You Think You Can Dance” format.

11:28 a.m. RETRANS QUESTION! This is where I will nap during each executive session. 

11:29 a.m. What’s up with “Allen Gregory”? “We will not be making any more ‘Allen Gregorys,'” Reilly says, though he adds that FOX is hoping to make more shows with Jonah Hill. With “The Simpsons” reupping and a “Flintstones” reboot upcoming, FOX isn’t worried about the occasional animation failure and he predicts that “Bob’s Burgers” will go to “the next level” this season.

11:30 a.m. Did FOX blunder by benching “New Girl” for October? “I don’t like ever taking a show off, but the reality is that in general, shows need to take hiatus during their life cycle.” Reilly says. “We took a hit and ‘Glee’ took a hit,” Reilly admits, while acknowledging that “Glee” is down double-digits this season. He says, though, that there’s ample time for audiences to rediscover “New Girl” and “we’re off to a hell of a start.” He adds, “I’m really proud of the show” and refuses to apologize for the benching. “It’s part of the high class problem we have.”

11:33 a.m. Time for “Fringe” questions! “‘Fringe’ has been a point of pride. I share the passion for the show that the fans have,” Reilly says. “It’s vastly improved our Friday night,” he adds. “The hesitation in my voice is that it’s an expensive show. We lose a lot of money on that show,” he says, while adding that FOX is not in the business of losing money. “Please don’t start the letter-writing campaign. I can’t take it,” Reilly says, while adding that it’s a decision they’re going to have to make down the road and that discussions really haven’t started.

11:36 a.m. Reilly likes FOX’s NFL deal.

11:36 a.m. “Glee” spinoff talk? There will not be a “Glee” spinoff, but Ryan Murphy and company have an idea for how to follow the characters who are graduating within the show and he promises a cool end-of-season and fall. So “No ‘Glee’ spinoff. Trust in Ryan Murphy.” Can you do that?

11:38 a.m. How is Reilly feeling about “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” and multi-cam comedy? Reilly is also determined to get back into the multi-cam game. “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” has six or seven episodes remaining and he swears that they’ll air. He thinks that multi-cam comedies work best in pairs and they’re hard to crack, but he points to CBS for evidence that audiences want to see them. “Think back: Not everybody in this room loved ‘Big Bang Theory’ when it first came on,” Reilly says. “Don’t pile on the shows so quickly when they’re just hanging out there. I know some of them are just excruciatingly bad, but they’re hard,” Reilly says. 

That’s it for Kevin Reilly, sports fans.