|Zooey Deschannel stars as the New Girl on Fox|
This winning streak is likely to continue in 2011-12 with the launch of The X-Factor, Simon Cowell's new talent opera. Fox execs Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly told critics X-Factor is already breaking records as folks line up for auditions this spring.
The big show this fall is the one reality newcomer, The X Factor. Simon Cowell's return is probably the most anticipated premiere of the fall. Rice and Reilly says auditions for the new series have outdrawn Idol.
As for Idol, all the judges are on multi-year contracts and will be back--except Jennifer Lopez. She's on a single year contract. Reilly says talks are on to try and pull her back for another year.
Another Fox favourite will return but not until mid-season or later--Kiefer Sutherland will shoot the pilot for Touch--written and directed by Tim Kring--in June. The drama will be about a father and his son with special powers or observation. The pilot delay is to accommodate Sutherland, who soon ends his run on Broadway in That Championship Season (which my son Daniel saw on Broadway last week. He gives it a big thumbs up, especially after scoring Sutherland's autograph).
Reilly says yes, Terra Nova, the delayed sci-fi opus from Steven Spielberg, will proceed as planned this fall. A new show from J.J. Abrams, Alcatraz, is also set to launch in September, as is The Finder, a spin off from Bones.
Fox does have one headache on the horizon, but so does everybody else--a possible NFL strike.
“We're planning for there to be an NFL season and at the same time working on contingencies if there is not,” says Rice.After 24 seasons, the network has canceled their oldest series--America's Most Wanted--although they`re bringing it back as a series of four two-hour specials. “We have not made money on the show in quite a while,” says Reilly. Four new two-hour AMW specials will air in 2011-12. There‘s also some talk the series could continue weekly over on Fox-owned MyNetworkTV.
Fox saved Fringe but gave up on Human Target, The Chicago Code and Lie to Me. Last fall was not a bumper or a Modern Family year, agrees Reilly, happy to return two first year comedies. NBC left all seven of their 2010-11 shows in the dustbin.
As for talk of a 24 movie, it will happen says Lee, suggesting the script just isn‘t there yet. “There`s a great desire to see Jack Bauer on the big screen.”