Fox conducted an upfront presentation where the talent, until the very end, appeared on screen, as opposed to onstage. Held at the Skylight on Vesey in lower Manhattan, the event offered up the execs and talent on 360 degree video screens.
The executives talked up Fox’s long-standing embrace of advertising. “At a time when other media companies are doubling down on paywalls, ad-free, and subscription models, we are doing things differently,” said Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales.
The network and its spinoffs, she added, “are proudly ad supported.”
Eric Shanks, Fox Sports CEO and executive producer, spoke of USFL, NFL and college football, including the Michigan versus Ohio State blockbuster November 26. Erin Andrews and Kevin Burkhardt introduced Tom Brady, who joins Fox Sports when his NFL career ends. He said, via video, “I still got a lot to accomplish on the field.”
In soccer, the U.S. faces England November 25. Former U.S soccer player Clint Dempsey joins the Fox team to cover the World Cup. U.S. versus England “could be epic,” said Dempsey.
Fox also has the 2023 Women’s World Cup, and Tubi will introduce a 24/7 World Cup FAST channel. Every World Cup match will stream after the final whistle.
On the MLB front, the All-Star Game happens on Fox July 19, and the Field of Dreams game, Cubs versus Reds, August 11.
On to Fox News, where CEO Suzanne Scott spoke of the news network’s multiplatform approach. “More people turn to us for information and perspective, and together we’ve created a community that speaks to the heart of our country,” she said, “a diverse community that cuts across party lines and labels.”
“We inform, entertain and connect with our audience like no one else can,” said Scott.
Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, gave attendees a tour of the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles, with a visit to The Cleaning Lady and The Masked Singer.
“The headlines say advertising is back. I didn’t know it left,” he said, adding that, “Fox is 100% ad supported. We are 100% committed to you.”
New shows include Accused, with Billy Porter and Marlee Matlin, featuring “a new and unpredictable story every week,” said Porter, and Alert, from Jamie Foxx, who promised “an intense race against the clock.”
The Cleaning Lady will be back for season two. Just before the presentation, Fox announced that 9-1-1 and The Resident will both return for season six.
Jon Hamm spoke about animated show Grimsburg. “When Collier said to me, Hamm, you have a face for animation,” he said he could only say yes to the project.
Hannah Waddingham spoke about Dan Harmon’s animated show Krapopolis, and Mayim Bialik chatted about comedies Call Me Kat and Flatch.
Gordon Ramsay was on screen next, sharing that Next Level Chef will run following the Super Bowl, and new show Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, which will see him invest $250,000 in the “next big culinary entrepreneur,” will premiere next season.
Collier then appeared in person to introduce Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins, stars of drama Monarch. The show dubs Sarandon’s character the queen of country music. “I’m from Queens,” she said, “not a queen.”
She admitted she didn’t know much about country, but said “the show looks juicy.”
Adkins then performed a song from the center of the venue, and the shindig was done. ■
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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