“What would you do if you had the chance to start all over again?” said Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, who spoke of recreating an entertainment company at Fox.
He described “a new Day One” at Fox, and talked about how broadcast offers immediacy and scale to its advertisers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our startup company,” he said.
Fox held its event at the Beacon Theater in New York.
Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales, and Eric Shanks, CEO of Fox Sports, came on stage next. Gambelli also mentioned Fox’s startup mentality, but nodded to its past. “The legacy that made Fox great is alive and well,” she said.
She cited innovation on the ad side, and mentioned Fast Breaks — ”shorter breaks, more widely available” — as well as Prediction Pods, which leverage social conversation around shows. Other ad products include Future Now and Absolute A.
The cast of BH 90210, including Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling and Ian Ziering, got a hearty reaction from the crowd. “Now featuring grown-up problems,” said Priestley.
The show begins Aug. 7.
Joe Buck and Alex Rodriguez next took the stage to discuss the World Series. Buck mentioned the 10-year-deal Fox has for the Fall Classic.
Jenny McCarthy and Jason Biggs threw humorous questions at the baseball personalities.
Buck predicted a Cubs-Yankees World Series.
Collier spoke of new dramas, including Not Just Me, and introduced the cast, including Brittany Snow and Timothy Hutton.
Saturdays are college football, noted Collier, who spoke of a new pre-game program. Rob Stone, Urban Meyer, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Reggie Bush are in the pre-game team.
Tom Payne and Michael Sheen, cast members of new drama Prodigal Son, came out to talk up the show.
Collier then shifted to animation. Bless the Harts, mid-season debutant Duncanville and The Great North join Sunday veterans The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers at Fox. Amy Poehler, who appeared at the NBC presentation earlier in the day, created Duncanville. She came out with Emily Spivey, creator of Bless the Harts.
Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Straham, Jimmy Johnson and Jay Glazer came out to discuss the Super Bowl, which airs on Fox in February. The game takes place in Miami. Fox also has Thursday Night Football.
Bradshaw discussed his time on The Masked Singer. “It was really hot under the mask,” he said.
The football guys also teased WWE, with John Cena and Ronda Rousey coming out amidst considerable pyro. “We are so excited to have Smackdown officially join Fox live on Friday nights,” said Cena.
The show begins on Fox Oct. 4.
9-1-1: Lone Star will launch in the mid-season, out of the NFC Championship game. Ryan Murphy created the show and Rob Lowe stars. Lowe plays a New York cop who relocates to Texas.
Mid-season drama Deputy shows a renegade cop moving up the ranks in Los Angeles. Stephen Dorff stars. “David Ayers is a visionary,” Dorff said of the creator when asked to sum up the show in five words.
Mid-season comedy Outmatched has Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson as blue-collar parents with super-smart kids.
Filthy Rich is also airing in the mid-season. It’s about a wealthy preacher who dies unexpectedly, and his wife becomes aware of three children he sired. Kim Cattrall stars and Tate Taylor executive produces, writes and directs. “Don’t mess with Margaret Monreaux,” was Cattrall’s five-word description of the show.
John Slattery stars in the artificial intelligence drama neXt, which will premiere in 2020.
Justin Timberlake was the next one out. He’s exec producer on the summer pop culture game show Spin the Wheel. He introduced JJ Watt, host of Ultimate Tag alongside his brothers. That one debuts mid-season.
Season two of The Masked Singer starts in September, and season three begins leading out of the Super Bowl. Host Nick Cannon and judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke stepped on stage to discuss the hit show. A masked singer turned up for the upfront, singing “Luck Be a Lady.”
It was Joe Namath under the deer mask, just as McCarthy had guessed.
And that concluded the Fox presentation.
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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.