Upfronts 2017: Fox Talks Up New MacFarlane Drama, Milestone ‘Family Guy’ Episode

Upfronts 2017: Complete Coverage

Fox’s upfront presentation started off with Joe Marchese, noting how it was a “heckuva third day” on the job for the new Fox advertising president, talking up the concept of making impressions, not trading impressions, as the digital competition does. He spoke of Fox’s “All-City” ad approach, which allows marketers to buy both broadcast and cable networks, such as Fox, FX and Nat Geo.

The hour and 20 minute presentation then shifted to sports, with Joe Buck talking about his favorite season—fall, when the leaves change and the network has the World Series, the NFL and top college football games. Alex Rodriguez spoke on behalf of Fox’s MLB team, and Troy Aikman and Jimmy Johnson spoke for the network’s NFL team.

Seth MacFarlane, whose humorous drama The Orville is on the schedule for fall, then stepped on stage, and sang a bit, in front of a full orchestra, about ad sales and Fox’s shows. MacFarlane then introduced Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Fox co-chairmen and CEO. He called them “the only two people at Fox not being sued.”

Watch Trailers for Fox's 2017-2018 Season

Walden saluted MacFarlane, noting his new drama on the schedule, and the 300th episode of Family Guy coming in January. She said Fox would use its fall NFL double headers to help launch The Orville, which touches on space travel in the future, and has MacFarlane in the cast.

Walden and Newman went over the fall schedule, Newman noting Fox’s young viewership and its heavy social footprint. Walden said a video for Monday’s rookie drama The Gifted was shared earlier in the day, and already garnered 7 million views.

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Wednesday unites Empire and Star, and stars from both shows, including Taraji P. Henson and Terence Howard, stepped onstage to talk about how Wednesdays on Fox will be full of rich musical happenings.

Newman and Walden also spoke of Fox’s live events, including staged productions of A Christmas Story and Rent in the works.

Michael Malone

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.