At this year's Television Critics Association Press Tour, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly found himself besieged by questions about the renewals of two bubble shows: "Terra Nova" and "Fringe" as well as the aging hit, "House;" which is currently in its eighth season.
Regarding "Terra Nova," Reilly insisted that the heavily hyped sci-fi series was a success for the network even if they decide not to renew it. "['Terra Nova'] is proving that it was worthwhile," related Reilly (via Deadline). "It is the second highest-rated new drama, one of the highest-rated new shows of the season. It has [a] distinct audience, though the perception kind of got away from us. If this is all we make [of 'Terra Nova'], we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience."
"['Terra Nova'] is a show, which if we are to bring back, there’s an audience there," noted Reilly. "But creatively, the show was hunting [for its identity], and we are trying to figure out … is that the best show [we can make]. If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.” Reilly also admitted that Fox will be forced to renew or cancel "Terra Nova" very soon due to the significant lead time required by the special effects.
Unfortunately for fans of "Fringe," Reilly openly stated that the network is losing money on the show due to its low ratings on Friday nights. This likely means that it would probably take major concessions from Warner Brothers to continue "Fringe" for a fifth season, or Fox may simply give up on the series. (For more on "Fringe," check out our earlier editorial: The Future of 'Fringe' Is Uncertain)
As for "House," the eighth season had been expected to be the final year of the long-running series. But it remains popular enough that a ninth season is still a possibility. Reilly said "We haven’t had the big meeting [with the producers of 'House'] about what we want to do. It is no secret that it will be a close call, we said in May that it would probably be the show’s last year, but we just haven’t made the decision. Should it be the last season, this is not going to be an unceremonious finish… ['House'] will absolutely have a satisfying conclusion on Fox."
Reilly also shot down the rumors of "Glee" and "House" spinoffs while confirming that the critically maligned and low rated animated series, "Allen Gregory" has been canceled after seven episodes.
However, Fox also revealed that it has bigger animation plans than just its usual Sunday night lineup. The network is developing a new late night animated programming block to air on Saturdays from 11PM to 12:30AM; which was once home to "MAD TV" and the Spike Feresten talk show. Former Adult Swim Head of Programming, Nick Weidenfeld has been signed to lead the new initiative, with Hend Baghdady ("Warren The Ape") as the executive in charge of production.
The early plans call for at least four new alternative animated series per season; some of which may actually jump to primetime if they connect with audiences. Later in 2012, Fox is also launching a new digital multi-platform network that will create original shorts alongside animated shows and user-created content that may find its way onto Fox itself when the animated late night Saturday block debuts in January 2013.