FOX Previews Its Lineup at Upfronts
Television upfronts week continues this afternoon with a presentation from Fox. We'll be live blogging the presentation starting at 4 p.m.
Television upfronts week continues this afternoon with a presentation from Fox. Read our live blog of the presentation below.
Fox is throwing new shows on basically every night and partially doing away with its "Animation Domination" slate on Sunday, instead using its best-rated animated shows to launch and support live-action comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine (moving from the Tuesday comedy block) and the much-anticipated multi-cam Mulaney. Established hits are being paired with new shows of similar genre--we've got Batman prequel Gotham with last year's surprise hit Sleepy Hollow, murder mystery Gracepoint following reliable player Bones, and twice-a-week reality experiment Utopia gumming up the works. Fox also has a ton of shows waiting in the wings, all part of CEO Kevin Reilly's efforts to bypass the traditional pilot process and hand out straight-to-series orders before anything is even filmed.
|8:00 p||8:30 p||9:00 p||9:30 p|
|Tuesday||Utopia||New Girl||The Mindy Project|
|Wednesday||Hell's Kitchen||Red Band Society|
|Saturday||Fox Sports Saturday|
|Sunday||The Simpsons||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Family Guy||Mulaney|
5:13 And we're off, and being played off by the first single from Empire.
5:09 In the Empire trailer, Terence Howard's mogul gets a diagnosis of three years to live and he starts grooming his sons as successors. Taraji P. Henson is his ex-wife, just out of jail, warring with him. It looks very soapy.
5:05 Introducing Empire, Reilly invokes Beyonce, Jay Z, and Dre. He is billing the pairing of Empire and the "streamlined" Idol as the "ultimate night of music and drama." Now the trailers for the Egypt-set drama Hieroglyph, with Lorde's cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule The World." Hieroglyph looks like one of those risks that either could turn out like Sleepy Hollow or end in disaster. Backstrom features Rainn Wilson as a quirky, alcoholic detective. But, obviously, he's brilliant.
5:03 "I don't think I need to oversell, Gotham is going to be big," Reilly says. There were cheers after the promo aired.
4:57 Sleepy Hollow stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie come out with a Headless Horseman. Mison says the Horseman, not talking, is "shy or drunk." And we're onto drama with Kevin Reilly. Reilly puts Red Band Society in line with the like of Glee, and says the cast "will end up on magazine covers and generate social media buzz." Red Band Society is about a kids hospital, and the trailer features a voice-over from a kid in a coma. The Gotham trailer, which has been online for a bit now, follows.
4:45 The Mulaney promo is funniest when John Mulaney is doing his standup. Reilly pegs the show as a "Seinfeld for a new generation," which is a pretty bold statement.
4:35 Reilly returns to talk comedy. After a Brooklyn Nine-Nine sizzle reel, Andy Samberg emerges. "Who's here to laugh?" he says. "Who's here to pretend we're not all forced here by the invisible hand of capitalism?" Samberg does some other-network bashing. His CBS bashing includes a run of fake CSI spinoffs, including "CSI: CSI Production Offices." He thanks the members of the audience that went to the NBC upfront for enduring their third "almost handsome white guy" after Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon. He then backtracks on a SHIELD joke after being fake-informed that Fox has Gotham.
Andy Samberg's version of media integration. #FOXfanfront pic.twitter.com/f5oKU12a8L— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) May 12, 2014
4:27 We're into the Fox Sports section of the presentation.
4:25 Wayward Pines has a pretty surrealist vibe, and some creepy Melissa Leo. The tagline is: "Where Paradise Is Home."
4:20: Reilly turns to event series. "It's turned out to be something really special," Reilly says of Gracepoint, Fox's Broadchurch remake. He calls Wayward Pines "evocative of the classic hit Twin Peaks." The trailer for Gracepoint is very similar to Broadchurch. There is supposed to be a new ending, however.
4:16 Fox's Kevin Reilly starts things out by touting the network's events like, yes, Pitbull's New Year's Eve, Grease Live, motorcycle jump show Jump of the Century, and the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover. He then segues into Utopia, a reality series the network is seriously banking on. So much in fact that it's airing episodes twice in a week.
4:11 Pitbull is here because he's hosting a New Year's Eve show.
4:09 Pitbull is on his third song.
4:05 Ryan Seacrest kicks things off by intro-ing, Pitbull, who is singing for us. Some scantily clad girls are dancing.
4:03 Lights going down here. We're about to get going.
3:50: Ichabod Crane—a.k.a. Tom Mison of Sleepy Hollow—is asking us to take our seats. Our inner fan girl quivered.
3:32 p.m. We're reporting live from the balcony of The Beacon on the Upper West Side, where Fox is holding its 2014 upfront. Outside, Fox has installed food trucks on Broadway and is handing out sweets, mini-grilled cheese sandwiches, and fries to passersby. The Wire ate a tiny red velvet cupcake.
The Fox food trucks. #Upfronts pic.twitter.com/sEIABOXmVT— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) May 12, 2014
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