Regime changes are tough. We’re not exactly talking Russia circa 1917, but Fox is definitely in a bit of a transition state. Gone is Kevin “No More Pilot Season” Reilly, replaced by veteran executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman. And this first development season for the duo should be an interesting one.
Walden and Newman come from the studio side of Fox. They’ll maintain most of their studio duties while simultaneously running the network. This does cause a bit of a conflict of interest: will they be more apt to pick up shows produced in-house? They’ve publicly stated that won’t necessarily be the case, but economics and pride do matter.
Last development season was a mixed bag. I thought Fox’s pilots were generally pretty decent, but they ended up selecting only three to series. Mulaney was completely DOA, even after being redeveloped. Weird Loners is in the midst of a burnoff run. And Last Man on Earth, the biggest risk, has proven to be the only freshman comedy to see a second season.
Other Fox comedies — e.g. Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project — seem to be going strong creatively, though not really registering ratings-wise. There’s been some talk that Fox will go a little broader with comedy pick-ups this year, but we’ve heard those rumblings before. There’s not a lot of openings on the schedule, particularly if Mindy gets renewed, but let’s take a look at what Walden and Newman have to choose from…
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Andrew Woodberry | Contributor