You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV execs say biz needs to change

Fox's Kevin Reilly laments lack of focus on consumer demands

Fox Entertainment topper Kevin Reilly doled out harsh words for fellow broadcast net execs at the Hollywood Radio and TV Society’s State of Broadcast panel Wednesday afternoon — and hinted at significant changes at the network in the coming year.

“We have our heads up our asses,” Reilly said, joined on the panel by Katherine Pope, head of TV at Chernin Entertainment, legal eagle Ken Ziffren and UTA’s Peter Benedek.

Reilly maintained the networks were prone to a “one size fits all” approach that thwarts innovation, and that the TV biz’s “collective thinking … has to evolve.”

Reilly cited a “massive shift” in viewing behavior, thanks to DVR and streaming, that has forced broadcast nets to rethink how they program shows.

“We don’t spend enough time thinking of the consumer in the chain, we think about the audience in a clump,” he said. “If you ask execs how they watch TV, they’re either not watching a particular product or they just watched five seasons on Netflix. So, why is (this exec) any different than anyone at home? We are way too obsessed with one another and not with the consumer.”

Primary topic at the panel centered on the changing nature of television — particuarly with the advent of powerhouse cable skeins like AMC’s “Walking Dead” — and how broadcast nets must change in order to remain competitive and intriguing for viewers.

“We haven’t shifted our definition for success from the overnight ratings, and I think that’s a problem across the board,” Pope said, adding in regard to the upfront presentations and fall series launches, “I don’t know why we’re even doing it anymore.”

Reilly suggested that networks shouldn’t be wedded to ordering 22 episodes of a program each season, and indicated Fox had some plans to tinker with existing models. The network has one show premiering next year, “The Following,” which will only produce 15 episodes, in part bowing to star Kevin Bacon’s reluctance to commit to more than that.

As for “American Idol,” Reilly quipped that he wishes “‘The Voice’ hadn’t happened.” He admitted that sibling singing show “The X Factor” “has not become ‘Idol,'” but that it still performs better than most broadcast shows in sheer viewership.

“I think ‘Idol’ will take a long, graceful descent into maturity,” Reilly stated. Though, he added, “it would have been longer if it weren’t for these other shows.”

More TV

  • 'Saturday Night Live' Offers Prayers for

    'Saturday Night Live' Offers Prayers for Trump (Watch)

    “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon resumed her role as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the Dec. 7 episode to offer a few prayers for Donald Trump. During the “Weekend Update” segment, co-anchor and “SNL” co-head writer Colin Jost first commented on Pelosi being asked if she hated President Trump during her [...]

  • Spongebob Squarepants Mr Kiasu

    Singapore Comiccon: Spongebob Squarepants Collides With Local Character Mr Kiasu

    Enormously popular Nickelodeon character, SpongeBob SquarePants is 20 this year. To commemorate the anniversary Nickelodeon commissioned Singaporean artist Johnny Lau, creator of iconic local animated character Mr Kiasu, to draw a coffee table book converging the wildly diverse worlds of the two. Lau released the book “Mr Kiasu Meets SpongeBob SquarePants” at the Singapore ComicCon [...]

  • America's Got Talent Simon Cowell

    Simon Cowell Lawyers Up From Abroad as 'America's Got Talent' Investigation Begins (EXCLUSIVE)

    “America’s Got Talent” executive producer Simon Cowell has set his legal representation for an investigation into the NBC competition series, which was announced by the network this week after a lengthy meeting with ousted judge Gabrielle Union. Cowell has hired Larry Stein, a longtime litigator in Hollywood and media spaces, multiple individuals familiar with the [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin Hijacks 'Peloton

    Ryan Reynolds Hijacks 'Peloton Wife,' Wrings New Buzz From Old Ad Trick

    The “Peloton Wife” is on the verge of striking up a new relationship outside her marriage The actress who plays the controversial Madison Avenue figure in a commercial for the luxury physical-fitness company is back in a new ad campaign – for another marketer that has little to do with promoting a healthy lifestyle. Aviation [...]

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins Big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content