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5:29pm: That’s all, folks!
5:27pm: Fox closes out its presentation with an autotuned collection of clips from the net’s shows, laced together into a song. Unclear as to whether this is ending on a high or low note, but people are heading towards the exit…
5:25pm: Introduction of the “Epic Event Series” from Fox, or “the miniseries, reinvented.” Included in the mix is the highly-anticipated “24” revival, and a clip of exec producer Howard Gordon discussing how the limited series format is the perfect vehicle for the return of the real-time thriller.
5:17pm: Fox emphasizing drama with edge in its sizzle reel for “Sleepy Hollow.” A beheading scene — the requisite one for the classic tale — was featured in slow motion for the aud of advertisers. The clip is compelling, transitioning between period storytelling and modern day police drama. The headless horseman gets a rousing applause. “Almost Human” from J.J. Abrams also plays well in the room. “Gang Related’s” teaser is reminiscent of the handheld cam aesthetic seen in cop pic “End of Watch” and is clearly aiming for broadcast nets’ coveted male demos. “Rake,” with Greg Kinnear toplining, is lumped into Fox’s drama pile, but the hourlong series reads like a comedy at times, in the vein of “Ally McBeal.”
4:55pm: As the unscripted talent walks on stage, Simon Cowell quips into the mic: “Where’s Randy?” Ryan Seacrest responds, “Ask Kevin.” Uneasy laughter fills the Beacon Theater.
4:54pm: Fox offering clips and info on its digital series including the starry “Wigs,” toon laffer “ADHD,” and the general “short-com,” which the net dubs “one act in eight minutes.”
4:45pm: Reilly moves on to sports, and boasts the net’s chops against NBC when it comes to drawing male demos in football broadcasts. Michael Strahan and Troy Aikman take the stage to hock “Super Bowl XLVIII” with a CG representation of what Gotham will look like when Fox takes over Time Square for Superbowl week. Fox dubs the event the “coldest and boldest” Superbowl in history…pack your sweaters, sports fans.
4:34pm: Clip of Seth MacFarlane’s live-action laffer “Dads” and Geoff Stults-starrer “Enlisted” land so-so reactions in the room. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” with Adam Samberg, gets a solid laugh upon the cameo appearance of fellow SNL cast member Fred Armisen.
4:24pm: Greenfield appears! Reilly presents a slew of Fox comedy thesps on stage, and Greenfield steps up for a solo moment that quickly draws guffaws as he morphs into his “New Girl” character, Schmidt. He strips off his sports coat and hands it to a woman in the audience, in true Schmidt form.
4:20pm: When compared to NBC’s presentation earlier today, Fox’s Upfront has a serious emphasis on data and its digital assets, including VOD, streaming, and social media. Reilly is at ease on stage, driving home how Fox is the youngest-skewing net of the Big Four. During a roll out of positive reviews for Fox comedies on screen, “Kevin Reilly is a genius” is lumped into the mix, leading to a big laugh from the room.
4:15pm: True to form, Kevin Reilly opens the Upfront with some honest realism: “This wasn’t our best year.” However, the network chairman promises to advertisers that the net will be #1 again soon. Toby Byrne, also on stage, responds, “Amen, brother.”
4:10pm: Fox opens its presentation with a sizzle reel devoted to the state of the TV industry, complete with interviews with execs from Mashable, TV Guide, research firms, creatives like J.J. Abrams, Liz Meriwether and more. Clip focuses on the relevance of event programming, social media, and Fox’s place in the evolutionary mix.
4:08pm: No presentation yet, but plenty of Top 40 tunes. Journos all packed on the lower balcony, praising Fox for offering free WiFi at the event.
3:56pm: Max Greenfield’s voice echos around the room, asking people to “please take your seats.” Audience members rubberneck the stage, but no Greenfield in sight. Attendees encouraged to pass the time with Fox trivia projected on the giant screen above the stage. Most instead choose to gab, gossip.
3:45pm: DJ spinning the welcome jams. Macklemore. Moving on.
3:32pm: Hustling into the Beacon Theater, chatter outside is about: cold, windy weather and reviews of NBC’s Upfront from earlier in the day, including Jennifer Salke’s intro compared to her time on stage during Peacock’s 2012 presentation. Chocolate bars were being doled out in front of the theater, an appropriate snack for all biz heads running on low blood sugar.