With “American Idol’s” ratings continuing their free fall and their entertainment head honcho gone, Fox folks should have some interesting things to say Sunday when it’s their turn at the TV critics’ press tour.
Peter Rice, chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, will kick things off Sunday morning in lieu of the network’s recently departed entertainment chair Kevin Reilly. Reilly left after a season that saw the once-dominant network in the adult demo fail to build in that audience arena despite airing the Super Bowl. Reilly’s parting legacy: a campaign for broadcast nets to bail on pilot season, opting instead for straight-to-series orders.
The first program panel of the day centers on Fox’s upcoming Batman prequel, “Gotham,” screened for critics earlier in the week. (I’m not a huge fan of comic book-inspired series —“The Walking Dead” being a big exception —but I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere thanks to a fantastic cast.) Actors Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova and Cory Michael Smith are slated to be here.
Chicago-raised comic John Mulaney will be talking about his “Seinfeld-“like, self-titled sitcom, which was passed over by NBC before landing at Fox. That one also stars “SNL” alums Martin Short and Nasim Pedrad, who’s reportedly leaving the NBC late-night sketch show to focus on “Mulaney.”
Producers and stars of the new coming-of-age dramedy “Red Band Society” will expound on their fall show, a sort of “Glee” —but with more cancer. It’s set in The World’s Coolest Hospital and features Octavia Spencer, Griffin Gluck, Zoe Levin, Dave Annable, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Charlie Rowe, Astro, Ciara Bravo and Nolan Sotillo.
We’ll also hear from Fox’s upcoming reality series “Utopia” based on a Dutch format (what isn’t in the reality world?) and “Gracepoint,” the U.S. remake of BBC America’s fantastic eight-part mystery series “Broadchurch.” Why Fox felt the need to reinvent an already perfect wheel is beyond me, and I imagine the panel will address that here.
Returning shows “Masterchef Junior” and “Sleepy Hollow” each have their own sessions, followed by what should be an intriguing look inside the world of television comedy with a panel titled “Behind the Laughs.” In attendance will be “New Girl” creator Liz Meriwether, multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”), the extremely funny duo behind “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Mike Schur and Dan Goor),
“Bob’s Burgers” producer Loren Bouchard and producers of “The Simpsons” (Al Jean) and “Family Guy” (Rich Appel, Steve Callaghan), among others.
Saturday night marked the 30th annual TCA Awards. Here’s my report on the winners.
And in case you missed it, check out these stories on Chicago actress Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin” and TCA’s It Girl), what’s in store for the new season of “Homeland” and the status of another stab at a “Supernatural” spinoff.)