Fox Divides Development Cycle; Seeks Comedies

What You Should Have Read, July 14, 2008

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Fox Divides Development Cycle; Seeks Comedies

The Hollywood Reporter reports that for years, Fox has had a split TV season -- a slow fourth quarter interrupted by post-season baseball and a red-hot January-through-May buoyed by "American Idol" and "24." But now, in what Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly billed as "the next step towards year-round development, the network also is dividing up its development cycle, Reilly said during the executive session of the network's presentation Monday at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour. The December showcase will feature at least eight projects that are in different stages of production, including dramas "Lie to Me," "Courtroom K" and "Virtuality," and comedy "Boldly Going Nowhere." Reilly expects the batch to yield "a couple" of early series orders. In another twist to the development model -- as a way to boost the creativity of comedy writers -- Fox is scrapping the decades-old ritual of creators going to the network executives' offices to pitch their ideas. "We're not going to take most of our comedy pitches in our office," Reilly said. "We're going to go out and meet the writers on their own turf, and that could be at a restaurant (or) their house, anything that gets it out of a sterile environment." Reilly is eager to find the next "Malcolm in the Middle" and another animated hit like "The Simpsons," about to start its 20th season.
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