Peter Liguori, president-entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company

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AA: What's your most challenging time period?

Mr. Liguori: Thursday at 9 p.m. We're going up against "The Apprentice," "CSI," "Night Stalker," and "Everwood." We're hoping "Reunion" will stand up.

AA: Which of your shows is TiVo proof?

Mr. Liguori: "American Idol." It is such a communal experience, something talked about the next day.

AA: Which show on another network scares you the most?

Mr. Liguori: I'm an unbelievably nervous person, many shows scare me. "Lost" scares me, it's likely to have some success. "Head Cases" is a big behemoth show-we're attacking ["Lost"] with a dramedy.

AA: How would you rate the schedules of your rivals?

Mr. Liguori: First and foremost, given the ratings difference between the No. 1 and the No. 4 ranked network, they'd all get shades of B. ABC is B-plus; CBS is a B and NBC is a B-minus. With NBC, we can all continue to scrape at the same turf again. I'm being aggressive on this front, but it's only a matter of time before they bounce back. How does Fox best defend itself? We need to be distinctive, creatively ambitious and then we'll ward off their bounce-back. This is a business of peaks and valleys. One show is all it takes.

AA: Which of the midseason shows do you have the highest hopes for?

Mr. Liguori: The new season of "24" is going to be outstanding. It has remarkable storytelling, they've done a phenomenal job and I can't wait to get scripts.

AA: What's your favorite show on cable?

Mr. Liguori: "Nip/Tuck." Yes, I commissioned it. It's one of those rare shows that absolutely tapped into the zeitgeist. Hundreds of years ago, people would ask who's the fairest of them all and if you wanted to be the fairest you could murder the fairest. Now we have true control over our beauty and it allows human spirit to go after vanity. It is a show of the moment.

AA: Best TV show of all time?

Mr. Liguori: I've been a tremendous fan of "The Sopranos," "All in the Family" and "In Living Color."

AA: What has ABC's surprise success taught you?

Mr. Liguori: Persevere and stick to your knitting, be the network that you are. If you don't make moves out of desperation, you will find success. ABC was in a situation that the right strategic move was to do something audacious and they've been rewarded for it.


Ranking among 18-49 demographic 2004/2005: No. 1

Rating/Viewers/Share in 18-49: 4.1/5.3 million/11 (Nielsen Media Research)

Strengths and weaknesses: "American Idol" and "24" expected to return strong as ever come January. Fox has some powerful dramas slated for fall, "Prison Break" and "Reunion." Fox needs to get its fourth-quarter, pre-baseball season right.

Doug says: "Fox takes the biggest risks and therefore can take the biggest hits. That's an admirable quality."

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