The Fox 2009 Programming conference call begins at 11:30am Eastern, Monday May 18. I am live blogging it in this post.
All times below are Pacific Daylight. San Francisco, FTW.
8:28 On hold prior to the call now.
8:32 The call is beginning now.
8:34 Fox boasting about its 5 year 18-49 annual win streak, as well as 18-34 and teen streaks.
8:37 99% of 3 screen viewing is going to TV. We’re not dead yet!
8:38 Returns the cable vs. broadcast smacktalk back at Turner Network’s ad in the NY Times today. Notes that 75 broadcast shows have bigger audiences than The Closer, which was featured in the ad.
8:39 Kevin Reilly talking. Bones and House staying in place. Will use them to build new shows.
8:40 Will schedule in the fall so that the spring schedule (with Idol) doesn’t require complete rejiggering. Putting So You Think You Can Dance in into the fall slots that Idol will take in the spring.
8:42 Friday’s addition of Brothers to ‘Til Death & Dollhouse. Football player star + Til Death. Somehow spun positively.
8:43 Keeping Dollhouse is “A bet on Joss Whedon”, “Consistently cum’d up in DVR viewing”
8:44 Notes that Idol’s advantage over the #2 demo show (Desperate Housewives) of 69% is the “largest in network history”.
8:45 Human Target premiere will follow the NFC Championship game, then 24 will follow Human Target that night.
8:46 Alan Sepinwall question wonders why Dollhouse was picked up. Reilly says DVR numbers did matter, again more of the “betting on Joss”.
8:47 Terminator vs. Dollhouse, “Terminator’s run is completed” “That’s it for Terminator“, “was not an either or with Dollhouse”
8:48 Reilly completely goes for Robert’s “Devil you know vs. the Devil you don’t” reasoning on renewing marginal shows.
8:49 Economic pressures (specifically on Bones) – “Have to look at licensing fees after the fifth season” “We think [Bones] ended up in a good place” “Economics didn’t drive the process”
8:51 Reilly doesn’t think 2 back to back cycles of So You Think You Can Dance is too much, not so different than other shows like Biggest Loser.
8:53 Not giving up on “Remote Free TV”, will use strategically, potentially on a number of different shows.
8:54 Main upfront issue has not been revenue during the upfront, instead the competitive viewing environment.
Will be doing “Alive Air” putting little show snippets into commercial pods.
9:02 How are costs being cut? There was bloat “This process consumes all available money” “We’re putting on big shows, Glee, Human Target” “Cable shows take 30% less money”
9:06 Glee premiere after Idol. “We hope to have half the Idol audience sample the show”
9:08 What about Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, they are renewed but not scheduled? Hell’s Kitchen is scheduled in the summer. Both will be used “opportunistically”.
9:10 Reilly expects Fringe to go against CSI and Grey’s. Thinks any move of CSI is risky and talked a bit of smack on CSI’s decline.
9:12 Are you going to make money with Dollhouse? “I don’t think we’re going to comment on the economics of any show” We want to keep scripted shows on Friday night. “Scripted shows command a CPM premium over unscripted”.
9:13 No comment on the number of judges on American Idol next season.
9:14 Did show budget influence the cancellation of Terminator? “Cost was *a* factor”, “Ratings trendline wasn’t pointing in the right direction”, “We tried, but it’s time to move on”.
Call is finished.