While no one really expected it, anyone still hoping to see Kevin Reilly publicly open fire at NBC was left disappointed Sunday at Fox’s Television Critics Association press tour executive session in Beverly Hills.
Reilly did, however, struggle to keep a straight face when prompted to respond to NBC’s claim that he was not actually fired from his position as that network’s entertainment president.
“No one’s every really fired in Hollywood, are they, and no show is ever cancelled,” Fox’s new entertainment chief joked.
Still laughing, Reilly then told the packed house of television writers they could choose whichever term they wanted to describe his departure from NBC.
“I segued, I wanted to spend more time with my family, which I did for three days,” he said.
During a session in which Reilly paused often to choose his words carefully every time he was asked about his former employer, he also claimed he doesn’t want to see all his new NBC pilots succeed just to justify his ego.
“You can’t get to caught up in that,” he said. “Some will work and some won’t work, I don’t have that torn emotion about it.”
But recently-promoted chairman Peter Liguori quickly jumped in.
“I want them to all be bloody failures, I am clear,” he said.
Reilly also said he doesn’t expect to gain much of an advantage from his inside knowledge of NBC’s schedule.
“I’d prefer I had an intimate knowledge of ABC’s schedule on a competitive level,” he said.
Liguori then fired the closest thing to a shot during the presentation.
“Our sights are not set on the number four network,” he said. “Our sights are set on the number one network.”
Among Fox’s other announcements from TCA on Sunday:
- Don’t Forget the Lyrics will get 13 more episodes. Both new fill-in-the-blanks singing shows have now been given a second run after NBC said it will bring The Singing Bee back this fall.
- Fox has ordered a fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance, which will return in 2008.
- The network has also ordered a fourth season of summer alternative series Hell’s Kitchen.
- Fox will not air a school shooting scene that was in the original pilot for The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The scene was shot before the massacre at Virginia Tech.
- Liguori said he expects reality chief Mike Darnell to stay at the network. “We look forward to having Mike for a number of years at Fox,” he said.