TCA: Fox's Reilly Predicts Cross-Genre Success

Expects net to be force in comedy, will test four-sitcom block in spring
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Complete Coverage: 2011 TCA Summer Press Tour

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly predicted that his network will have success in every genre this year on stage Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

"I hope our shows are the headlines this year," Reilly said when saying he didn't expect his executive session to be a newsy one. "This year feels like a really potent crop."

Fox has traditionally had a patchy fall, with ratings dependent on the strength of post-season baseball until American Idol comes in at midseason to dominate. This year, the network has a big swing in The X Factor, which Fox hopes will help extend its ratings win to a full season.

"If that can do half of what we hope it can do in the fall, Fox is going to be hard for anyone to reckon with," Reilly said of X Factor.

Reilly also expects Fox to be a force in comedy this season after years of struggling to build a live-action comedy block. Sophomore Raising Hope will return and the network has one of fall's brightest new fall entries in New Girl, whose star Zooey Deschanel charmed the roomful of TV critics at press tour Friday.

Fox is planning to test a four-comedy block in the spring which could include Little In Common, which is about to go into production, or even a resurrection of the previously cancelled Breaking In.

"Stranger things have happened," Reilly noted when asked if the Christian Slater comedy might find its way back onto Fox's schedule.

Fox's other big fall swing is the perennially delayed Terra Nova, but despite the pilot's expensive price tag, Reilly said the cost was reasonable when spread over 13 episodes. And Fox execs have said before that for the show to work, it needs to be more about the family drama than the special effects.

"The thing I like the best about it, for all the spectacle, is the cast," Reilly said. "And that's always the best thing you have going for you in series television."

Reilly addressed the rumors of a Glee spinoff during the session and said that while Fox hasn't said they won't do it, no decision would be made until the end of Glee's third season. He also stressed that Glee will be "back to basics" this year with a greater focus on core characters and no guest-star driven or tribute episodes in the first part of the season.

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