Fox’s Reilly on Monteith, numbers and Idol

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly came out swinging at Thursday’s TCA press tour, with charts and graphs showing his network hasn’t slipped as far as CBS CEO Leslie Moonves suggests.
Moonves was here a few days ago and dissed Fox, saying he always knew those years of A18-49 dominance would end once “Idol crashed” and that the rival network’s 15-hour sked was never a level playing field with CBS and the other broadcaster’s 23-hour requirements.
Reilly, like other broadcasters, would like to steer journalists away from reporting overnights or L+SD numbers. A chart went up showing how certain Fox shows benefit from streaming, PVRs and even Hulu re-purposing. The Simpsons, for example, picks up one-fifth of its viewers after its initial airing. The Following jumps five million viewers in L+7, topping 16.27M in total audience last season. New Girl is another series which pulls an additional 33% “outside traditional platforms.” Family Guy sees a 37% jump.
Those numbers include Hulu and VOD viewings.
Reilly took his usual shot at Netflix, citing their “unreported mystery audience.” It bugs him when cable shows are cited as big hits when they draw smaller audiences than broadcast shows.”We’re all in the same game,” he suggested.
He made the point that The Mindy Project–seen as a borderline renewal in some quarters–had far more viewers than Mad Men, Breaking Bad or Dexter. If you combined the audience for Louie or Girls, said Reilly, Mindy would beat them both with numbers to spare.
He continued to advocate for a full 52-week season saying the 35-week standard was a hold over from the “highlight your TV Guide era.” Reilly added he’s bad the term “mid-season,”
Reilly also addressed speculation surrounding how Glee will handle Cory Monteith’s death when that series returns in September. The first two episodes will feature the Glee cast performing Beatles music, a deal struck before Monteith’s death. The third episode will be the one where the characters deal with the death of Monteith’s Finn Hudson.
The episode will “deal directly with drug abuse,” said Reilly.
The cast will also shoot PSA’s where they will speak directly to the camera about Monteith. Reilly had no further details on that; they PSA’s have not been shot.
Proceeds from the sale of Glee soundtrack CDs will be donated to a charity in Monteith’s honour, said Reilly, who speculated that it would be some sort of college fund.
Reilly was at the memorial to Monteith in Los Angeles and described him as “a big, open wonderful life force” who did not fit the dark profile of a drug user. “He looked straight as an arrow…He was not a problem. Everybody loved him.”
As for American Idol, Reilly confirmed Keith Urban will return as a judge. Jennifer Lopez has been approached about contributing again to the series but no deal had been reached. He reminded critics the show was still a Top-5 hit.He’s like to see it get back to more about contestants, less about the judges.

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