TCA Notes: PBS and Fox

News Corp. (Fox, FX, Fox News, FSN)

Fox made its presentation on Monday, and covered a wide range of programs as well as Fox News. Among the highlights:

– Fox is considering a spinoff of Prison Break, and it’s set in a women’s prison. Hopefully, it’s not like the dreadful comedy Women In Prison, which aired on Fox in 1987.

– Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said there’s a deal close for the writers of Sit Down, Shut Up a new mideason Fox animated comedy. The writing staff walked out several weeks ago after learning their were not being covered by the Writer’s Guild, but by an animation guild (IATSE.)

– J.J. Abrams had a panel regarding Fringe, which debuts in September. He talks about the premise of the show. I read the articles about this, and I still don’t know what it’s about…

– Mike Darnell, head of Alternative programming at Fox, said the success of Wipeout won’t hurt his show, Hole in the Wall. But what the critics should have done was storm the stage and beat the crap out of him for creating so many stupid reality shows for the network…

– Yeah, this get better… Fox News is now up, and the network defends its hiring of Bush stooge Karl Rove. As I said earlier with what should have happened with Mike Darnell… The session is quite testy, as Fox News execs wanted to turn the tables and grill the press. Yes, this is the network that gave us anchors who claim Obama is a terrorist because he does a fist bump. Guess Howie Mandel is one, too because he does the same thing – oh, that’s right – he has a disease that prevents him from shaking people’s hands. Mystery solved. Stay classy, Fox News. Because you lack a lot of it.

– To more intersting news, the producers of Sarah Connor Chrioncles say the action drama won’t be as serialized as it was last season. Wait a minute, this is more intersting?

– Fox also plans to split up its’ development cycle, in part because of the recent writers’ strike. The net plans to hold May and December pilot screenings, and is offering comedy writers money to go out and put their ideas out on film or videotape.

Fox also had an animation panel featuring Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane. I’ll cover that in a separate post.


– PBS had its TCA sessions on Saturday, and is unveiling a new version of The Electric Company (one of yours truly’s favorites growing up) from Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop) and will air as a weekly series.

On the more adult side of things, PBS plans to produce King Lear, and may show him naked (ewwww…) Other projects include a new mini-series from Ken Burns (PBS needs to make a statue for this guy in front of their headquarters), and a four-hour series on the history of Latin music.