Rob Wade, President of Alternative Entertainment for FOX network, answered a few burning questions in a recent interview with Deadline. Will new singing show The Four be renewed for a third season? Will the long-running competition So You Think You Can Dance have a place on the schedule next summer? And does Wade regret not bringing American Idol back to FOX?
The Four aired twice this year–in the winter and it was brought back months later in the summer. Wade indicated The Four WILL be renewed, but the network hasn’t decided when it will return.
We’ve been really happy with the way it’s grown throughout the entire summer. We’re really happy with the talent on that show, it has the right auspices to be a broadcast show. What we need to figure out is, if we’re going to bring this back, where should it go. I think we asked a lot of it to come back so quickly after the first season. The feeling was that we didn’t want to leave it off the air for a whole year so we put it back a bit sooner. I think we need to give it enough of a rest so people are looking forward to it.
Interestingly, regarding The Four’s ratings–it actually increases week to week unlike other competition reality shows which tend to garner their best ratings in the first weeks.
FOX will premiere a new competition The Masked Singer at midseason, Which I suspect is one reason why The Four may not premiere in January as it did last season. Nevertheless, Wade will not avoid scheduling it up against The Voice or American Idol like FOX did with The Four season 1.
I think it’s difficult for us to count on a schedule at the moment. But wherever we put it, I don’t think it needs to be away from those shows because it’s completely different. It’s not a contestant singing show. It’s a celebrity who sung it, it’s about these elaborate costumes. It’s a comedic, joyous show. It’s very, very different to Idol and The Voice.
On renewing So You Think You Can Dance? It’s looking good.
Listen, I’m a huge dance fan, I did Dancing with the Stars. It’s a show that, although I had nothing to do with creating it, it’s close to my heart. It’s a very, very good talent show. There’s still a lot of fan love for that show. It actually does incredibly well in the L7s with a lot of pickup. It really grows, and the other thing about that is that it still gets a lot of Emmys. It’s definitely a jewel in the crown. So, again, we haven’t made a decision about that, but it’s a legacy franchise, and it’s proven that it’s a very resilient returning show.
WADE does NOT regret turning down a deal to bring American Idol back to FOX.
No. I don’t regret it at all. Idol was canceled for a couple of reasons. It was the cost, the economics, and the ratings were declining. I don’t have a contact in the accounts of ABC, but I’m imagining, from what I’ve heard, it’s still an incredibly expensive show, and this season we saw a lot of rating erosion, so nothing tells me that the same wouldn’t happen if we had kept it on Fox. And the second thing is, I feel we’ve got to look to the future.
I think people in my position have got to look to the future. We can’t just expect the public to stick with 15-year-old shows that are declining. I want to try new hits. With The Four, there’s a lot more urgency. It’s much more relevant. It’s the number one digital show. For me, it’s more exciting to try a new show like that than to stick with Idol, quite frankly. That being said, I know the people that made Idol, I think they did a good job, and I’m happy for them, I admire them for the fact they brought it back for a second season.