FOX Chairmen, Kevin Reilly, will leave the network at the end of June.
This is no surprise, considering how far FOX shows have fallen in the ratings. FOX had “rounded out the season flat in the key 18-49 demographic despite having the Super Bowl” according to The Hollywood Reporter, “and again losing the demo crown that the net had handily won for nearly a decade.”
Once mighty shows like American Idol and Glee have fallen in ratings in the past few years. The rest of FOX’s slate maybe be critically acclaimed (The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) but aren’t racking up the numbers. Their only bonafide breakout hit last season was Sleepy Hollow. The Following, which debuted in 2013, didn’t live up to its ratings promise when it returned to the FOX schedule in 2014.
A successor has not been named. It remains to be seen what new leadership at FOX will mean for the aging franchise, American Idol, which is coming back for at least another season. Or, for that matter, GLEE. FOX signed a two year renewal with the musical comedy back in 2013, before the bottom totally fell out on the show’s ratings. It’s coming back, but reportedly with a shortened season.
KEVIN REILLY STEPS DOWN AS CHAIRMAN, ENTERTAINMENT, FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY
Kevin Reilly announced today that he will depart Fox Broadcasting Company by the end of June.
“21st Century Fox is a great company that has provided me with choice seats at the head table of pop culture over two very rewarding stints both at FBC and FX, and I am grateful to have benefitted from the leadership of Peter Rice, Chase Carey and Rupert Murdoch,” said Reilly. “Peter and I have been discussing this transition for a while, and now with a robust new slate of programming for next season and strength in the FBC ranks, it felt like the timing was as right as it could be. I couldn’t be more thankful to my team – a group of creative, tireless and fun people whose fellowship I will miss.”
Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, said, “Kevin’s undeniable creative gift and passion for talent have left an indelible mark on our company, and we’re extremely grateful to him for his leadership, beginning with ‘The Shield’ and ‘Nip/Tuck’ at FX and continuing through GLEE, NEW GIRL, THE FOLLOWING, SLEEPY HOLLOW and BROOKLYN NINE-NINE at FOX. Kevin and I have been discussing his desire for a new challenge for some time, so while everyone at the network will miss his enthusiasm for adventurous television, we all respect his decision and agreed that after the upfront presentation was the right time. I’m personally extremely grateful to Kevin for his partnership during the past five years and look forward to working with him again in the future.”
During the transition period, before naming a replacement, Reilly’s senior executives will report to Rice.
Reilly, who joined FOX in 2007 and was named Chairman of Entertainment in 2012, has distinguished himself as a force in both cable and broadcast television, leading FOX to five of its eight consecutive winning seasons and shepherding seminal hits like GLEE, “The Sopranos,” “The Office” and “ER.” Under his leadership, the network launched Golden Globe Award-winning comedy BROOKLYN NINE-NINE; Emmy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning pop culture phenomenon GLEE; this season’s breakout hit drama SLEEPY HOLLOW; as well as Emmy Award-nominated NEW GIRL, THE FOLLOWING and THE MINDY PROJECT.
He previously served as President of Entertainment at NBC, where he introduced such popular hits as “The Office,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Heroes,” “Friday Night Lights” and the multi award-winning Tina Fey sitcom “30 Rock.”
Reilly joined NBC from FX, where he helped redefine the basic cable business, branding the network with an aggressive slate of quality original programs, including seminal series “Nip/Tuck” and “The Shield” – which broke cable ratings records and earned the first Golden Globe and Emmy Awards ever for basic cable series.
Prior to joining FX, Reilly was President of Brad Grey Television, the TV production arm of Brillstein-Grey, where he shepherded the landmark series “The Sopranos.”
He will be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in October. Reilly is an avid conservationist and is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of California. He is also on the Cornell University Council.