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Fox Execs on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine's' Cancellation and 'Lethal Weapon' Shake-Up

Monday - 14/05/2018 11:40
Ahead of Fox's upfront presentation to advertisers, network brass also discussed the "Roseanne" effect on its schedule.
Courtesy of FOX Gary Newman and Dana Walden
Courtesy of FOX Gary Newman and Dana Walden

Ahead of Fox’s dog-and-pony shows for media buyers Monday afternoon, the Fox broadcast network’s top executives found themselves in the hot seat.

At issue is what one reporter described as a “tonal shift” in Fox’s comedy brand, with the network all but wiping clean its serialized, single-camera, live-action brand (see cancellations for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Last Man on Earth and The Mick) coupled with the addition of three new multicamera half-hours, including the revival of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing. The latter, produced by the network’s sibling studio, had been canceled by rival ABC a year earlier.

While Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman suggested “tonal shift” was too strong a descriptor, he and his partner, Dana Walden, acknowledged that they were emboldened by the breakout success of ABC’s multicam reboot Roseanne. "Obviously everyone took a good hard look at the performance of [that show]," said Walden, who added: "It certainly did remind us that we have a huge comedy star in Tim Allen." And with the addition of Thursday Night Football, which will occupy more than 30 hours of programming on Fox’s forthcoming schedule and serve as a key launchpad for new and returning fare, the team had been looking for programming with a lower barrier to entry. To that end, Walden noted that they are still mulling the future of L.A. to Vegas, which is more close-ended than its other single-cam fare and thus more appealing in the opportunities it presents. 

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