Fox was one of the only networks to present an executive session for the Television Critics Association (the others were CW, Showtime, and PBS). In addition to panels on upcoming series like Prison Break and 24: Legacy and current shows like Star and Bones, Fox executives offered news on The X-Files and other fan-favorite shows that might return.
After a panel for his new techno-cop drama APB, Matt Nix spoke to reporters about his X-Men series for Fox. Nix hopes to be part of the fall pilot cycle and expects a 12-13 episode season for the serialized story. He’s not worried about overlapping with FX’s Legion because Noah Hawley’s show is more “cable-icious,” Nix said. Acknowledging the X-Men movie timeline is not exact, the Fox series doesn’t slavishly fit into continuity, but the events of the movies have happened; however, like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it exists in the movie universe (FX’s Legion does not). Nix teased that the story would explain why major characters like Wolverine are not in the show. Look for Rotten Tomatoes’ coverage of APB when it premieres February 6.
Fox Television Chairman and CEO Gary Newman announced the premiere date for Prison Break’s nine-part series. On a panel later, creator Paul T. Scheuring revealed that he originally thought of 10 episodes, but consolidated the last two to fit in the shooting schedule. Sarah Wayne Callies confirmed that her character now takes the name Sara Scofield, even though she’s remarried, presuming Michael dead. (Read our interview with Callies.)
Fox also released a second trailer for the series the same day as the panel.
After the Prison Break panel, Wentworth Miller told reporters he is leaving on Thursday for Vancouver to film four episodes as Snart/Captain Cold. He will be in three Legends of Tomorrow episodes and one of The Flash.
During an executive panel, Fox Broadcasting President of Entertainment David Madden said conversations are ongoing for a follow-up to last year’s X-Files return. After the panel, Madden added that he’d hope to put it on air in 2018, although January might not be doable. He hopes to have more than six episodes in the next season, but far from a full 22.
24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Brian Grazer said they spent a year developing a 24 movie. As with the attempts to make a Kiefer Sutherland 24 movie, the producers realized it was more compatible with television. The only returning character is Tony Almeida. Creator–executive producer Evan Katz said it was important that viewers not have to have seen 24 in order to watch Legacy. When it came to bringing one veteran back, it was Tony Almeida’s turn because Chloe got to come back in Live Another Day already. Creator–EP Manny Coto jokingly added that actor Carlos Bernand kept bugging him. After the panel star Corey Hawkins said he spoke with Sutherland, and the Jack Bauer actor was excited for Hawkins to take over the day. Be sure to read our interviews with Hawkins and the cast and producers of 24: Legacy.
Given the success of Fox’s reboots of The X-Files and 24, and Prison Break returning this year, Madden said he’d be open to a Firefly reboot if Joss Whedon himself wanted to revisit it. Madden suspects Whedon is now too busy with movies, and he would not consider doing Firefly without Whedon.
Fox announced an early pickup for their hit music drama Empire. Empire’s fourth season will have another 18 episodes. Those episodes will drip, drop, drip drippity drop in the fall season.
Madden said the next three episodes of Gotham are full of The Joker, and he explicitly referred to Jerome as The Joker. “Our last several episodes before we go on hiatus, which is our three Joker episodes, are fantastic,” Madden said after the executive panel. “Cameron Monaghan comes back and is just really nasty.” Madden added that the second half of the season accelerates Bruce Wayne becoming Batman.
Fox still has hopes for underperforming series Pitch and The Exorcist. They couldn’t renew early based on the ratings, but are keeping an open mind to keeping them on the schedule in May. They’ve had conversations with the producers of each show about how second seasons could expand. “One of the things we think about is do we have a place on our schedule where we can grow it?” Newman said. “If we’re going to go forward with it, we want to believe we’re going to grow the show. All those things will become clearer once we have a sense of what our upcoming lineup is going to be next year.”
Lee Daniels showed an upcoming musical fantasy sequence from Star. Queen Latifah’s character Carlotta bursts into a rap like Latifah’s old “U.N.I.T.Y.” days. Hip hop dancers jump up and down the stairs of Carlotta’s beauty salon, then dance through the laundry room and out to the chain link fence. After the panel, Daniels told reporters that Missy Elliot and Gladys Knight will appear on upcoming episodes.
On the last-ever Bones panel, cast revealed final season guest stars would include returning actors Lauper, White, and Millegan. Bones creator Hart Hanson said that the ending new showrunners John Collier and Michael Peterson and executive producer Randy Zisk came up with a different ending than Hanson original thought of, but Hanson loves it. They also ignored Hanson’s definition of 447.
Madden said it’s too early to decide on a third season of Scream Queens, but lower ratings for the horror-comedy’s second season wouldn’t rule out a third. Madden said they understand the audience for Scream Queens doesn’t necessarily watch live, so multi-platform viewing helps.
Fox had success with Grease Live and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Madden revealed that in addition to looking for another famous musical, Fox is developing original musicals with existing music libraries, both live events and TV movies. “Trying to develop original musicals from scratch is something we’re interested in, but it’s a longer process,” Madden said.
Movie and music superstar Jamie Foxx is a busy man. He’s also got a Showtime series in the works, but Fox has signed him to host their music game show Beat Shazam. Contestants will try to name that tune before the music app does. Madden credited producer Mark Burnett with leading the charge and convincing Foxx. Newman said Foxx was at the top of their wish list from the beginning, so they’re thrilled to land him.
Newman announced a new Love Connection dating game show to be hosted by Andy Cohen, and Madden confirmed it would include same-sex couples. Producers Mike Fleiss of The Bachelor and Mike Darnell brought the idea of doing a new Love Connection to Fox. Madden said the big draw was getting to see Cohen interact with couples. “Being able to play the twists of which person would they want to date vs. which person the audience would want them to date, but also fun and commentary on dating in 2016,” Madden said.
Fox ordered four additional episodes bringing the first season of The Mick to 17 episodes. Later on a The Mick panel, co-creator Dave Chernin said they had to cut material from the first 13 that they thought they’d have to wait for season 2, but now they can include some of those ideas in the extra four.
Co-creator Reggie Bythewood called the limited series cop drama both “a whodunnit and a whydunnit.” The dual mystery explores who killed one victim, and why another victim was killed. Episodes of the series are premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, and it premieres on Fox March 22.