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TCA: Fox Panels on Lonestar, Running Wilde, Raising Hope

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Mediaweek's Marc Berman covers the Fox panels at TCA, which included discussions on new programs Lonestar, Running Wilde and Raising Hope. Which ones will sink and which will swim? Read below:

Lonestar
Monday 9 p.m.

-The Premise:
A con artist (Jimmy Wolk) juggles two lives in two Texas cities with two different women (Adrianne Palicki and Eloise Mumford) who do not know each other exist.  Academy Award winner Jon Voight is featured in the ensemble cast.  

-Lead-in: House
-Competition: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS) and Mike & Molly (CBS), The Event (NBC), Gossip Girl (CW)

-Who Was on the Panel:
James Wolk, Jon Voight, Bryce Johnson, Mark Deklin, Eloise Mumford, Adrianne Palicki, David Keith;  creator/writer/executive producer Kyle Killen; executive producers Kerry Kohansky, Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman; and director Marc Webb.  
 
-The Scoop:
Amy Lippman on plans for Lonestar should the show succeed:

“I think the show will need to reinvent itself periodically, and I think we look at shows that have a very strong premise going into, shows that we refer to in the writers’ room, shows like Breaking Bad, for example, that start with a very strong premise and by season two have turned it in some way, and I think that our challenge, is to keep it going, to keep it fresh and not to replay the same dynamic over and over again. So we certainly have a sense of where we’re going this season with it, with the understanding that, if we’re lucky enough to be back in front of you next year, that something will be significantly changed in the show.”

Added Chris Keyser:

“The show has a lot of different levels to it. There’s no question that the con is going to run all the way through. In fact, there are a number of cons that you’ll see played out, but the truth is also that we have a very broad, I guess, traditional soap canvas as well. There are two full families, and I think when Kyle wrote the pilot, he constructed in a lot of really clever television ways those triangles that give you a lot of plot to play with.  There are three children whom Clint Thatcher has to deal with. There are two wives. There’s a triangle there. There are two fathers. So we have a lot of things we need to deal with. If anything, I think we’re finding that, as we begin, there’s so much to do, that we need to parcel it out from episode to episode.”
 
-The Reality:
The good news from the get-go is the lead-in support from medical drama House, which still has plenty of life left in it and could give Lonestar the advantage over NBC’s also unproven The Event.  ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and CBS’ Two and a Half Men will, of course, rule the ratings roost and The CW’s Gossip Girl is still a magnet for young females.   But viewers seek familiarity, and this unusual tale of a man with two different lives could face an uphill battle simply because it dares to be different.   Despite the comparisons to classic serial Dallas, viewers at present do not easily embrace something of a serialized nature.  

-Chance of Survival for Lone Star (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
8-1

-Did You Know?:
Jon Voight, to-date, has been nominated for four Academy Awards, with a Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1979 for Coming Home.
 
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Raising Hope
Tuesday 9 p.m.

-The Premise:
A 25-year-old man (Lucas Neff) winds up having to raise an infant with the help of his quirky family (including multiple Emmy winner and recent Dancing With the Stars contestant Cloris Leachman as “Maw Maw).”

-Lead-in: Glee
-Competition: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Life Unexpected (CW)

-Who Was on the Panel:
Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton, Cloris Leachman, Shannon Woodward, Lucas Neff; and creator/writer/executive producer Greg Garcia.
 
-The Scoop:
Cloris Leachman vs. Betty White:  Here is what Cloris “Phyllis” Leachman had to say about everyone’s favorite, Betty White, when asked, “Are you competing with Betty White to be the new “It” girl for AARP?”

Cloris Leachman: I’m so sick of Betty White (laughter).  Never liked her. We have a movie coming out that we made together. It’s called “You Again.” She could make a soufflé and I could open the oven. That would be funny, and I slam it and make the soufflé go down.”

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-Greg Garcia on how Raising Hope compares to his previous comedy, My Name is Earl:

“I think there’s some things that are similar and a lot of things that are different. But I feel like the way it’s shot and the look of it will be somewhat like My Name Is Earl because I kind of fell in love with that style. I like very much to try to do a little movie every week, so we’ll continue to try to accomplish that. Other than that, I think that it will be more grounded in spots.”
 
-The Reality:
From a competitive standpoint, Tuesday at 9 p.m. is one of the fiercest hours in primetime with hit shows housed on The Big 3 networks.  Counter-programming with comedy, Fox is hoping fans of lead-in Glee looking for laughs will stick with the network.  But Fox has never aired sitcoms in the Tuesday 9 p.m. hour.  Glee is not the breakout hit in the ratings that you lead to believe.  And there might be little to no audience left opposite Dancing With the Stars, NCIS: Los Angeles and The Biggest Loser.  As to the comparisons to My Name Is Earl, that NBC sitcom was never a big hit.

-Chance of Survival for Raising Hope (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
10-1

-Did You Know?:
The ageless Cloris Leachman, to-date, has won nine Emmy Awards (including one Daytime Emmy Award), which is more than any other performer.  

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Running Wilde
Tuesday 9:30 p.m.

-The Premise:
A rich Beverly Hills jerk (Arrested Development’s Will Arnett) falls in love with a charitable environmentalist (Felicity star Keri Russell) who can’t stand his lifestyle or values.   

-Lead-in: Raising Hope
-Competition: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Life Unexpected (CW)

-Who Was on the Panel:
Will Arnett, Keri Russell, Peter Serafinowicz, Stefania Owen; and writer/co-creator/executive producers Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely.
 
-The Scoop:
 Keri Russell on this new regularly scheduled series role:

“I’ve been reading a lot of film scripts that just — they were kind of more of the same, and the type of movies I really did want to make weren’t being green-lit, and this came my way, and it was just too good to pass up. And then I flew out and met these guys, and they were so wonderful. It was fresh and exciting, and I thought I’d try it.”

-The Reality:
Mirroring lead-in Raising Hope, Running Wilde is facing Dancing With the Stars, NCIS: Los Angeles and The Biggest Loser, which could be considered a suicide mission.  If Raising Hope is stalled at the gate, and there is every reason to believe it will be, Running Wilde will be lucky if it makes it to midseason.  Whatever Raising Hope does, factor in about a 10 to 20 percent loss for Running Wilde.  

-Chance of Survival for Running Wilde (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
10-1

-Did You Know?:
Prior to her star making role on WB drama Felicity, Keri Russell appeared in a short-lived drama in 1996 called Malibu Shores on Fox.  It lasted 10 episodes.