With the return of American Idol and 24, Fox is poised to reclaim the top ratings spot among viewers 18-49. And at the network’s portion of the TV Critics Association’s annual winter press tour today, entertainment president Kevin Reilly spoke about the network’s hopes for the next two quarters, especially with the addition of five new series to the schedule: crime procedural Lie to Me; the Joss Whedon-produced action-fantasy Dollhouse; a variety show starring the Osbournes; animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up; and the music-infused dramedy Glee, from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy.
Reilly also announced that Prison Break would end its run this spring, after four seasons.
The session’s funniest moment came when Reilly was asked about NBC’s recent decision to replace its 10 p.m. scripted dramas by stripping a talk show starring Jay Leno in that time slot. Reilly, the GE-owned net’s ex-entertainment president, said his former employer was like “the crazy ex-wife I can’t get away from.”
In an on-camera interview with Mediaweek correspondent Alan Frutkin, Reilly spoke about the ratings declines suffered by most broadcasters this season. He also discussed the slumping economy, and how a tough fiscal environment could impact the future of broadcasting.