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Fringe may be moving to Fridays, but Fox says the show is far from over.
"I beg you not to write the eulogy prematurely," Fox President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association's winter preview. "It's a show we're passionate about .... I really hope those fans would stick with it... I'd be heartbroken if it went away."
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Reilly also said that if viewers who watched the show on Thursdays followed the show to Fridays, it would be enough. "It would significantly improve our Friday night in terms of numbers and quality. ... If our fans stick with us, the show could stay on the air for many years."
As for Lie to Me, which halted production to make room for new cop drama The Chicago Code this spring, Reilly says the network would like to believe there is "more upside" in the show and that there may be room for both shows on the network next season. A decision about a Lie to Me renewal, however, won't be made until it can be sized up against all of the network's mid-season offerings.
Elsewhere, House and Bones seem to have renewals locked up. "I'd anticipate they'd both be back," Reilly said, adding that it's only a question of getting through contract negotiations. The network is happy with both dramas creatively. "It's really about can we make a deal," he said.
Raising Hope picked up for second season
Earlier in the day, Fox announced a second-season renewal for freshman comedy Raising Hope.
Fox didn't preview its upcoming music competition from Simon Cowell, a U.S. version of The X Factor, but when asked about its similarities to American Idol, executives were adamant that the two were distinct. "It's actually very different from Idol," Fox Networks Group Chairman Peter Rice said of X Factor. "It's a different feeling, a different experience."
"You'll see the infectious nature of X Factor," Reilly added, admitting that he also believed the differentiation between the shows to be "insignificant" initially. "It's completely different."
Reilly also explained Idol's move to Wednesday and Thursday nights after years on Tuesday and Wednesday. The decision was two-fold: Glee became a Tuesday-night hit Fox didn't want to relocate, and CBS moved Survivor off of Thursdays. "We didn't see a need to throw the cards in the air," Reilly says. As for Thursday night's remaining strong competition, the network doesn't see a ton of overlap. "I expect The Big Bang Theory to continue what it's doing. I think they're two distinct shows."
Winter TV: Check out other winter shows we're looking forward to
Executives also paid respects to its fallen fall shows Lone Star and Running Wilde. Lone Star, a drama about a con man, lasted just two episodes. "We made a show we really loved," Rice said. "The truth is it failed. It failed to meet expectations. That doesn't mean we didn't like the show." Reilly added that the remaining six produced but unaired episodes "may very well play," though he gave no details on when.
As for Running Wilde, the romantic comedy starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell "struggled to find itself," Reilly said.
"It did, but it was probably too little too late," he said.