Things are not looking good for Fringe, and the fate of Terra Nova will be decided soon, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said at the TCA Winter Press Tour yesterday.
In a flurry of announcements, Reilly gave out frank assessments of where the network stood on many shows, including Fringe, Terra Nova and several non-sci-fi shows. The animated Allen Gregory was canceled.
Regarding the possibility of a fifth season for Fringe, Reilly said: "The hesitation in my voice is that it's an expensive show. We lose a lot of money on the show. At that rate, on that night, it's almost impossible for us to make money off it. That's been the case now over the last season. We're not in the business of losing money. So we really do have to sit down with that entity as well and figure out 'Is there a number in which it makes sense, or will this be it?'," he said.
"Please don't start the letter-writing campaign right now, everybody. I don't, I can't take it. ... I'm not now quietly doing a soft cancel here. I'm just telling you where it stands," added Reilly.
As for Terra Nova, the news seemed more positive to a point.
"We made money on it, the studio made money on it, and the audience enjoyed it," said Reilly. "The show looked fantastic, it's clearly a conceit people wanted to watch. They had ample opportunity to reject it. They didn't."
The news wasn't all good, however, as Reilly addressed the creative issues that the dinosaur adventure series has struggled with. "There were a lot of chefs in the kitchen going in. That did make for a little bit of a challenge. The show was hunting for itself creatively through the season. ... We are going to decide very soon, because it does need to get back into production over the next month."
In other Fox programming news, Reilly announced that the network is putting together an ambitious slate of original programming, including alternative animated shows, shorts and user-adapted material for a new late-night animated programming block on Saturday nights and a new digital multiplatform network. The block is expected to launch in January 2013 and will premiere four new animated series per season.
How do you feel about Reilly's honesty? Are you ready to start the letter-writing campaign?