#TCA18: Fox highlights

The Television Critics Association’s (TCA) summer press tour is always a highlight for both media and TV show fans. Because during the TCA press tour events we always learn a ton of new information and behind-the-scenes facts about many of our favorite shows. And this year was no exception. Because during this year’s round of TCA press tour events we learned a lot of new insights on the biggest networks’ current and new shows. And Fox was the network that kicked off TV’s Big Five TCA days. So here are some of the highlights from Fox’s TCA summer press tour 2018.

Highlights from Fox’s executive panel

As always Fox’s portion of the TCA summer press tour kicked off with a panel featuring the network’s executives. More specifically The Fox Television Group’s CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. Here are some of the things that they had to say:

  • The first thing that the execs addressed during their press conference was the FOX Disney merger. And although Walden mentioned that there is not much they can reveal about the deal, she did say that after the deal is done “New Fox” will be the only remaining network operating without the interference of a big studio agenda. Meaning that the network will get the chance to air the shows they want to air, even if they are smaller shows from independent studios. Should the indies choose Fox as the home for their series, of course.
  • News also broke during Fox’s TCA panel about a possible new midseason show that is currently filming its pilot. The show comes from Rob McElhenny and Rob Rosell. And will star Kaitlin Olson and Leah Remini.
  • On top of that Fox CEOs announced that they have ordered a pilot for Bless This Mess, a new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether, who you might know as the creator of New Girl. The series will star actress Lake Bell.
  • And this upcoming TV season three new reality shows will grace Fox’s schedule. Costume singing show The Masked Singer with Nick Cannon as a host. A Rob Lowe-hosted competition show Mental Samurai, that will essentially be an obstacle course for your mind. And Dax Shepard-hosed game show Spin the Wheel.
  • Then the exes touched on the rumored 24 prequels and revealed that they are not only working on a prequel. But a whole new take on 24 is in the works as well that will be more of a legal drama than a political thriller.
  • Newman also addressed the controversial Lethal Weapon character change. Saying that if they hadn’t found Seann William Scott, the series probably wouldn’t have a third season.
  • Walden revealed that there were no conversations about reviving Lucifer. Even before the show was snatched up by Netflix. Mostly because, since the audience of the fan-favorite series is so narrow yet it is both owned by an outside studio and quite expensive to make, it wouldn’t be financially feasible for the network to keep going with the show.
  • And finally, the execs told the audience that Gotham, as expected, will premier midseason.

9-1-1 panel TCA 2018 panel

Now that we know a bit more about the overall state of Fox, it’s time to sum up some of the things that we learned during each show’s individual panels. And first presenting its cast changes and the upcoming second season was 9-1-1.

  • The first piece of information on Fox’s first responder drama 9-1-1 was dropped during the execs’ panel. Because Gary Newmann addressed Connie Britton’s exit. At which time Newmann revealed that since Britton was contracted only for one season, there was always the possibility that the actress won’t be returning for 9-1-1 season 2. Yet Newmann also mentioned that should Britton want to return to the series, they would welcome her back with open arms.
  • Then once the actual 9-1-1 panel began, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s casting as series regular was one of the main topics of the panel. And it was revealed that Love Hewitt will play Maddie, Buck’s troubled older sister, and the newest 911 operator.

  • Besides Love Hewitt, Ryan Guzman will also be joining 9-1-1’s ensemble cast as Eddie Diaz. A soldier turned firefighter with an easy-to-like personality who will butt heads with Oliver Stark’s Buck.

  • And lastly, for all you Bobby Nash (played by Peter Krause) out there, during the 9-1-1’s TCA panel Krause revealed that Bobby will be in a much better place in season 2. And with a girlfriend by his side.

The Passage TCA 2018 panel

After 9-1-1 the stage was given to the cast and executive producers of The Passage. So they could talk about this freshman show and what it’s all about.

  • Although The Passage is based on a book, the novel’s writer Justin Cronin revealed that adapting the story to television is a hard yet exciting journey. Mainly because the story that the book trilogy tells is so massive and spans centuries, not months.
  • For those who have read The Passage novel series, you will know what I am talking about next. Because the TV series EP Liz Heldens announced that the first season of the show will take place in Project Noah. And if the series gets more seasons, then the show will explore other places mentioned in the books.
  • And lastly, since so much about the series is about the relationship between Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Agent Wolgast and Saniyya Sidney’s Amy, Gosselaar said that that is what ultimately sold him to do this new show.

Proven Innocent TCA 2018 panel

Then came the Proven Innocent panel, which was also well-represented, because both the show’s main cast and EPs were on stage for the event. Let’s check out what they had to say.

  • First and foremost, during his panel Fox’s CEO Gary Newmann mentioned the reasoning for recasting Brian d’Arcy James. And it was as simple as Kelsey Grammer, who snatched up the role of Gore Bellows from James, expressing interest in doing the series. Luckily, Newmann also said that James will most likely be given a different role on the show.

  • Proven Innocent’s EP Danny Strong started off the panel by saying that the cases the show will be tackling will be inspired by real-life wrongful convictions. Meaning that the show will not only expose the dangers and struggles of false convictions. But will also touch on topics like racial and social injustice and other problems plaguing the legal and criminal justice fields. As well as dive into subjects like public perception and political agenda.
  • If you thought that the show’s lead character Madeline has somewhat similar to Amanda Knox, then you’re on point. Because during the panel Strong mentioned that Madeline is very loosely based on Knox.
  • And finally, we also found out that Proven Innocent will, indeed, have a case of the week format. But that throughout the series a longer murder mystery of who killed Madeline’s best friend will unfold.

Last Man Standing TCA 2018 panel

Next up, highlights from the Last Man Standing panel. Fox’s latest acquisition, since the network picked up the show for a seventh season after ABC axed it from their schedule in 2017.

  • One of the most interesting pieces of news on Last Man Standing actually came from Fox’s execs. Who, when asked if Tim Allen’s Mike Baxter will be portrayed as Trump supporter, much like Roseanne’s Roseanne Conner was, replied that Baxter will identify as a conservative centrist rather than a supporter of Trump.
  • Last Man Standing panel also revealed that the ABC cancellation came as a surprise to all of the cast and crew. But that despite that the show’s executive producer Matt Berry still wants the show to convey a positive, hopeful message. Keeping the series more ABC than Fox.
  • And finally, the story of the show will pick up about year a half later. With an episode of what happened during the missing year planned for sometime later in the season.

The Cool Kids Standing TCA 2018 panel

After the Last Man Standing panel, it was time to talk to the cast and crew of The Cool Kids. And here are some of the things we learned from the new comedy series panel.

  • First off, during the execs panel Dana Walden told the audience a little about the network’s thought process on why they picked up The Cool Kids. Walden said that the show was in development even before Roseanne became the success it was. And that Roseanne’s success only solidified Fox’s belief both that the show will do well. And that, despite The Cool Kids being about seniors, it’s audience won’t skew too old.
  • Additionally, during the panel, we found out that the show is inspired by creator Charlie Day’s experience working at a nursing home. And therefore the show won’t be about how bad it is to be old and live in a retirement home. It will actually be the opposite – a show about a bunch of oldies enjoying life to the fullest. Sex, drugs and all.

Rel Standing TCA 2018 panel

And last but not least was the Rel TCA panel. Featuring the show’s creators, executives and the cast. Let’s find out what they had to say!

  • One of the things that the Rel’s portion of Fox’s TCA event revealed is that since the comedy is set in Chicago, it will tackle some of the issues that come with living in such a big city. And will do all of that with Lil Rel Howrey’s brand of honesty and humor.
  • Rel also is the show that Fox is using to embrace the multi-cam comedy genre. But without making it cheesy and bad. And a couple of ways the comedy’s team is ensuring that is making the comedy and jokes on the series more personal and the lighting on the show darker.

  • And finally, Rel’s panel revealed that since there are no topics you can’t tackle with comedy, the show will cover a lot of different subjects.

That’s it for Fox’s portion of the TCAs 2018. What was your favorite piece of news you learned from the Fox panels? Let us know! And follow us on social media to keep up to date with all things new TV pilots and already running TV series!

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