FOX’s broadcasting arm let go of their chief executive, Kevin Reilly, firing him after four seasons with their network. This was a surprise move as they allowed him to complete his fall plans unhindered, giving the next chief executive of entertainment a year to figure out how to do things their way before needing to produce or suffer the same fate.
Kevin Reilly was known for beginning to reach out in new ways to develop dramas, calling the pilot method of producing shows a waste of time and money. This determination has resulted in several straight to series shows under his tenure, much as some cable providers look to do the same in order to avoid the costs of paying for hundreds of scripts and scores of pilots every year that result in nothing.
The pilot method, as old as anything in television, is slowly beginning to degrade as more and more executives become willing to take chances on untested shows (House of Cards, among other Netflix shows, did not have pilots produced beforehand, which keeps costs down). Amazon Prime has been using an alternate method of the pilot method, shooting pilots, releasing them to streaming, and choosing the one with the most powerful fan response become a full show.
Kevin Reilly, for all his innovation, has had tough years. American Idol is dying a slow and miserable death, and Seth MacFarlane is no longer the golden boy (at least in terms of ratings) he once was, despite the network continuing to be beholden to him. His successes included New Girl and Sleepy Hollow, while many blame him for allowing shows such as Enlisted and Almost Human to flounder and die.
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