You thought Mariah Carey officially joining American Idol was the only news to come out of Fox president Kevin Reilly's panel at the Television Critic's summer press tour? Oh, you did? That's so sweet!
Aside from Idol mania, Reilly talked about the highly anticipated fourth season of Glee, which he says may feature "limited" appearances from fan-favorite returning characters, and hyped-up new X Factor judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.
But what about the hosting situation on The X Factor? And where will most episodes of Glee take place: Ohio or New York? Plus, who's definitely returning?
Glee's Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much!: Nervous about all the big changes coming up on season four? Well, Reilly's full confidence in the show should make you feel better.
"Now that I've read the first three scripts. I am very, very happy with how seamless it is," he says of the show's split between Ohio and New York City. "There's going to be thematic relationships with the two [worlds]."
So will some episodes take place fully in New York City or Ohio? Nope! Reilly originally thought the show would split the season down the middle between the locations, but he soon realized it wouldn't work. "Ultimately, I don't think that's the way fans want to watch the show...some episodes may take place half and half," he explains. "The episodes we've read so far do take place back and forth…it all feels very natural if you've been a fan of the show.
"Episode one, right out of the gate, we'll be in both locations," Reilly tells us. "I knew we needed to graduate some people. None of these characters...the fans weren't over them, ready for them to be not a part of the show, but we knew we needed to bring in some new people to be credible, if nothing else. This is what happens in high school. This is the best of both words, sort of the spinoff within the show. It'll feel like Glee, but you're going to have some new faces and a new location."
After the panel we chatted with Reilly, who further explained season four's new faces, including Dean Geyer as an NYADA student and Jacob Artist as Puck's younger brother. "We have a core group, but then you've got some new ones who will be regulars. There's going to be at least two new ones in Ohio, and then we cast one new character, as well as the Kate Hudson arc, who will be involved in at least seven episodes."
While he didn't name specific actors, Reilly hinted that some faces would not be around as much as others. "We really have a core of some of the returning characters and some of the new ones that we'll be servicing every week, and then limited deals with some of the other actors, who will be joining here and there through the season," he says. "I think it will make for a fun surprise [when they turn up]."
One person fans will definitely be seeing? Chord Overstreet! "All of these people have different deals. Chord will be a part of it, too."
The X Factor Updates: Fans of the reality show can expect an announcement regarding the new host pretty soon. "We're pretty close," Reilly says. "It could happen next week, it could happen in two weeks."
But will it be one host or two? "[Simon Cowell]'s played with both formulas. I really can't say for sure. I think that's going to be about who he finally selects and if he likes the feel of it. He's done the show with two before."
As for how the new judges are doing, Reilly had nothing but kind words to say about Britney and Demi.
"I think they're going to be surprised with how feisty she is," he says of Britney. "She is not afraid to lay it on the line. She's tough; she knows what she's doing. She's been around. She's seen it all." Reilly seemed excited by Demi's dynamic with Simon, saying, "We've got a real spitfire with Demi, who literally, day one, took on Simon. We've got some really good chemistry going on there."
Of their casting, Reilly explains, "Britney's in a category of her own. Demi's actually the youngest artist to ever do this job. We just met with her and felt like she was going to give it a real shot in the arm. It's really about personality...you're just trying to hit some chemistry that'd be fun to watch."