So long, Simon Cowell; Hello, Batman?!
Seriously. That could be a possibility for Fox when it comes to the fall TV season, according to the network's boss.
Fox President Kevin Reilly took the stage to field reporters' questions at the 2014 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena on Monday. And Reilly addressed the "underperforming" X Factor's uncertain future and was quick to gush about Sleepy Hollow, the network's breakout drama. Plus, he revealed details on one of the most buzzed-about new projects, Gotham, which is a Batman prequel with a twist.
Oh, and he also gave updates on the future of fan favorite series, such as Bones and The Mindy Project...
The X Factor: There's no denying that the the U.S. version of The X Factor has struggled since its debut three years ago, undergoing constant judging changes (Demi Lovato has confirmed she will not be returning) and lackluster ratings, but Reilly had "there's no decision" right now regarding a fourth season, despite Simon Cowell's claim that it will be back.
"I love him, he's doing what he should do as a producer, I think bullishly," Reilly said, before admitting that the show was "underperforming this year, Simon I think would admit that…the ratings were not what we hoped." But if the series were to come back, Reilly revealed "it would not be in the current format we have," saying he's "heard some of those ideas, they're interesting."
But could X Factor go on with Cowell, who hinted he may have a different role should the series come back?
"He has a lot going on…he's never going to be out of it, it's his creation…what form that takes, whether he's in it, whether he's here every week, I don't know. He's having a baby in the middle of that," Reilly said, before stressing again that "no decision" has been made. (One should be made within "the next month," he confirmed.)
Sleepy Hollow: Reilly boasted of new drama Sleepy Hollow's success, saying it was one of the three highest-rated dramas of the year. "The finale is fantastic," he said of the show's Jan. 20 season one closer. "I can't wait until you see it."
Already renewed for a second season, Reilly confirmed that it was for a 13-episode order, but said, "We may do a few more." Oh, they will start production on March, meaning there will be no breaks during its season two run, a complaint many viewers voiced this season. Feel free to celebrate at any time, Sleepyheads!
The Mindy Project: Good news, Mindy Kaling fans: Reilly loves her show as much as we do! And he also seemed confident that it will come back for a third season, despite its ucpoming hiatus. "I'm pretty bullish on it coming back," he said. "I love the show. I think the creativity of it, it's really on the money right now," but he admitted the "ratings not where I wish they could be, I think the show deserves more viewers." Ditto!
Bones: Season 10 is looking like a sure bet for Fox, with Reilly revealing, "We're negotiating on Bones for another season, I anticipate it being back and I'm really excited to say that." But he said longtime executive producer Stephen Nathan would be stepping in as showrunner for creator Hart Hanson, who will focus on his new project for the network, Backstrom, which stars The Office's Rainn Wilson.
Gotham: The network recently gave a pilot order to Gotham, a drama centering on a young Commissioner Gordon, the character played by Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. But Reilly teased that fanboys can expect to see a whole lot of familiar faces in the series, which he describes as "an operatic soap."
"Batman is in it, a young Bruce Wayne," Reilly confirmed, adding that he'll probably be "a young boy" around the age of 12 in the series. "This is all of the classic Batman characters."
While ticking off Caped Crusader villains like the Joker, the Penguin and Catwoman, he said we'd see "Gotham teetering on the edge."