Television Critics Association Press Tour

By Valerie Milano

FX CEO Speaks at the TCA Winter 2018 Press Tour Executive Session

FX Executive Session, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 05 Jan 2018

Landgraf began by mentioning "Mayans MC," Kurt Sutter's follow-up to the hit series "Sons of Anarchy." "Mayans MC" features an almost entirely Latino cast, representing the FX belief that "hit television and diverse television can be two ways of describing the same thing." "Mayans MC" will debut in late summer or early fall right around the 10th anniversary of the series premiere of "Sons."

Landgraf observed along with Charles Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities" that 2017 had been the best of times and worst of times. "Information technology and the Internet are rapidly transforming almost every aspect of our lives, some for better, some for worse. We're much more connected in superficial ways, but more isolated in profound ones," Landgraf said.

FX 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story' TV show panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 05 Jan 2018

Ryan Murphy
Photo by David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

"Technology has made life more convenient but is slowly taking our jobs while simultaneously making us more entitled and lazy. Internet culture has elevated the voices of many people who deserve to be heard but is also elevating voices of many people who have nothing of value to say.

More than anything else, we now have the most powerful tool for distributing, selecting, and shaping information the world has ever known, but those who control it are not held to any firm standard of legal or moral accountability in return for the huge profits and power they derive," continued Landgraf. "Instant gratification tends to make us grow down, while processing the frustration of delayed gratification tends to make us grow up! So only time will tell whether the Internet's ultimate impact on society turns out to be positive."

At its best, television can provide a context for compelling human stories about fascinating people such as Gianni Versace ("American Crime Story") and the Getty family ("Trust"). In 2017 FX had a very successful set of drama launches with "Feud: Bette and Joan," "Taboo," "Legion," and "Snowfall." Other successful shows in 2017 were the third installment of "Fargo," "American Horror Story: Cult," and "Better Things." Eleven of the 14 shows that FX programmed last year, about 80 percent, made year-end "best" lists.

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Disney Merger Discussed at TCA'S FOX Executive Session

The FOX Network held an executive session on Thursday, January 4th, 2018 at the TCA Winter Press Tour taking place at the luxurious Langham Hotel in Pasadena. Below is a summary of this session.

Gary said that 21st Century Fox had announced the sale of many of its assets to the Walt Disney Company a few weeks prior. "On the day the deal closes, the TV studio will become part of Disney," he reiterated.

Co-Chair/CEO, Fox Television Group, Gary Newman,
Angela Bassett and Co-Chair/CEO, Fox Television Group,
Dana Walden attend the FOX All-Star Party during the
2018 Winter TCA Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
on January 4, 2018 in Pasadena, California.
(Jan. 3, 2018 - Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America)

The Fox TV Group comprises both Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television. It has produced Emmy winners and culture defining hits such as "M*A*S*H," "The Simpsons," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Empire," "24," "Modern Family," and "Glee" under the direction of some of the strongest creators in the industry, according to Newman. FBC, Fox Sports, Fox News, and the FOX owned and operated stations will also be spun off into what is being called "New Fox."

The FOX/Disney deal is expected to take 12 to 18 months to close with many FOX shows already in production. "We are not going to let that distract us. We will remain focused on managing the business of FOX," Gary assured his listeners.

Gary briefly mentioned some top FOX shows such as EMPIRE and THE GIFTED before turning his attention to three new series launched since the New Year: "9 1 1," "LA to Vegas," and "The X-Files." "The Four: Battle for Stardom" with its "original and distinctive" format was scheduled to launch that same day on January 4th and "The Resident" will premiere a little later on January 21st. All of the shows will be out ahead of the Olympics and FOX competitors' new programs. The FOX marketing and publicity teams have been "working on overdrive" for weeks!

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Showtime Holds Executive Session at the 2018 TCA Winter Press Tours

Pasadena, CA 1/9/18 - Johanna Fuentes, head of PR, introduced the Showtime executive session taking place at the Winter TCA Press Tours held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena on Saturday, January 6th, 2018. Present was David Nevins, Showtime President and CEO.

David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks,
during the executive panel at the TCA WINTER
PRESS TOUR 2018 in Pasadena on 1/6/18.
Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/SHOWTIME.

Nevins noted how quickly everything in television was changing. "That word 'television' is now just an entry point into an ecosystem far more complex and colorful than the black and white era that coined that word," he said.

Nevins said, "This is a fantastic time to be working in television, if you're well positioned for its challenges. And Showtime is extremely well positioned." The "prime directive" of the network is to develop and disseminate premium content that attracts an ever-growing number of paid subscribers.

According to Nevins, consumers are voting for Showtime in greater numbers because they have increasingly provided a buffet of programming that satiates a wider variety of appetites. Nothing short of the Super Bowl is for everyone, but Showtime premieres new shows like "Homeland," "Billions," and "Shameless" at least every single month. Showtime is also the world's leading outlet for live boxing!

In addition to first-run movies, Showtime now offers a prime slate of non-fiction programming. "This is how we attract new subscribers, and it's our bulwark against churn with our existing customers," Nevins concluded.

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Posted By Discover Hollywood on January 12, 2018 10:38 am | Permalink