Fox Gets Nostalgic As Executives Discuss '24,' 'Prison Break' And 'X-Files' Returns
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA)'s day at the winter edition of the Television Critics Association on Friday marks the final of the big four broadcast networks to take their turn in the spotlight, but that didn't make it any less interesting.
The network's co-heads Gary Newman and Dana Walden announced a variety of pickups and renewals with the most of note being the potential return of "24." Dubbed "24: Legacy," the series would be a complete re-boot with a brand new lead.
In fact, none of the show's original cast is expected to return, and the producers are looking to cast an African-American star in the lead role. Original star Kiefer Sutherland reportedly will be a producer on the project, which was ordered to pilot.
Newman and Walden also gave an update on another returning project: "Prison Break." The drama, which ended in 2009, will indeed move forward with original stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell returning. With both actors currently starring in The CW's upcoming "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," the new "Break" will likely be a limited run event due to their busy schedules.
The network heads also continued touting the return of "The X-Files," which will debut next weekend. Walden also assured reporters that if the show's stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as well as series creator Chris Carter were up for more episodes, Fox "would be on board."
It wasn't all re-boots though, as Newman and Walden also announced network smash hit "Empire," has been renewed for a third season and the pair expect long-running reality series "So You Think You Can Dance," to also return, but after some re-tooling.
The most surprising news came regarding "Scream Queens," which despite low ratings will return for a second season. As shown by Newman and Walden, while the Ryan Murphy anthology series has a hard time getting viewers live, it gained significantly in time-shifted data.
Investors across the board have been paying extensive attention to the value of extended ratings information. "Scream Queens" has proved to be a real test case and Fox has continued to stand by the series in order to mine as much information as possible. It will be interesting to see how long the network continues its steadfast support if the overnight numbers don't pick up in the fall.
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