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Fox will not have one new face, but two. 21st Century Fox announced on Monday that Dana Walden and Gary Newman will oversee Fox Television Group, a new group that will include Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox TV. They will be replacing Kevin Reilly, who announced plans to step down in May.
The new FTG will be a group within Fox Networks Group. According to Deadline, the two will report to FNG Chairman Peter Rice. Their jobs will include coming up with new schedules for Fox, as well as digital and marketing aspects.
Walden and Newman have quite the challenge ahead, as Fox’s best days are far behind it. American Idol is no longer a ratings juggernaut and the quick demise of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor left Fox without a proven reality series in the fall. The network is instead going to rely on the new series Uptopia and has to be banking on the Batman series Gotham becoming a smash hit.
According to TheWrap, the duo sent a memo to FTG employees and made sure to assure the Fox TV studio staff that their creativity will not be squandered or stopped.
“You've established an environment where creators are free to develop their biggest and boldest ideas, and we've placed those projects where they have had the best chance to succeed,” the memo reads. “That will not change. We'll continue to support the visions of our creators, wherever they may lead us.”
They concluded the memo by writing, “We look forward to leading this new Fox TV Group to greater heights than either company has achieved singularly. And we'll do it together.”
By combining the creative studio with the network in one group, there could be some hope that Fox TV finally produces comedies that will air on Fox. Currently, Fox’s comedies are, oddly enough, mostly Universal TV productions like The Mindy Project and the new Mulaney.
image of Dana Walden courtesy of INFphoto.com