Fox Corp. It surprised the industry on Monday by hosting a programming presentation that was almost entirely prerecorded.
About 800 people gathered at the Skylight venue in Lower Manhattan for the presentation, which unfolded immersively across giant screens for just over an hour. Once the long, pre-recorded segment was finished, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier moved to a podium created in the middle of the room to address the audience in person.
Collier then introduced Susan Sarandon, the star of the network’s new drama “Monarch”. Her country music drama co-star, musician Trace Adkins, co-hosted Waylon Jennings’ classic show “A Country Boy Can Survive” (to pre-recorded tracks).
The nightclub-style attendees of the tour sat at small tables. When the presentation began at 4 p.m., it became clear that the event from Fox Sports, Fox News, and Fox Entertainment would be largely pre-recorded. Top Fox executives, including CEO Lachlan Murdoch (in sneakers), sat in a long line across from the far edge of a room filled with buyers and media reporters.
The general reaction from the public was surprising because the event was pre-recorded given all the attention this year to the fact that the industry is returning to in-person attendance in advance for the first time in three years.
The funky show also showed that broadcast network Fox was still in the works after splitting from 21st Century Fox following the sale of Disney in 2019. It casts Fox’s written roster wide for audiences, from the soapy saga of the country music dynasty. From “Monarch” to the new legal thriller “The Accusers” to comedies like “Call Me Kat” by Mayim Bialik and the satirical film “Welcome to The Flash.”
Collier featured two new comedies that emerged as firmly rooted in their second humor: “Grimsburg” and “Krapopolis.” Jon Hamm, who voices the main character of “Grimsburg,” briefly jokes with Collier in a prequel. Noting that the bar is high due to the longevity of Fox animated films such as “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers”.
Ham manipulated the handsome man’s image by telling the crowd that Collier lured him by declaring, “Ham, you have a cartoon face.” What can I say to this jealous bastard but “sign me up”. “
In his advance comments, Collier praised Fox Corp’s new model as combining “a healthy dose of smart entrepreneurial investment with Fox’s rebellious roots,” he said. Furthermore, the company plans to “reinvent” the Gumby franchise after acquiring the property in February.
Collier and Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks both got a lot of miles from the fact that streaming operators Netflix and Disney+ are eagerly adopting ads to expand their revenue base.
Lately, there have been headlines saying “Advertising is back”. I didn’t know he had left, Collier said in the pre-clip. “Now Netflix and Disney are coming. They can’t afford to build their own firewall without your money.”
Earlier, in his presentation of Fox Sports’ programming plans, Shanks joked to advertisers and media buyers in the crowd, “Without you we’d only be Netflix. We love selling trucks, pizza, and phones.”
Fox has positioned itself as deeply committed to working with marketers in creative ways. “Fox NFL Sunday” host Michael Strahan noted that the show will have a new high-tech suite designed specifically to showcase sponsor messages.
The presentation also marks the first notes from star quarterback Tom Brady since he struck a massive 10-year deal with Fox Sports to move to the broadcast booth next year after ending his farewell season as a player with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In his briefing notes, Brady said he looks forward to “being with you on the field at Super Bowl 57 in February,” which has been interpreted as a sign that the best quarterback in NFL history is planning to retire — for real this time — after a season. A final swan song. (Brady announced his retirement earlier this year but changed his mind in March.)
And Fox’s presentation insistently avoided any mention of the Fox News controversy. Fox News anchor Brett Beyer was the first character to appear in the feature-length tape that opened the presentation. But Tucker Carlson, the channel’s most watched and most controversial character, was not mentioned. Carlson’s film “Tucker Carlson Tonight” sparked outrage and alienated major advertisers with his far-right views on immigration, the country’s growing racial diversity, the federal response to COVID and other topics.
Susan Scott, chief executive of Fox News, made brief comments in a pre-recorded clip. “We are America’s news and so much more,” she said. Pete Hegseth, president of the streaming service, Fox News Nation, described the service as going beyond news and opinion figures to include lifestyle programming, cooking and automotive topics. While Hegseth spoke, images of the American flag were projected onto giant screens—to reinforce the point, Hegseth wore an American flag pocket square.
During the Fox Entertainment division, Collier gave a virtual tour of Fox Studios frequently in Los Angeles in an effort to emphasize the company’s creative roots. In Collier’s walking and written talk, he strategically bumped into Fox stars like “9-1-1: The Lone Star’s” Rob Lowe and Gina Torres.
The pre-recorded show that was promoted by Fox Sports, Fox News, AVOD Streamer Tubi and Fox concluded with a failed broadcast featuring “excerpts” from front-pieces from Collier, “Cleaning Lady” star Elodie Young, “Next Level Chef” host and longtime Fox partner. Long Gordon Ramsay, host of “Beat Shazam” and producer of “Alert” Jamie Foxx, among others.
Aside from being a mostly pre-recorded event, Fox’s prequel event was unusual in that it was not preceded by the network’s own fall schedule release. Due to the fact that the dramas “9-1-1” and “The Resident” took longer than expected to close their Season 6 renewal deals, Fox chose to outline their plans for the 2022-2023 season. By the time the submitted video began appearing, Fox confirmed that both shows had been renewed for the 2022-23 season.
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