First “Glee's” Ryan Murphy, now Fox topper goes to two more old buddies for fall schedule
Kevin Reilly is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again.
Familiarity brought success to Fox's primetime schedule this season, when entertainment president Reilly greenlit "Glee" from writer Ryan Murphy.
Murphy, of course, created the FX hit “Nip/Tuck” in 2003, when Reilly was entertainment president there.
This coming fall, Reilly has two more shows from writers who have delivered hits for him in the past: Shawn Ryan’s (FX's “The Shield”) new cop drama "Ride Along" and Greg Garcia’s (NBC's “My Name Is Earl”) new sitcom "Raising Hope."
It’s not uncommon for a show creator alone to have hits a multiple networks during a career. But to have the same creators and entertainment president produce hits at two or three different networks in tandem is not something that happens very often.
Chatting with TheWrap during Fox’s after-upfronts party last week, Reilly said it's not a given that just because a writer was successful on one project at one network, the writer will be able to create a successful show at another network.
But he said with Ryan and Garcia, their track records with him were so solid that he knew they would deliver.
"These were people I knew I could count on," Reilly said. "Shawn put FX on the map with ‘The Shield’ … [It] was the first high-quality cable production and won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy."
Reilly also said he believes Garcia's 'My Name Is Earl" saved NBC’s now-hit sitcom "The Office" from cancellation.
"’The Office’ came on during the spring and was not doing well,” he said, “When we put ‘Earl’ on the schedule at 8 p.m. that fall as its lead-in, ‘Earl’ drew a 6.7 rating in the 18-49 demo in its premiere and little by little, ‘The Office’ caught on.
"I thought these were people I could count on. I put it on the line with them, and it worked out great."