Fox Upfront: 7 Takeaways From Beacon Theatre Presentation to Advertisers

Upfronts: Homer Simpson out-monologues Tim Allen and Joe Marchese dances for advertisers — but won’t dance for Jamie Foxx

Last Updated: May 15, 2018 @ 6:01 AM

With Fox’s presentation to advertisers in the books, we’re officially done with Day 1 of the 2018 broadcast upfronts week.

Fox opened its Beacon Theatre show with ad sales chief Joe Marchese and closed with “The Four” judge Meghan Trainor — though there was plenty in-between. Oh yeah, and along the way, the broadcast net debuted trailers for new fall series “The Cool Kids,”  “Rel,” and “Proven Innocent.”

Read on below for 7 things we observed from 74th and Broadway.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Genius at V.O.
The voice in the sky prompting us to take our seats and reminding attendees to keep their ticket stub for the after-party was none other than “Cosmos” host Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

We could listen to smooth astrophysicist read the ingredients off our (non FDA-approved) multivitamin label. “Cosmos” fans will have to wait until midseason to learn more from NDT about outer space, though.

Who Invited the Truck?
Much of (or maybe all of) the press was seated in the first mezzanine, stage left. Joining us, apparently, was a large truck honking its horn. The beep-fest didn’t last long, but it was an easy distraction during Joe Marchese’s ad sales pitch. It’s not you, Joe — it’s the subject matter.

A little later, some sort of siren interrupted co-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. Might be time for some sound-proofing since, you know, this is a theater.

Joe Don’t Dance
The aforementioned Marchese can charm media buyers into opening their wallets — but what dude can’t do is dance. Or at least, he won’t. (Actually, it’s definitely both.)

Lord knows Jamie Foxx tried to make Marchese move on Monday, but the mortified revenue raiser (playfully) wanted nothing to do with it. Don’t beat shocked if Foxx’s “Beat Shazam” isn’t back for the 2019-20 season.

Homer Simpson Kills, Tim Allen (Mostly) Bombs
Homer and Allen gave back-to-back monologues, and the last man standing in this joke battle was actually the cartoon. Walden and Newman asked both the star of the longest-running scripted TV series and the lead of the network’s recently-announced revival of the ABC sitcom “Last Man Standing,” to say a few words.

While Homer crushed it with some hilarious predictions for the future of broadcast television (noting that several of the Matt Groening-created series’ throwaway jokes about pop culture have “eerily come true” before), Allen’s monologue fell flat (the mayonnaise in the green room was apparently questionable).

Well, one of the Fox men is animated to begin with.

Hey, at Least Joe Buck Was Funny
A lot of people (including the woman next to me, who was rather vocal about it) hate Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck. This reporter doesn’t get it — the dude is prepared, talented and funny.

The 49-year-old new father lacks one thing, though — a cell phone. Buck didn’t get his iPhone X back from the audience after passing it around for attendees to see pictures of his twins.

There’s an Apple Store on 59th and 5th, Joe.

Bald Eagle
“NFL on Fox” personality Terry Bradshaw apparently bought a bronze eagle somewhere in New York City today, and he wouldn’t shut up about it during Fox Sports’ stage time. Apparently, he’s gonna put the winged acquisition in his Florida home’s foyer.

There was plenty more to that story, though none of it made sense or mattered. It was all pretty standard Bradshaw stuff.

Diddy’s New to This Whole Thing
Monday afternoon marked Diddy’s first major upfront, and we think someone didn’t show up to rehearsal.

The former Puff Daddy flubbed lines, swallowed jokes, and awkwardly tried to get Walden to dance when it was time to exit stage left. Promising she’d take him up on it next year (at Fox’s or ABC’s upfront, Dana?), the businesswoman had to boot the Bad Boy offstage after he overstayed his welcome.

And now it’s time to party in Central Park. If you’ll excuse us, we’ll be back tomorrow for ABC.

Read our recap of NBC’s Monday morning presentation here.

Jenny Maas contributed to this report.

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