Seth MacFarlane Mocks ‘Family Guy’ Network, ‘Empire’ Entertains, We All Get Cookies!

Upfronts 2017: “NFL on Fox” crew bravely takes on Bruno Mars; “Rent” cast dazzles

Fox's 'Empire'

Fox presented its 2017-18 slate Monday afternoon from the Beacon Theater, representing broadcast’s second such ad sales event of the day.

There was a lot jam-packed into Fox’s 90 minutes, here are our top seven takeaways:

Did Joe Buck Know He Was Mic’d Up?
Play-by-play man Joe Buck is excellent on the microphone, although we’re not sure the sportscaster knew he was actually mic’d up this afternoon. No, he wasn’t caught saying something he shouldn’t have — all we’re saying is, dude was LOUD. He was also charming and funny, and even dropped a few solid first-wife jokes, especially when his t-shirt cannon — err — misfired.

We All Get Cookies!
I mean, it’s self-explanatory — we all got fresh-baked cookies. And they were delicious. This has nothing to do with Fox’s fall and midseason lineups, we just wanted to make you jealous.

Football Guys Are Game
Give credit to the “Fox NFL Sunday” team: they had absolutely no problem making gigantic fools of themselves — and this was before the Central Park open bar. The gang came out fairly early on in the event to lip-sync Bruno Mars’ “24 Karat Magic,” and, actually, they did a halfway decent job of it. The dancing was a completely different story.

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson was the clear MVP of the sketch. Winded after playing pop star, the 73-year-old worked the teleprompter — and the crowd — with his former quarterback Troy Aikman, all while still in costume.

Stick to Coaching and Khakis, Jim Harbaugh
Another top-notch pigskin coach wasn’t quite as entertaining: Fox Sports tapped Michigan Wolverines’ head honcho Jim Harbaugh for a pre-taped “MasterChef Junior” parody. Let’s just say it wasn’t quite Big 10 material.

Seth MacFarlane’s Best Voice
This writer is convinced that Fox greenlit Seth MacFarlane’s “The Orville” just to get the “Family Guy” creator to do his impressive big band thing at this year’s upfront. Unfortunately for them, MacFarlane used his stage time and full orchestra to croon quite a few jabs about his low-rated employer, including giving credit to Fox’s parent company for electing President Trump. MacFarlane also questioned — in song form — if there will even still be a Fox by the time the 2018 upfronts roll around.

The guy behind Fox’s one-and-done “Dads” saved his best joke of the afternoon for a non-musical introduction of Fox co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden and Gary Newman, or as his called them, “The only two people at Fox not being sued.”

Fox Paying Us With “Rent”
Fox’s next live musical is “Rent,” and we got a preview of the fun to come today. The Broadway cast closed the upfront event with some “Seasons of Love,” and we were all enamored with it.

There wasn’t a performance from “A Christmas Story,” though Newman promised us they wouldn’t leave out the iconic frozen pole-licking scene.

How Much Are They Paying Jussie Smollett?
Because it’s not enough. Seriously. “Empire’s” main singer is talented, charming and always here to sell advertisers with a smile. Good for him, and very good for Fox.

Time for that open bar! We’re heading over to Wollman Rink for Fox’s upfront party. TheWrap will be back in New York City tomorrow for ABC’s own upfront event.