Weep not for Kevin Reilly, the NBC entertainment chief ousted a few weeks ago, just after unveiling the struggling network’s fall schedule. He’s just landed an equivalent job as entertainment president at Fox, where he’ll be reunited with his former boss Peter Liguori (the two worked together at Fox’s sister cable channel FX, where Reilly helped develop such smart and successful shows as The Shield and Nip/Tuck); Liguori, in turn, is being promoted to Fox entertainment chairman.
Reilly’s new post comes with one big plus and minus: American Idol. On the one hand, AI makes the network all but invulnerable from January through May: on the other hand, the series started to show its age this season, and it doesn’t help Fox much during the other seven months of the year. But Reilly won’t be able to do much with Fox’s fall slate, at least not this year, when the autumn 2007 shows are already bought and paid for. But he can make his impact felt starting in midseason, which is where you come in, PopWatchers.
If I could make one suggestion to Reilly about fixing Fox’s winter shows, it’d be this: 24 needs help, stat! Everyone agrees the 2007 season was a letdown, full of recycled storylines, suspense-free plotting, and characters that went nowhere. Clearly, the show needs a reboot, but some of the ideas that have been floated in recent news articles — an aborted effort to shoot episodes in Africa, a plotline that would have Jack going rogue from CTU — suggest a show that’s flailing in search of a new direction. Hey, here’s a thought that would please fans: how about more Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub, pictured)? Give her something to do besides mope about the men in her life (and the life in her men). Of course, I’m sure you all have even better ideas for how to fix 24 and how to help Fox with the rest of its lineup, so let’s fill Reilly’s suggestion box below.