Networks their own worst critics at TCA | EW.com

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Networks their own worst critics at TCA

Network bigwigs talk ''Fringe,'' ''Glee,'' ''Smash,'' ''Community,'' ''American Idol,'' and more

Some surprising moments punctuated the opening days of the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, where execs and talent faced off with reporters — and each other. Highlights included:

? Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly took a hard-line stance against giving Fringe a fifth season, putting studio Warner Bros. on notice that the show isn’t returning at its current cost. ”We’re not in the business of losing money,” he said.

? Glee’s long-gestating spin-off series is dead. Yet the show’s seniors will graduate as part of a new story line this spring that will somehow keep Lea Michele, and perhaps others, on the series.

? American Idol faces a rival this spring with NBC’s The Voice, and laid-back Randy Jackson came out swinging. ”That show was almost ‘second-chance people,’ ” he said, calling season 1 winner Javier Colon an artist with a ”failed” record contract. ”We will never rip off Star Trek like they did with spinning chairs.”

? Critics say upcoming NBC drama Smash has promise, but entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt tried to temper expectations for a quick network turnaround. ”People keep saying the only place we have to go is up — which I think is true — but there’s a lot of work to do before we get there.” Meanwhile, cult favorite Community will return this spring but might get a new night or time slot.