Fox TV Executives Discuss The Disney Purchase
During this weeks Television Critics Association press tour, many members of the press took an opportunity to ask questions to the executives of Fox and FX, about the future of the network and certain shows following the announcement of Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox.
Since it could be a year to 18 months before the purchase is finalised, on many occasions Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden say it’s “business as usual.”
Newman added “Our shows are in production. Development is moving forward with top creators, including Lee Daniels, Liz Meriwether, Nahnatchka Khan, Jerrod Carmichael and Howard Gordon, and we are maintaining a brand that’s meaningful to our advertisers, distribution partners and audience.”
While not much was said by those two executives, it was FX’s John Landgraf who went into much more detail about his thoughts also on the purchase, “In some ways, it’s the oddness that it’s so different than Disney’s brand right? That FX and Disney’s brand are so different from each other is a good thing, because it means that also what it is that we do and the expertise we have doesn’t exist currently inside that company, meaning we bring something distinctive and unique into their world”.
He continued to say “And I think if you look at the larger context of streaming right? Obviously one of the things that [Bob] Iger has said is that one of the reasons they’re getting bigger is they want to be able to compete against global streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. And when you think about the amount of money that subscription services like HBO and Netflix and Amazon have made in adult scripted programming, the very content in which we have expertise, you can see with clarity that at least they believe that’s a really good thing to invest in, that that’s an important component of what drives consumers’ interest in a streaming service. And so we end up becoming the sort of adult scripted component of their larger plans.”
“It’s more complicated, I think, when there are individuals or organizations that have counterparts at Disney, right? Where there’s organizations that overlap in terms of what they do or there are individuals who overlap on some level in terms of what they do. Neither I nor anyone at FX has any counterpart at Disney. What FX is and what FX does simply doesn’t exist in their organization, so on some levels that a relatively clean thing,” he said.
“We can’t do what we do if we’re not allowed to maintain the integrity of our culture,” he said. “I have every optimism that Disney will understand and support that. They want what we have which is extraordinary television, critical acclaim, Emmys … They’re going to want the best of what we have to offer.”
The timing of the press tour might not have not been perfect following the news of Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox, but they did try to push their core new series (check out details on what’s coming) and try to put over that 2018 is business as usual, but no doubt things could change after the buyout.