And so our upfront crusade moves on to its second network citadel, Fox, situated in the formidable stronghold of American Idol.
Formidable, but showing signs of viewer erosion as it wraps up its eleventh season. This wasn't really addressed at Monday afternoon's presentation in Manhattan: The reality competition that really needed the shoring up was Simon Cowell's The X Factor, which in its first season wasn't quite the world-flattening behemoth everyone was predicting.
But the Fox upfront gave the show a tremendous promotional boost for season 2, as both Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were officially brought out as new judges, joining jolly old Mr. Cowell and L.A. Reid. Excitement compounds excitement!
Standing in front of the crowd of media buyers, they were like a talent panel out of Marvel Comics.
Given the breakout success of Zooey Deschanel's New Girl – Fox's most popular sitcom in years – the network this fall will devote Tuesdays to comedy. The most promising addition here is The Mindy Project, created by and starring The Office's brilliant Mindy Kaling. It wasn't clear from the clip shown at the upfront, to be honest, how funny the show will actually turn out to be. Kaling plays an airhead on The Office, but she's a much shrewder, less obvious comic personality than Deschanel – she doesn't project anything as instantly lovable as adorkability.
The one new fall drama, Mob Doctors, stars Jordana Spiro as a perfectly nice-looking young surgeon required to provide medical services to the mafia. The clip indicated this might include carrying out hit jobs in the ER. Well, for the love of Seattle Grace! Possibly fun.
The network seems most excited by Kevin Bacon's midseason thriller, The Following, about a serial killer creating his own social network of murderous devotees. I'm excited too.