Sunday, 19 August, 2018


The Disney-Fox Deal Isn't Going to Cancel Lucifer or Gotham

Disney Fox Sale Details Dana Walden and Gary Newman Rodin Eckenroth Getty Images
Melba Vasquez | 12 January, 2018, 21:17

Last month, Disney said it was buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including its film and TV studios and cable and global TV businesses including FX Networks. Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman said the announced sale that will split up Fox and the 20th Century Fox studio won't turn Fox into a platform exclusively for sports and other live programming.

Today at the TCA panel for his new Fox series 9-1-1, Ryan Murphy expressed his reaction to the pending Disney-Fox merger, saying it was an "emotional" one given how he cut his teeth in television at Fox. This development season, we are reading scripts.

But for now, it's "business as usual", the executives repeatedly said, with the Disney deal not expected to close for 12 to 18 months.

Walden was no doubt talking beyond the upcoming year-long window of already-scheduled programming, and execs admitted that details on how Fox TV will remain committed to churning out scripted shows, for the long term, are unclear. "My expectation is they are going to be encouraging of our content".

One programming note which was made clear regarding the deal, shows airing on Fox won't be moving to other Disney-owned networks.

"They won't move to ABC", Walden said.

"I certainly did not mean to give any hints as to what the future might be", Newman said.

"They're not acquiring Fox to turn it into some sort of PG company or, as I think Bob [Iger] has said, to Disney-fy it", said Newman. "We'll be ordering pilots next month". "It just didn't seem to me like that was on the table". She said that after she talked to Iger, though, her worries were assuaged.

With the additional episodes, the coming-of-age story about young adults has the chance to finish their story for viewers, said "New Girl" producer Brett Baer. Murphy, who has been behind stalwart franchises at Fox subsidiary FX including "American Horror Story" "and "American Crime Story", is another key piece of human capital on the company's lot. They were incredibly calm and nurturing, and they brought him back to life". While some of his shows like "Glee" and "American Horror Story" are campy, they tell stories about diverse characters that are culturally relevant, like 2017's "Feud: Bette and Joan", which shed a light on the mistreatment of women in Hollywood.

While he says he's taking heart from how companies such as Pixar and Marvel have fared as part of the Disney empire, Murphy says he'll see how things pan out before making any decisions.

But the creator said he's made no decisions about where to go after the merger is complete.

"I've created a company that's really trying to move the bar forward by hiring women and minorities and getting equal pay for women", he said, "and I want to continue that wherever I go".

"I don't expect it to change all that much", MacFarlane said of his working situation.

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