Fox: 'Lone Star' flop a 'bummer,' we tried to save 'Running Wilde'

An eloquent TV critic asked top Fox executives at press tour: When your acclaimed fall drama Lone Star performed an epic out-of-the-gate ratings bellyflop this fall, was that a real “punch to the nuts”?

“We went online and [the headline] was like, ‘Lone Star Dead!'” said Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice.

“It was a real bummer,” agreed programming president Kevin Reilly. “We made a show that we really loved,” he continues. “You guys really believed in the show. But not enough people showed up. We were very disappointed, but that’s the reality of the business. I’d much prefer to fail with a show we are creatively proud of than fail with a show we’re embarrassed with.”

Did Fox learn any kind of lesson with the show?

“I guess I take umbrage with the idea that all the great shows can only be on cable,” Reilly said. “It’s the culture of Fox to be bold creatively. One discussion we did not have is saying, ‘Let’s not do that again.'”

As for the canceled (and less acclaimed) comedy Running Wilde from Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz, Reilly was asked if he interfered with showrunner Hurwitz’s creative vision.

“I think I watered down Mitch’s vision,” Reilly joked dryly. “Look, one of the early lessons you learn is to bet on the talent. [Wilde] was slow to find itself. I was involved. I was involved probably more than I wanted to be. Mitch didn’t resent it. It struggling to find its legs. It found them probably too little too late.”

In other words: That show was a mess and I did everything I could to fix the damn thing.

Read more:
Fox benches Running Wilde for November sweeps

‘Running Wilde': Fox not running back nine episodes
Do you love a TV show that everyone else hates?

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Shellibelli

    i doubt Fox would learn any lesson they are notorious for canceling shows too early.
    if they want my respect buy Terriers and play that!

    • brilliant1

      I couldn’t agree more. Terriers is the best new show I have seen in ages.

  • JLC

    Running Wilde proceeded from a flawed premise. No one wants to watch Will Arnett become a “better man.” No one wants to watch Keri Russell become a materialistic jerk. It was doomed to fail. (They should, however, give Peter Sarafinowicz another show.)

  • LOL

    I made it through the first 10 minutes of Running Wilde’s first episode. I knew it was crap right then and turned it off.

  • Meli

    Running Wilde had four big problems with it: 1) Seen the loveable jerk who wants to be better in every other sitcom, 2) See the screechy strident female love interest in every other sitcom, 3) Seen the smartass kid who’s wiser than the adults in every other sitcom, and 4) it wasn’t funny.

    • brilliant1

      well said

    • Howard

      I would have just gone with number 4, but you’re not wrong about 1-3.

  • Shamus N.

    I’d still rather see the remaining episodes of Running Wilde than the Million Dollar Ratings Drop.

  • Dicazi

    Arrested Development was an acquired taste, but Running Wilde stunk.

  • noam

    lone star was great. two episodes is not enough to find an audience. shows like that a) need to be given time to grow an audience and b) need to have realistic audience expectations. not every show is going to have twenty million viewers.

  • Rudy

    I love everyone involved in Running Wilde, but man did I not love Running Wilde.

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