By Valerie Milano
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/30/14 – Fox network announced Thursday that Kevin Reilly, head of entertainment programming was stepping down after seven years. He had multiple seasons of success but perhaps the decline of American Idol, which Fox had been on top of the ratings with, led to his decision. Kevin Reilly had two more years on his contract, but he will be leaving Fox at the end of next month.
Mr. Reilly was in New York two weeks ago to take the stage at Fox’s preseason presentation for advertisers, outlining plans for the upcoming season.
American Idol had dropped about 30 percent of its audience going on three years in a row, so Fox now has to face the prospect of having to find programs that can pick up the slack. Fox is renewing the show for next season but has said it will be on fewer hours.
So Mr. Reilly can put on his resume that his tenure are Fox included some of the strongest years in Fox’s history. Fox was the top-rate network in the category that attracts the most advertising dollars in television which is viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.
Fox’s comedies have been struggling to keep their steady viewership and the network’s one-time hit drama Glee ratings fell this season. The long-running Sunday night lineup of animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy had begun to decline.
Peter Rice, the chairman of the Fox Networks Group will take over until a replacement can be been found.
Mr. Reilly sent out a memo to his staff which said, “We put shows and songs at the top of the charts, we took home trophies, we got out ahead of defining and building and measuring the multi-platform universe and we rewrote rules about how to develop, program and market TV.”