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Glee spin-off not on the cards for Fox

Published: 3:34PM Monday January 09, 2012 Source: Reuters

Fox television network said today there were no plans for a spin-off of its television musical comedy Glee and there will be changes to Simon Cowell's The X Factor after the show's first season on US television.

But Glee fans will likely be pleased that Lea Michele, one of the show's leads, will still be part of the show's upcoming season in which the characters graduate, said Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment at Fox at the Television Critics Association panels held in Los Angeles.

"There will not be a Glee spin-off, but those characters will graduate and it's led to a really interesting idea that I think is going to give us something really cool to dig into next season," he said, referring to the fates of the lead characters after they graduate high school.

While the popularity of shows including Glee and New Girl, helped the network tie with CBS in the top spot for the the 18-49 demographic, Glee's ratings have dropped compared to last season. Reilly said they were yet to make key decisions on the long-running House, as well as Terra Nova and Fringe.

Fox said it reached the top spot for the No. 1 reality series overall with The X Factor, despite the new singing competition's rocky start not quite living up to creator Simon Cowell's predictions with a show that underwhelmed critics.

Reilly said he was "thrilled" with the show's standing in the crowded singing competition market alongside such shows as American Idol with popular host Ryan Seacrest and The Voice, but did reveal that there were going to be some changes from the "relentless" Cowell.

"Hosting, as we know, it is a much harder job than meets the eye. I think everybody now has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest," he said, adding of X-Factor host Steve Jones - "whether Steve's the guy or not, it comes under the heading of growth in general so there will be some tweaks to the show."

While Jones may not be winning as many votes, Reilly said he was eager to retain Seacrest, whose $45 million contract with Idol is up for renewal. NBC is also determined to keep Seacrest and expand his role within their network.

"It's very hard to imagine the show without Ryan, we certainly want to keep him, there's no creative discussion there, it is a deal issue, it's a tough negotiation and one that will come to conclusion pretty quickly," said Reilly.

More animation

The future of hospital drama House starring Hugh Laurie, sci-fi drama Terra Nova and FBI thriller Fringe was currently undecided, he said.

"It's hard to imagine the network without House," said Reilly, who said that the show would not suffer from an "unceremonious finish" and did not rule out that the show could move to another network.

Terra Nova, which has been an expensive investment for Fox, was also not confirmed for a returning season.

"It was an exciting bet to take, and I think it's proven that it was worthwhile," said Reilly.

"The show looked fantastic, it's clearly a conceit that people wanted to watch, they had ample opportunity to reject it and they didn't."

Fox is expanding its comedy with a new division to create alternative animated content in a late night programming block on Saturday nights, with plans to distribute it across television and multi-platform digital networks."

The move towards producing more animated content comes after the cancellation of Jonah Hill's short-lived comedy Allen Gregory, which Reilly said was not returning although there were plans to work with Hill on other show ideas, including a live-action comedy already in the works.

Quirky animated comedy Napoleon Dynamite will be joining new seasons of Bob's Burgers along with Fox's Sunday night animation domination shows The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show.