Alright! Network TV has finally finished with the upfronts so we now know what we’ll be watching in the fall! The fine folks at Fox decided they wanted some fans to participate in the upfront process (woo hoo!!) so I was lucky enough to get a front row seat at Fox’s FanFront where we got to see clips of upcoming shows and meet the stars!
Warning: This is an epic post (translation: lengthy) since there is a lot to talk about!!
This warm day started early and we were jam packed into a tent with lots of people and lights. I went with my sister, Big Apple Elisa and Mady — and lots of press! The press were here to interview the actors before they hit the formal industry presentation so we were all under the same tent. Yeah, it was REALLY warm inside so while we were all rather sticky, I’m grateful I didn’t have to do on-camera interviews or perform in this heat!
The Fox FanFront kicked off with a screening of the new comedy, Riot. Riot is a mix of Whose Line Is It Anyway? crossed with Wipeout – folks improve a scene with an ever-changing environment. The show is produced by Steve Carell and features a core cast and a celebrity guest each week such as Jason Alexander and Cheryl Hines on the next episode (May 27th)
Next, we were treated to a performance by American Idol Jessica Meuse. She sang a couple of original songs to help get us revved up.
After that, well, I lost some hearing and there were tears shed! Glee’s ratings may be softening, but the Gleeks remain as passionate as ever and the majority of the FanFront crowd were there to see the stars of Glee, Darren Criss in particular. Darren came out to greet the hysterical fans and then performed a couple of songs including Moondance.
The girls next to me were crying throughout Darren’s set…
With the performances finished, we filmed an introduction for the industry upfront – by “we” I mean the fans and just about all the stars from the Fox network!
For this intro, Ryan Seacrest gave a short speech for the formal upfront presentation, flanked by the stars from Fox. At some point in Ryan’s monologue, the camera would turn to show all of us enthusiastic fans. Fun, right? To kick this off, they basically FLOODED the carpet in front of us with all the stars from Fox.
Ahh!!! Too much to see at once!
When they finally started to film, it was amusing to see the director come back and give notes to this impressive crowd which boasts Emmy and Oscar winners. Basically all they asked this mass of talent to smile and crowd around Ryan and then, at the appointed time, cheer and look to the fans. Sounds simple, right? Here’s one take with the casts of Sleepy Hollow, Hieroglyph, Gotham, Red Band Society and Empire:
Given the camera movement and such, it took about 4 takes and since we were right in front, we had a great view of the proceedings including:
The Deschanel sisters reunited with a hug
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), always very droll and amused, recognized Elisa in the crowd and made goofy faces at her between takes.
We were close enough that I overheard the following conversation:
Rainn Wilson: I didn’t know we were doing background today.
Zooey Deschanel: And we’re off camera!!!
And let’s not forget that, during one take, Mindy Kaling and Rainn decided to fake (?) make out during the cheering bit…Lol!
With the intro in the can, the actors dispersed to their interviews. In between interviews, some of them would come over and greet fans while others were, um, less friendly. Since it was pretty chaotic, here’s a look at what happened for some of the old and new shows coming in the fall!
The stalwart Bones will be back for a 10th season! Both Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz take a moment to greet the fans. Yeah!
The cast of New Girl was also (mostly) friendly with the lovely Zooey Deschanel stopping by the fans.
Max Greenfield was as adorable as ever including a “that’s off network!” gasp when Mady unveiled her backer’s Veronica Mars poster for him to sign. (Maybe we needed to bring him a pizza…?) With a furtive glance around, Max happily signed the poster. (Note: The poster got signed by someone else later that afternoon – that story involves one determined Mady jumping out of a moving cab to grab Vinny Van Lowe!)
Hannah Simone and LaMorne Mooris were also happy to say hi to us fans!
The cast of the critical darling, The Mindy Project, also stopped for fans. Mindy was very much in demand and was super sweet — even to the idiot behind me who fell on me not once, not twice, but three times! Some people lose all semblance of decorum in the presence of their idols…
The horseman rides again! The cast of Sleepy Hollow was definitely in the house!
Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie are super cool and came on over. Tom’s stated that he has to get yearly photos with Elisa to see how he’s aged (he hasn’t!).
Beautiful and sassy, Nichole Beharie is always fun to chat with.
John Noble, Orlando Jones, a newly blond Katia Winter and the newest full-fledged cast member, Lyndie Greenwood, also stopped by. One of the nicest casts!
Since I was fortunate to meet the cast at NYCC last year, I may have a spare signed Sleepy Hollow poster that may just be given out to a lucky Mike the Fanboy reader! Maybe….!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, my favorite new comedy of last season, brought the full cast. Strangely enough, the two leads are pretty introverted so Andre Braugher was a bit tough to coax over, but he made good on his word and came by.
Andy Samberg also came by, very quietly. A nice guy, I remember seeing him at Comic Con years ago. It was after dinner and I was walking down the street when I saw Andy walk up to a homeless man and give him his leftovers and a smile. Just a nice guy really…
Terry Crews came through, ready to play with the fans! A high five with Terry is rather scary since his hand is twice the size of mine!
Joe Lo Truglio and Chelsea Peretti were also happy to stop by. The fan-enthusiasm award, however, goes to the lovely ladies Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero who were super psyched to sign my cast piece. Never seen someone so happy to sign an autograph!
At first glance, I thought the Transformers were coming, but Cleatus the Robot was here to represent for Fox Sports. I basically had the Fox NFL fanfare repeated in my head for a while…
Chord Overstreet stopped by for a few selfies with fans on behalf of Glee. Lea Michelle also made a brief appearance – she spent quite a bit of time with the photographers and then walked swiftly by the fans. When the fans started to reach out to her to take some selfies, she literally moved as far away as she could (nearly tripping over camera cords in her haste to get away) so clearly she wasn’t going to stop. Really?!?! So sad since they were singing their heart out to her single earlier in the day and now Lea barely looked at them. It’s the last season Lea!!
On to the new shows!
One of the most widely-anticipated shows of the fall has to be Gotham – a Gotham before Batman and when Jim Gordon was a detective. Ben McKenzie will be Jim Gordon.
The busiest man in show biz, Donal Logue (who just finished working on both Vikings and Law & Order: SVU) will play Jim Gordon’s partner, Detective Harvey Bullock.
There will be a variety of Gotham villains including Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney…
…Robin Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (later the Penguin)…
…and Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle (later Catwoman).
He’s Batman! Or Ben Affleck! Christian Bale? Michael Keaton! Or he will be eventually…David Mazouz is playing the 10 year old Bruce Wayne.
Overall the cast was all really cool and excited to be a part of this show. Check out the latest trailer to understand why!
Wayward Pines is a thriller starring Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the small town of Wayward Pines, ID. There’s an intriguing cast here including Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo and Terrence Howard who’s also in Empire. Spooky/interesting, this is produced by M. Night Shyamalan so I want to see more than a trailer before I commit…hopefully no one talks to a plastic house plant…
(Love the picture here! Sometimes you want a picture with someone, but you don’t want to interrupt their conversation…)
But not everything is so serious! Fox is also launching a new comedies including Mulaney – a show about a struggling comic (John Mulaney) and this friends and family who support him as he tries to tolerate his boss (Martin Short) and get his big break.
And, debuting tonight, Fox found a bunch of American women competing for the affections of someone they think is Prince Harry in the new show I Wanna Marry “Harry.” I will say there is a strong resemblance, but I’m pretty sure I’m not up for marrying Harry or the actor/impersonator Matthew Hicks!
Gracepoint is Fox’s serious bid for a slew of Emmy nominations. An American version of the stellar British series Broadchurch (which just won 3 BAFTAs including best drama), Gracepoint will retain the same lead actor, David Tennant, and pair him with the amazing Anna Gunn. Gracepoint is the name of the town where a young boy is found dead on the beach. David and Anna will play the detectives whose investigation unravels the unspoken turmoil in the small town. If you want to watch the British Broadchurch to figure out who did it, note that the ending is being re-written.
Elisa’s main focus of the day was to finally (finally!!!) meet David Tennant. He and Anna hit the carpet together and we were able to lure him over for a quick second, but she didn’t get her picture. Drat!
David and Anna did a few more interviews and then stopped to watch (for the first time?) the first trailer for the show. It was fun to watch them exchange looks and comments for certain scenes…
A very kind Michael Peña and Virginia Kull came over to share in Elisa’s excitement for Gracepoint — before they have to head back to filming and go back to grieving their dead child.
Fox is also holding back some ambitious shows for the winter season. Another quirkly law-enforcement related show from the creator of Bones, Backstrom stars Rainn Wilson as a rather strange and brilliant detective.
Backstrom’s cast also includes Dennis Haysbert and Thomas Dekkar from the Sarah Connor Chronicles – so sad that that show didn’t get that third season!
Swinging for the fences, Fox is also producing Hieroglyph, a look at palace intrigue in ancient Egypt. The scale and the story are reputed to be Fox’s Game of Thrones so this should be interesting!
Hieroglyph’s cast includes John Rhys Davies and stars a very charming Max Brown and the lovely Condola Rashad.
Fox will get doubly musical in the winter with Glee (which is not launching in the fall, but in the winter) and its new show, Empire. Directed by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong, this show stars Terrence Howard as a hip hop music mogul. Taraji P. Henson is his ex-wife with plans for the empire as well. Timbaland will produce the music.
And lastly, there’s the funny/heart-wrenching Red Band Society. Produced by Steven Spielberg, it’s the story of terminally ill teens who live in a hospital. With David Annabel and Octavia Spencer, this should be one to watch as well.
Terrence Howard, Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Emily Deschanel and David Annabel
And that was our really packed morning! So much to see and there are more Fox shows to come! I’ll share out snippets as new trailers and such become available.
Comment below or email me at Erica@MikeTheFanboy.com
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