Fox Boss on ‘9-1-1’ Moving to ABC: ‘The Business Model Wasn’t Right for Us’
Fox Entertainment’s CEO addressed the decision to cancel “9-1-1” and the show’s subsequent move to ABC during a conference call with the press ahead of the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
“We look at shows in two different ways,” said Rob Wade, CEO of Fox Entertainment. “First and foremost from a creative lens and how much we like the creative. And the second thing is really the economics of that. I think we felt moving forward into what is really a new era of television, the economics weren’t going to pan out on this show for us. The decision was made there that the business model wasn’t right for us and that 20th TV would take the show back.”
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Wade also said that the decision was made “a year ago” and that he found out about it when he “took over as CEO in October.”
It was reported on May 1 that “9-1-1” had been canceled at Fox but then immediately picked up by ABC for its seventh season, while the sister series “9-1-1: Lone Star” would continue at Fox for its fifth season.
And fans of “9-1-1” and “9-1-1: Lone Star” better not get their hopes up about a crossover between the two shows now that “9-1-1” is moving to ABC.
“As far as crossovers go, crossovers has always been really hard on the ‘9-1-1’ franchise because they’re they’re such an ambitious schedule,” said Michael Thorn, president of scripted programming for Fox Entertainment. “They weren’t able to do it every year when when both shows were on our network anyways, so I’d say it’s extremely unlikely.”
“9-1-1” was originally picked up at Fox when the network and studio 20th Television were part of the same company. But since Disney acquired the studio in 2019, Fox no longer has the same kind of financial stake in the show they once did, even though it is one of the most popular shows on the network. According to an individual with knowledge of the production, budgets on episodes of “9-1-1” are in excess of $9 million each, with that number having climbed as the show went on.
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