Fox is counting on "The X Factor" to work the same ratings magic in fall that "American Idol" delivers midseason by placing Simon Cowell's new venture in "Idol's" Wednesday-Thursday timeslot.
The scheduling of "X Factor" was one of the big questions hanging over the Fox's upfront presentation, held Monday afternoon at the New Beacon Theater. The network is also betting big on its dino drama "Terra Nova" with a Monday 8 p.m. slot for the fall, and it hopes Zooey Deschanel is its new "it" girl, handing her laffer "The New Girl" the plum post-"Glee" spot on Tuesday.
Though Fox had largely let its new series pickups be known last week, Fox entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly saved one big reveal for the Beacon stage: "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane will oversee a new version of Hanna-Barbera chestnut "The Flintstones," targeted for a 2013 debut.
"We can't wait for Seth and his team to reimagine them for a new generation," said Reilly.
In his on-stage remarks, Reilly was also candid about the stress that came with the effort to rejuvenate "Idol" following Cowell's departure. It was worth the agita, as "Idol" is up year over year in total viewers for the first time in five years.
"I'd be lying if I said the launch of the new season wasn't one of the most daunting challenges we were faced with as a network," Reilly acknowledged.