| LOS ANGELES, July 23
LOS ANGELES, July 23 The Fox television network
may relinquish its eight-year ratings title among the 18- to
49-year-old age group prized by advertisers in the upcoming
season, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said on Monday.
The News Corp-owned network's streak in the
category was built largely by its reliance on singing
competition "American Idol." Total viewership for the show in
the season that ended in May dropped 30 percent from the
previous season, according to Nielsen ratings data.
CBS, Fox's chief rival, gains an advantage this TV
season with broadcast rights for the Super Bowl football
championship and AFC playoff game, Reilly said. The Super Bowl
is the highest-rated telecast every year and draws a large crop
of younger viewers.
"We may not win the season this year," Reilly said at a
meeting of the Television Critics Association. "At the very
least, it is going to be close."
Still, Reilly insisted that Fox "is going to have a big
year. We are going to be teed up for the future."
Reilly said he was optimistic about the network's Tuesday
night block of comedies, including newcomers "The Mindy Project"
created by and starring "The Office" actress Mindy Kaling and
"Ben and Kate," about an odd-couple pair of siblings.
To build advance buzz, Fox is making the premiere episodes
of both shows available online for two weeks before their TV
Reilly also announced that Grammy Award-winning singer
Mariah Carey would step in as an "Idol" judge next season, after
last-season judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez left the show
earlier in the month.
Another Fox singing competition, "The X Factor," is aiming
to draw more viewers with Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on its
The network also is moving quirky musical comedy "Glee" to
Thursday night, and will split story lines between characters
remaining at McKinley High in Ohio and others who are moving on
to New York, the Fox network chief said.
"We think it is going to work very seamlessly back and
forth," he said.