Fox at TCA: Emmys to Go Host-less, ‘Animation Domination’ Guest Voices Galore


The penultimate day of the TCA summer press tour belongs to Fox who, on Wednesday, brought out CEO, Fox Entertainment, Charlie Collier to make some announcements and take questions from critics and journalists in attendance at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

No surprise that the first question was about Jussie Smollett’s exit from Empire. Collier was asked about the fact that Smollett’s contract was extended in May to include the upcoming Season 6, but then creator Lee Daniels spoke up in June saying that Smollett will definitely not be returning to Empire.

So what happened? “As much as anything, in cases like this and they’re all so unique,” said Collier, “you try to gather all the information and you try to make a good decision at the time… there’s no plans for Jussie Smollett to return to Empire.” He added, “We worked really closely with our partners at 20th [Century Fox] to gather every piece of information to do the right thing.” Collier also said that the network will go out big on the upcoming final season of the series.

In regards to the 71st annual Emmy Awards broadcast, Collier revealed, “The Emmys will not have a host this year… our job is to assess how to elevate the program in the year we’re lucky enough to broadcast it.” He said that we’ll be saying goodbye to a lot of big shows this year (Game of Thrones, Veep, The Big Bang Theory) and time given to a host “is time you could use to salute the shows [so] we will go host-less this year.” Collier did say that he and his team did look at the recent Oscars broadcast not having a host (after the Kevin Hart debacle) in making this decision.

Earlier in his opening statement, Collier touted previously announced news that the third installment of The Masked Singer will air after the Super Bowl in early 2020 as well as the network’s excitement about the upcoming reboot of BH90210, which premieres on August 7. “[BH90210] is the kind of event series that fits into the Fox program strategy. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s can’t-look-away programming.”

Also, Fox will take a big swing and brand the holidays, as Collier says, “the anti-holiday.” One project, The Moody Christmas, a half-hour comedy with six episodes ordered, is coming along with some others that will be announced at a later date.

The network then announced the executive producer Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf, Criminal Minds) has signed an overall deal with the network as well as a slew of guest stars who will be coming to their Animation Domination lineup of animated comedies. Here are the details from the press release:

The Simpsons (Sundays, 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT)

The 31st season of The Simpsons, the longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, will feature a multitude of guest voices, including singer, songwriter, record producer and pianist John Legend, his wife, supermodel and author Chrissy Teigen (“Lip Sync Battle”), and Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley”). Additional guest voices this season include Fortune Feimster (“Life in Pieces”), Asia Kate Dillon (“John Wick 3,” “Billions”), Jim Parsons (“Big Bang Theory”), Scott Bakula (“NCIS: New Orleans”) and directors Joseph and Anthony Russo (“Avengers: Endgame”). As previously announced, John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”) and primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall also are heard this season.

Bless the Harts (Sundays, 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT)

Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Emily Spivey (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”) and featuring an all-star voice cast of comedy stars, including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell and Ike Barinholtz, BLESS THE HARTS is a new half-hour animated comedy that follows the Harts, a Southern family that is always broke, and forever struggling to make ends meet. They one day hope to achieve the American dream, but they’re already rich – in friends, family and laughter. Notable recurring guest voices throughout the first season include Fortune Feimster, Holly Hunter (“Here and Now”) Mary Steenburgen (“The Last Man on Earth”) and Drew Tarver (“The Other Two”).

Bob’s Burgers (Sundays, 9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT)

Recently nominated for its eighth Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, the fan-favorite series returns for a momentous 10th season, and the beloved Belchers are back, along with some notable guest stars. Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) returns as LINDA’S sister, GAYLE, in this season’s premiere episode; Sarah Silverman (“Ralph Breaks the Internet”) and Laura Silverman (“The Comeback”) return as THE PESTO TWINS; and Jenny Slate (“The Secret Life of Pets 2”) returns as TAMMY LARSEN. This season will also feature returning guest voices from Jillian Bell (BLESS THE HARTS), Billy Eichner (“The Lion King”), Jim Gaffigan (“Above the Shadows”), Max Greenfield (“Veronica Mars”), Kathryn Hahn (“Bad Moms”), Thomas Lennon (“Santa Clarita Diet”) and Damon Wayans Jr. (“New Girl”).

Family Guy (Sundays, 9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT)

Cult-favorite animated series Family Guy returns for a 17th season with new adventures and hijinks for the Griffin Clan and all their friends in the town of Quahog, RI. In the season premiere, guest voices Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Niecy Nash (“Claws”) return as PETER’s (Seth MacFarlane) bosses. Additional guest voices this season include singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins, Mike Judge (“Beavis and Butt-Head”), Hank Azaria (THE SIMPSONS), Danny Trejo (“What We Do in the Shadows”), Judy Greer (“Archer”), Chris Parnell (“Archer”), Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) and Nat Faxon (“Friends from College”).