Michael Thorn was named entertainment president of Fox Broadcasting in August. Four months later, The Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire most of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, an agreement that would allow 20th Century Fox Television, the studio where Thorn had been an executive for a long time, to move to Disney and the television network will remain in a reduced fox, Rupert Murdoch-directed.
The word of the deal came in the middle of Thorn's first cycle of development as a buyer. But speaking with Variety on Thursday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Thorn said the Disney agreement has had minimal impact on development, partly because it came in the break vacation.  "We finished our shopping season and we are just starting to get material," said Thorn. "It was a great business as always, the only thing we really had to do was to approach the talent with which we are in the business and say:" We are making pilots. We are going to announce an autumn calendar. If you have a show that will premiere now, if it works, let's bring another season. "
Fox on Thursday announced a renewal for the first-year drama" The Gifted, "produced by 20th Century Fox Television and based on the characters of Marvel's X-Men. "Thorn pointed to the renewal as an indicator that the network is advancing as it normally would.
"When we talk to the writers and producers with whom we have business, I think that actions speak louder than words," Thorn said. "So for me to bring back" The Gifted "for another season, I think it's significant, there's a multi-camera comedy that we're developing with Rob McElhenney and Rob Rosell where we hired casting directors to try to find We've started talking to other producers about the directors for their pilots, and once you get back on track, people just want their drivers to be ordered. "
As development progresses for 2018-1919, Thorn has specific objectives. "We really want to add another original animated show to that Sunday lineup," he said. He also wants to add "a real action family comedy that clearly feels Fox." On the side of the drama, he added: "I would love to find another piece of character from the firm, be it a soap opera program or franchise, and I would not say that we are not going to add more genre to our network because we are reprogramming a pilot that we created the year past called "The Passage", based on the novels of Justin Cronin. [Executive producer] Liz Heldens is a great talent, so, obviously, we are passionate about the project, since we are rescuing part of it ".
Disney and Fox executives anticipate that the merger will take 12 to 18 months to complete. If approved, Fox will become the only broadcast network not affiliated with a study.
Murdoch said after the agreement was announced that he believes that the separation of his studio network will benefit from the former, giving him the flexibility to buy a wide range of sellers at a time when his competitors are intensely focused on integration vertical.
"I received some calls from independent studios saying: & # 39; Now we are your team! & # 39;" Thorn said. "Literally within 24 hours of the announcement, they have great sponsorships with which they also have agreements, and I think that, for the most part, when you're a buyer, whether you have a team at home or not, you're always looking for best shows for us at this time. "