Fox Networks Group


FX’s Legion drew praise from critics and audiences alike for its ambitious storytelling and visual style, and fans can now check out an exclusive video and case study detailing how the cast and crew brought that same level of ambition to going green behind-the-scenes. All departments made a concerted effort to save energy, reduce the show’s carbon footprint, and overall make the production as environmentally sustainable as possible, even piloting new technologies that could advance sustainability for the entire industry. The initiatives came as part of 21st Century Fox’s broad commitment to minimizing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably, and inspiring others to take action.

“This is the first production I’ve worked on where the conversation [about sustainability] started during our first production meeting,” said Kim Goddard-Rains, Production Coordinator. “I hope that it inspires people when they see the results and that they’re reminded of the little things we can all do. It feels good.”

Before shooting began, 21CF once again hired Zena Harris of Green Sparks Group, who previously oversaw green initiatives on The X-Files event series in 2016, as Legion’s sustainable production consultant. Harris worked directly with each department throughout the nearly six-month shoot to review best practices from the Green Production Guide, which Fox developed in collaboration with peer Hollywood studios, as well as identify opportunities to innovate new techniques for energy saving, such as partnering with Portable Electric to pilot their new mobile power stations.

“The studio was very supportive as we trialed battery power stations to replace the smaller generators that are diesel powered,” Harris said. “It reduces greenhouse gas emissions from generators and helps eliminate noise.”

These strategies, combined with every department’s goals to save energy and reduce waste, resulted in significant cost and energy savings across the board. The crew managed to divert 55% of the waste from landfill, avoid 252 metric tons of CO2 emissions, and collectively save nearly $48,000 USD, as well as purchase 70% Forest Stewardship Council-certified lauan plywood for set construction.

These achievements build on a long history of pioneering green production practices at 21CF. The company regularly works with production crews across its film and television projects to ensure environmental responsibility is integrated into each department’s daily operations, with previous series 24: Live Another Day and The X-Files event series each breaking new ground for the industry at large on lumber sourcing and recycling.

Learn more about environmental sustainability on Legion by reading our detailed case study and watching the exclusive video below.

Legion has been renewed for a second season, and the first is available to stream on FX, FXNOW, and Hulu.

Shorty Awards Logo Hidden Figures Malala

The Ninth Annual Shorty Awards on April 23 recognized recent social impact campaigns from 21st Century Fox for their innovative and effective use of social media to engage audiences. 21CF’s Search for Hidden Figures contest, which distributed more than $200,000 in scholarships to women in STEM, and the Stand with Malala campaign, which drove support and awareness of the Malala Fund and its fight for girls’ education, won their respective categories.

“Tonight is the night we recognize the individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Musicly, Instagram, and for the last time ever, Vine,” host Tony Hale joked during his opening remarks. “But what makes this award show so unique is that it pays tribute to those who are using social media as a force for positive change.”

The Search for Hidden Figures contest, for which 21CF partnered with PepsiCo, asked young women, students and professionals, to submit videos explaining the importance of the STEM fields to themselves and the rest of the world. The winners received scholarships and additional training from the New York Academy of Sciences. The contest won the Multicultural Community Engagement category.

21CF and National Geographic’s Stand With Malala campaign, which launched around the global, commercial-free broadcast premiere of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary He Named Me Malala, won for best Facebook Partnership. The campaign asked viewers to change their Facebook profile to a special video that transformed profile pictures into yearbook photos and then dissolved female users’ profile pictures from the page, representing the millions of girls who are out of school worldwide. For every post, 21CF donated $1 to the Malala Fund for a total of $50,000.

Fox Home Entertainment’s campaigns for Deadpool, “Deadpool Gets All the Likes” and “Deadpool’s Global Domination,” also received awards, as did the studio’s “From Deadpool with Love” campaign in the Branded Content category, and the “Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool” campaign in the Multi-Platform Campaign category. FX’s Atlanta was awarded Silver in the race for Best GIF. 

Sawhorse Media founded the Shorty Awards in 2008 to celebrate the best content across the social media landscape. The awards for individual influencers represent the public votes of more than 5 million internet users, as well as scores from the Real Time Academy of Short Form Arts and Sciences, which assembles leaders in technology, journalism, business, and culture. The awards for brands and organizations are judged solely by the Real Time Academy.

Learn more about the Shorty Awards, including the full list of winners at this year’s awards, and watch the entire April 23 ceremony.

John Landgraf, Diversity Awards

FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award at the T. Howard Foundation’s 24th Annual Diversity Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 29, in New York. The fundraising event recognizes and celebrates industry leaders and companies committed to diversifying the media and entertainment industry. John was presented to the evening’s attendees by Emmy Award-winning actor Courteney B. Vance, who played the role of Johnnie Cochran in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

During his remarks, John recounted how 18 months ago, FX found that 88 percent of its original-series directors were white men, which was incongruous with the fact that white men make up just 36 percent of the U.S. population.

“We decided to take concrete steps to radically and quickly increase the participation of underrepresented groups with the ranks of our directors,” John said. “And our guess was that doing so would improve the overall quality of our work. We were right.”

During the past year-and-a-half, FX has boosted the percentage of non-white-male directors from 12 percent to 57 percent. “After making this change, the overall quality of our episodes has gotten better, resulting in the FX networks breaking nearly every record in the history of basic cable for programming success, awards recognition and critical acclaim.”

John also looked back at his life journey and noted the advantages he received by being born a white, heterosexual male, which presented him with a simple choice: “I can continue to take the path of least resistance, bestowing the benefits of my advantages primarily on others who naturally cross my path, who not-so coincidentally also often share my gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity… Or, I can actually try to live up to the as-yet unfulfilled promise given to all Americans by our founding fathers in our Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and I will add women) are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’”

He challenged businesses to look for “merit that lies beneath the surface of a person’s ethnic, sexual or gender identity.”

“I have been proud to work with my FX colleagues and our many producers who have embraced our efforts to open doors for people who have been standing at the back of the line for too long,” John said as he thanked FX Networks head of current programming Jonathan Frank and his team for recruiting and promoting diverse talent.

John also praised 21CF Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, 21CF CEO James Murdoch and FOX Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice for their dedication to making sure the organization comprises colleagues from all walks of life.

“Now that we have shown that real, rapid and permanent change is possible, we challenge all of our competitors to catch us if they can.”

The T. Howard Foundation’s mission is to increase the diversity in the media and entertainment industry through a comprehensive recruiting program for diverse college students. Learn more about the nonprofit.


Photo by Saman Assefi Photography

For the sixth consecutive year, Fox has sought out some of Hollywood’s most exciting new voices to participate in the Fox Writers Lab, a fellowship program hosted by Fox Inclusion for young screenwriters with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences. The 13 finalists will work directly with Fox’s writers, directors, executives and more to hone their craft on the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles, with opportunities for staffing on the company’s film, television and digital productions. The Fox Writers Lab is one of several programs at 21st Century Fox designed to support the next generation of storytellers and create a pipeline of diverse talent into the industry.

"There's a deep well of untapped talent that deserves to be discovered, developed and empowered to tell their stories,” said Suzanna Makkos, head of comedy at the FOX network. “Fox Writers Lab is a great tool to open the door and create meaningful opportunities for these future writers, producers and creators, and I'm looking forward to working with the members of this year's class."

The finalists will spend 14 weeks on the Fox Lot, shadowing the company’s creatives, receiving feedback on their scripts, attending master classes with experienced writers and directors, and hearing from some of the industry’s most experienced figures through guest speaker sessions.

“Having been closely involved with Fox Writers Lab, it has been wonderful to see the impact its participants have made on a number of our dramas,” said Terence Carter, FOX’s head of drama. “While learning from the best auspices in the business, they bring new and fresh ideas to the writing room and bolster a creative process that thrives on diverse perspectives.”

The program has also partnered for a second year with the Young Storytellers, a nonprofit co-founded by Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk that is dedicated to helping young people discover the power of their own voices. The finalists will mentor elementary school students who are participating in the organization’s Script to Stage program, in which students write their own original short script, then see it performed live by professional actors.

At the conclusion of the program, one fellow will be named the 2017 Fox Writers Lab Fellow and awarded a purchase and development deal on his/her original script or a first-look deal with Fox network or any of its affiliated entities. All of this year’s finalists will receive staffing meetings for current Fox series and a first-look agreement to option their scripts. Participants from previous years have gone on to write for Fox shows such as Lucifer and Star.

“Lee Daniels and I wanted the Star writers' room to be as inclusive as possible,” said Tom Donaghy, co-creator and executive producer of Star. “We also wanted to find strong female voices who could write honestly for our young characters. When Jamila Daniel came to us through the Fox Writers Lab, we knew immediately how much she would bring to the project… We were lucky the Lab was there when we were hiring, and doubly lucky to hire Jamila.”

The Fox Writers Lab was initially launched in 2011 as the Fox Writers Intensive, and since then, it has become one of a growing slate of programs at 21CF that empower new voices in Hollywood. The Fox Filmmaker Lab, a partnership with the American Film Institute, is a mentoring program designed to increase the number of female directors working in the industry and recently announced its first class of 25 participants. In addition, the Fox Directors Lab last fall announced 16 Fellows to participate in its Comedy and Drama Apprenticeship Programs. Fox Inclusion is a department at Fox designed to identify programming and operational opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives across all of its entertainment platforms.

Learn more about 21CF’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, which include fellowship opportunities, filmmaking contests, professional training and more. 

Ghetto Film School, Industry 101 Pitch Day

Last month, longtime 21st Century Fox partner Ghetto Film School took its students to Fox Studios to pitch their ideas for short clips promoting FOX’s hot new show, Star. The students’ pitch presentations were part of GFS’ Industry 101 project, a semester-long class where high school students learn to create short video promos for a real client. The project gives them first-hand experience with the business behind film and television, teaches them the art of incorporating traditional storytelling strategies into 30-second promos, and helps them understand the process of working with clients.

Students prepared for their pitches by meeting with FOX’s on-air promotions team, and reviewing FOX’s research on their key audiences and marketing strategy for Star, a musical drama revolving around three talented young singers navigating the music business while trying to achieve their dreams. After developing their promo ideas, GFS students used the lessons learned from other GFS coursework and practiced presenting their pitches to each other in an engaging, concise manner. “Our students are very diligent about content brevity and accuracy, about formulating engaging hooks and demonstrating their visual vocabulary. They practice over and over again in front of their peers to make sure they’re pulling the audience into the emotional center of their pitch,” says Montea Robinson, LA Program Director and graduate of GFS’s program in the South Bronx.

On “Pitch Day”, students pitched their ideas for 30-second Star promos to a team from FOX—Scott Edwards, SVP of On-Air Promotions & Operations, Aaron Goldman, VP of Drama On-Air, Mamie Coleman, VP of Music and Production, and Karen McAllister, Director of On-Air Promos. Every student received in-depth feedback from the FOX team, giving them insight into both narrative storytelling and marketing techniques that will help strengthen their final products. Students are currently in production and will head back to the Fox lot later this spring for editing and revisions before final feedback.

Says GFS LA student Rosibel, age 16, “Prepping my pitch was nerve wracking! Although I had pitched before, I knew that getting feedback from FOX executives was an opportunity that many aspiring film-makers would love to have, so I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity and give my best shot. I bounced different ideas off friends and practiced my pitch with them and took note of what seemed to land best with them."

The program offers a substantial insight into what future careers in film and television could look like, and inspires students to continue working towards their goals. With many students coming from communities underrepresented in Hollywood, GFS helps them nurture their creativity, build skills in collaborative work and public speaking, and develop a framework for understanding themselves and the world around them.

“The coolest thing was getting to stand in a room full of FOX executives and talk to them about my ideas and hearing what they had to say in return, and getting to see the Fox lot! That's somewhere that a lot of us Ghetto Film School students, including myself, want to be one day and getting the opportunity to be there and see where it all happens was amazing,” said Rosibel.