Kevin Reilly (executive)

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Kevin Reilly
Born 1962 (age 55–56)
Manhasset, New York
Nationality American
Education Cornell University
Occupation Media Executive
Known for President of TNT and TBS, Chief creative officer, Turner Entertainment[1]

Kevin Reilly is an American media executive who serves as the president of TBS and TNT and as and chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment Networks.[2][3]

Throughout his career, he has held executive positions at FX, NBC, and Fox,[4] and has championed successful programs such as The Sopranos, Empire, The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, The Shield, ER, Law & Order and Glee, among others.[5]

Early life[edit]

Reilly was born in Manhasset, New York and earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.[6]


Early career[edit]

Reilly began his career at NBC in 1988 as a programming executive where he had a hand in the development of Saved by the Bell as a network liaison,[7][8] supervised Law & Order in its first season, and later developed ER, while serving as vice president of drama development from 1992-1994.[9][10]

In 1994, Reilly left his role at NBC to become the president of television at Brillstein-Grey Entertainment where he was responsible for shepherding some of television’s top shows, such as the pilot for The Sopranos.[5] He resigned from the position in 2000.[5]


In 2000, Reilly joined FX as president of entertainment.[11] In that role, Reilly helped to change the network's programming from syndicated reruns to original programming including The Shield, Nip/Tuck, and Rescue Me.[12] Within a year of his arrival, FX made cable history with its seminal series, The Shield, which broke cable ratings records when it premiered and received both a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series and an Emmy Award for lead actor Michael Chiklis in 2002.[13] Reilly left FX in 2003.


In 2003, Reilly returned to NBC as president of entertainment running the network from 2004-2007, a volatile period for the network.[14] Despite NBC's poor performance, Reilly oversaw the development of some of the network's most enduring shows that helped to define the network. His vocal support of The Office helped it survive its low-rated first season.[15] Reilly has been credited with developing shows such as My Name Is Earl, Heroes, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights.[16]

Despite having received a new three-year contract at NBC in February 2007, Reilly's contract with NBC was terminated in late May 2007, and he departed soon after.[17]


Less than two months after leaving NBC, Reilly was hired as president of entertainment at Fox.[18] He also oversaw the development of the shows Gotham, The Last Man on Earth, and Empire,[19][20] and launched the series Glee, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl.[21]

In 2008-2009, Reilly developed and launched the J.J. Abrams thriller Fringe and Seth MacFarlane's The Cleveland Show. He launched Glee, which won the Golden Globe for Best Series – Musical or Comedy in 2010.[22] He is generally credited with creating Jane Lynch’s character, Sue Sylvester, on the show.[23] In 2011, Reilly also championed New Girl, the network’s highest-rated fall sitcom debut in 10 years.[24]

Reilly was named chairman of entertainment for Fox in August 2012.[25] He later introduced the shows Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Following,[26] and The Mindy Project.[27] During his time at the network from 2007-2014, the network had a seven-year run as televisions top-rated network for adults aged 18–49.[28]

Reilly also bolstered Fox’s leadership and investment in digital and social media.[29] He is credited as 'the architect' behind the Animation Domination High-Def,[30] an independent digital animation subsidiary generating alternative animation for digital channels and a late-night block on Fox.[31]

Reilly also initiated a "no pilot season" strategy (designed to nurture fewer new Fox shows with more investment).[19][20][32] He left Fox in May 2014.[33]

Turner Broadcasting[edit]

In November 2014, Reilly was named the president of TNT and TBS and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment. In the role, he oversees the TBS and TNT networks[34] and leads growth opportunities across Turner's entertainment properties including TBS, TNT, truTV, Adult Swim, Super Deluxe and ELEAGUE.[35][36]

In 2016, Reilly led TNT to cut 50% of the ad load of the network's new dramas, starting with Animal Kingdom.[37] Reilly has also gained notice for modernizing and reinventing the types of series seen on TNT and TBS, introducing dark original dramas at TNT, including Claws[38] and The Alienist, and edgy comedies at TBS, including Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Detour, Wrecked, Angie Tribeca and The Last O.G..[37][10] Under Reilly's leadership, in 2017 TBS also introduced new unscripted shows including Snoop Dogg Presents the Joker's Wild and Drop the Mic.[39][40]

In 2018, Fast Company named Turner among "The World's Most Innovative Companies" in the video category citing Reilly's development of shows like Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Alienist with helping reinvent the company's TBS and TNT networks.[41]

Board memberships[edit]

Reilly serves as a chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy of California.[42] He is also a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization and serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute,[43] the Television Academy,[44] and on the advisory board for the Peabody Awards.[45] Reilly also serves on the board of the Alliance for Children's Rights,[46] and the Cornell Department of Communication Advisory Board.[47]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2016, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.[48] In 2018, Reilly received the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award from the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE).[49]


  1. ^ "Variety 500: Kevin Reilly". Variety. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  2. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (November 4, 2014). "Turner Broadcasting Enlists Kevin Reilly to Fight 'The War for Content'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  3. ^ VanDerWerff, Tood (November 5, 2014). "5 Things You Need to Know About Former Fox President Keven Reilly's Move to Cable". Vox. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Kevin Reilly". Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c Hofmeister, Sallie (August 17, 2000). "Brad Grey President Reilly to Head FX Entertainment Division". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  6. ^ Weiss, Rebecca (October 30, 2007). "The Cornell Connection: Kevin Reilly '84". The Cornell Daily Sun. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  7. ^ Engel, Peter. "Prologue:Thirteen or Call Security". Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  8. ^ Chang, Victoria; Guttentag, William; Kramer, Roderick (2009). "Fox Entertainment President, Kevin Reilly". Stanford Business. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  9. ^ Rice, Lynette (March 6, 2009). "ER:An Oral History". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (2018). "Inside Turner Chief Kevin Reilly's Plan to Reinvent TBS, TNT For a New Era". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  11. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (November 4, 2014). "Turner Broadcasting Enlists Kevin Reilly to Fight 'The War for Content'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  12. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (May 16, 2006). "NBC's Reilly Hopes 'the worst is behind us'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  13. ^ Jack Myers. "Kevin Reilly: Bringing Must-See TV Back to NBC". Today's Commentary. Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  14. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (May 16, 2006). "NBC's Reilly Hopes 'the worst is behind us'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  15. ^ John Consoli (May 28, 2007). "Analysis: Is Reilly a Scapegoat for NBC's Failures?". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  16. ^ Ed Martin (May 30, 2007). "Kevin Reilly Revived Must-See TV at NBC". Ed Martin's Watercooler TV. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  17. ^ "Reilly Expected To Lose Job At NBC". Entertainment, CBS News. May 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-31. [dead link]
  18. ^ Schneider, Michael; Adalian, Josef (July 9, 2017). "Fox Names Reilly President". Variety. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  19. ^ a b James Hibberd (January 17, 2015). "Fox renews 'Gotham,' 'Empire' (after only two episodes!)". Entertainment Weekly. 
  20. ^ a b Lesley Goldberg (February 12, 2014). "Will Forte Comedy 'Last Man on Earth' Nabs Fox Series Order". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  21. ^ Rose, Lacey (May 29, 2014). "Fox's Top Executive Kevin Reilly to Depart". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  22. ^ John Consoli. "Fox Tops 2009-10 Ratings; CBS Wins Viewers". The Wrap (May 27, 2010). Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  23. ^ Greg Hernandez. "Glee creator Ryan Murphy says Sue Sylvester character was not in original script of hit Fox show". Greg In Hollywood. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  24. ^ James Hibberd (Sep 21, 2011). "Zooey Deschanel's 'New Girl' opens big". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 20, 2012). "Fox's Kevin Reilly Upped to Chairman of Entertainment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 31, 2018. 
  26. ^ Patten, Dominic. "Full 2012-2013 TV Season Series Rankings". Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  27. ^ Salamone, Gina (October 9, 2012). "'Mindy Project' & 'Ben and Kate' Get Full Seasons". NY Daily News. Retrieved March 31, 2018. 
  28. ^ "2012-2013 Season Network Rankings: CBS Sweeps In Final Numbers; ABC, CBS & Fox Tie in May Sweep". 
  29. ^ "Kevin Reilly Upped to Fox Broadcasting Company's Entertainment Chairman". 
  30. ^ Young, Susan. "Reilly: Nurturing Fox's Next-Gen Toon Stars". Variety. Retrieved Dec 1, 2012. 
  31. ^ Crupi, Anthony. "Fox Inks Partnership With YouTube's WIGS Channel". Adweek. Retrieved Feb 19, 2013. 
  32. ^ Josef Adalian (May 6, 2014). "Why Fox's Kevin Reilly Is Canceling Pilot Season". Vulture. 
  33. ^ Greenwald, Andy (May 30, 2014). "Kevin Reilly Is Out at Fox. So What Now? (For Him, the Network, and the Future of Broadcast TV)". 
  34. ^ Spangler, Todd. "Turner's Super Deluxe Developing Edgy TV Comedies with Stephen Gaghan, Other Partners". Variety. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  35. ^ Lewsi, Richard. "Turner set to unveil televised esports league featuring CS:GO". Daily Dot. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  36. ^ Birnbaum, Deborah. "Turner's Kevin Reilly Talks Reduced Ad Load, Samantha Bee's Success". Variety. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  37. ^ a b "How Turner is changing the program to keep up with a new TV era". Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  38. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (July 27, 2017). "TNT-TBS Chief Talks TV's Transformation, Conan O'Brien's Future". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2018. 
  39. ^ Lynch, Jason (July 27, 2017). "Turner's Kevin Reilly Says TBS and TNT Will Look 'Radically Different' in 2 Years". Adweek. Retrieved March 31, 2018. 
  40. ^ Whittock, Jesse (August 12, 2016). "TBS to Drop the Mic with James Corden". TBI Vision. Retrieved March 31, 2018. 
  41. ^ "Most Innovative Companies". 
  42. ^ Fox's Kevin Reilly Named Chairman of Nature Conservancy of California, October 21, 2013, Variety, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  43. ^ AFI Elects TNT/TBS Chief Kevin Reilly, Halle Berry to Board of Trustees, February 19, 2015, Deadline Hollywood, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  44. ^ TV Academy Adds Kevin Reilly, David Nevins & Others to Executive Committee, April 30, 2015, Deadline Hollywood, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  45. ^ Kevin Reilly Among 4 Added to Peabody Awards Board of Advisors, October 27, 2016, SFGate, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  46. ^ Board of Directors, Alliance for Children's Rights, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  47. ^ Dept of Communication Advisory Board, Cornell University, retrieved March 30, 2018.
  48. ^ "B&C Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Set | Broadcasting & Cable". 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  49. ^ "15th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award to Honor Greg Berlanti, Cesar Conde, Jane Fonda, Kevin Reilly and Tom Selleck". NATPE. September 7, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Jeff Zucker
President of NBC Entertainment
Succeeded by
Ben Silverman
Preceded by
Peter Liguori
President of FOX Entertainment
Succeeded by
Peter Rice
Preceded by
Peter Rice
Chairman of FOX Entertainment
Succeeded by
Peter Rice
Preceded by
Steve Koonin
President of TBS and TNT
Succeeded by