or


[08/09/09 - 11:28 AM]
ABC at TCA: Mcpherson on Abdul, Heigl and More
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "Absolutely," ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said when asked if he'd welcome former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul to his network's reality franchise "Dancing With the Stars." "I would love to have it. I was a little stunned by the decision, and we would love to have her on "Dancing" and whether it's as a contestant or participant of some sort, judge, et cetera. I think she's a huge talent. I think that there's a lot made about her in terms of who she is, and I think there's a sensitivity and there's kind of an emotion to her that balancing out "Idol." And we'd love to get a piece of that. It would be great."

McPherson was the last of the network chiefs to take the stage at the TCA summer press tour on Saturday. The relatively low-key half-hour saw the executive address the obvious hot button issues of the day - Abdul, Jay Leno and Ben Silverman - as well as Katherine Heigl's less than positive comments about her "Grey's Anatomy" experience.

"I mean, I think it's unfortunate," said about the actress. "It's not something I think you want to let consume you or your people because it is what it is. People are going to behave in the way they choose to behave. You know, I think there are so many people who work unbelievably hard on "Grey's" and all of our shows and go without any notoriety or credit for it. And I just think it's really hard for them to hear it the most. Those are the people I would be the most concerned about, not the public really, but the people who are really busting their tail every day and feeling like they're either being looked down upon or criticized, etc." When asked to speculate about the context of her comments, he added: "I don't know. I'm not going to begin to try to explain someone else's behavior. As I say, it's just unfortunate."

As for Abdul, McPherson noted that he's already reached out to her: "We're friends from way back, so I gave her a call, first and foremost, just to say I was sorry about the situation and also that we'd love to see her on ABC."

Turning to the competition, McPherson says he doesn't "really have a big reaction" to Silverman's exit from NBC. "I think NBC's in transition right now. I think we're all anxious to see what happens with "Leno" and that big primetime move. And then, I haven't had a chance to see a lot of their new development, so I don't have a real competitive sense in terms of that. We all want a vibrant network system. And so, as competitive as we are, Nina [Tassler] and Kevin [Reilly] and I, we want to be great competitors and we want the broadcast business to be really vibrant, so I hope they can get it back there."

As for Leno taking over the 10:00/9:00c hour specifically, he only offered up that "I think they're just two very different strategies. NBC seems to be kind of doing their own thing, and the other networks seem to be kind of following the tradition of trying to put on great material."

Other highlights are as follows:

On the return of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire": "Michael Davies called me, actually, from the set end of last week. And the way the show works, you don't always know what moments you're going to get over the run of it, and we're incredibly excited that he feels we literally have the best million-dollar-moment question that we've had for the entire run of the season -- of the series, including the old show on broadcast."

On pulling the plug on various critical darlings this past season: "I think it's one of the biggest challenges that people in my position face, is, like, how patient can you be? And really, that becomes a question of how much information do you have about the show? Is it being rejected? Is it slowly building? Is it stable at that level? And then, you do, at some point, have to look at how is it affecting the rest of your schedule? How does it affect the overall network? We want to try to be as patient as we can. We feel like, with some pretty ambitious shows, "Pushing Daisies" and stuff, the strike really derailed us, and then we came back and had them on for a little while there. And it's hard. When you have a show that you love and you feel like creatively it's wonderful, there's nothing harder than seeing it not get traction on the air. Canceling shows is the worst part of my job."

On what's happening with "Scrubs" next season: "It's going to be "Scrubs." Somebody mentioned something about a change in title, but we're not changing the title. I think it's going to be different in the sense of the kind of construct of what is going on in terms of hospital versus teaching, et cetera, but you're going to see the same character dynamics that you've seen before. And I think it really is allowing Bill to introduce some new characters and spend some more time with them, some people that were in the show already and that he was excited about, and some new people as well. But you're going to have some of the core. Obviously, Zach's going to be there for a limited period of time. We'll try to convince him as much as we can to get him to do more. But it's going to be the same tonal show, same kind of comedy, same kind of storytelling that you're used to."

On his expectations for "FlashForward": "Well, I mean, we would love to have even a part of the success that "Lost" has had, but they weren't developed in that way. As I think David mentioned, that was a spec script that they had done originally, I think, for HBO, and it became available. And Suzanne Patmore, who was running our drama department at that point at the network, knew about it and had been tracking it and was friends with Jessica, and we were just thrilled to read it. So it wasn't like there was any kind of development of, hey, let's try to make a "Lost" kind of -- the next "Lost" or something. It was really just about great material. And then I think there are similarities in terms of the epic kind of nature of it, the inciting incident, etc. But they're very different shows. I think when you see them unfold, they'll be very different."

On the changes to "Grey's Anatomy" this year: "Well, Katherine is back. I don't think there's any big secret about that. And obviously, T.R. [Knight] has left. But I think, you know, it's a show that's evolving. I think these large ensemble casts, they evolve over time for a variety of reasons: some of them creative, some of them business, some of them just personality issues. But this one really -- we feel like Shonda really hit her stride again at the end of last year. And the early stuff we've seen this year, we're really excited about. We made some additions to the cast last year, and I think you're going to see some more additions this year. I don't foresee any giant other changes that are going on. Ellen [Pompeo] is going to have a baby, which we're all really excited about. So that will probably take her out for a couple episodes, but that really is the big goings-on right now."

On if they'll pick up "Romantically Challenged": "We're really excited about that. Ricky's [Blitt] been someone we've been dying to be in business with. And Alyssa [Milano] as well, is, I just think, fabulous. We, at the eleventh hour, were able to cast Kyle [Bornheimer], who is just phenomenal. So we'll look at that for midseason. Not sure where that would be. Obviously, going with all of our other comedies either on Wednesday or with "Scrubs" and "Better Off Ted." So we'll see where that transpires."

On the decision to pull "Ugly Betty" from Thursday nights last season: "[It] was never canceled at all. We just took it off of Thursday so that we could spell in with "Samantha" and "Motherhood." So that was -- and we have great plans for "Ugly." We think it's terrific. It's staying in New York another year. We'll see where the tax situation goes after that. But I think America and that whole cast and crew is doing some of their best work. If you watched the season last year, creatively it was incredibly strong. So that's the first part."

On how "Private Practice" ended last season: "You know, it's interesting. I think the end of last year of "Private Practice" is really a good lesson for an executive because when I first heard the story with Amy [Brenneman], I was like, "Wow." I was frightened by it. And the response to it, while it has been, you know, polarizing, it really has gained kind of an excitement about the show and her character and the potential for where we could go. I think the fact that it's at 10:00, it can go a little bit edgier. I think we can tell those kind of stories. And I think we want it to be a different show than "Grey's," and we want to grow it. So for me, it was really a lesson to trust great showrunners. Shonda had an idea for it and felt like it would work, and she really executed it. So my hat's off to her."

On the decision to air "Better Off Ted" this summer: "You know, summer was tough in general. We felt like where we wanted to go creatively with the show, we really wanted to get that start. And we've tabled a couple episodes and feel like we're in really good shape there. So I don't know. Hindsight is 20/20. We would have definitely liked a better performance, but I do think we're going to put on really good shows in the fall or, you know, after the "Dancing" run. And I think that's going to speak -- that's going to be what is going to determine whether the show works or not."





  [august 2009]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
      


· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· BETTER OFF TED (ABC)
· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
· FLASH FORWARD (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· IN THE MOTHERHOOD (ABC)
· JAY LENO SHOW, THE (NBC)
· LOST (ABC)
· PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
· PUSHING DAISIES (ABC)
· ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED (ABC)
· SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· UGLY BETTY (ABC)
· WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? (ABC)









[07/29/15 - 02:18 PM]
Through the Eyes of the Spies: New Documentary Reveals a Unique Perspective on the Life of Fidel Castro
"Castro: The World's Most Watched Man" will premiere on AHC in 4Q 2015 and on Discovery Networks International's factual channels in more than 220 countries and territories this fall.

[07/29/15 - 01:42 PM]
ABC Family to Give Viewers a First Look at "Kevin From Work" on Facebook
The show will premiere on ABC Family on Wednesday, August 12 at 8:00/7:00c with two back-to-back episodes.

[07/29/15 - 01:17 PM]
Travel Channel's "36 Hours" Based on The New York Times' Popular Weekly Column Premieres Monday, August 17th at 8:00PM ET/PT
Co-hosts Kristen Kish and Kyle Martino arrive in a new city each week where they'll have a weekend to meet insiders who will point them to the best restaurants, hot spots and attractions.

[07/29/15 - 12:57 PM]
Discovery Channel's "Alaskan Bush People" Earns Season High and Ranks #1 on All of Television on Friday Night in Persons and Men
Discovery further spins the numbers for Friday, July 24.

[07/29/15 - 12:49 PM]
Grammy(R) and Academy Award(R)-Winning Sensation John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive-Produce WGN America's Highly Anticipated Dramatic Thriller, "Underground"
Additionally, Get Lifted will oversee the score, soundtrack and all music aspects of the series.

[07/29/15 - 11:32 AM]
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Announces Fall Premieres
New seasons of "For Better or Worse," "Iyanla: Fix My Life," "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" and "If Loving You is Wrong" will kick things off in September.

[07/29/15 - 11:32 AM]
E! Announces New Series "Hollywood Teen Medium" (Working Title)
Following the life of 19-year old Tyler Henry, the series explores the world of this self-proclaimed clairvoyant medium as he balances his unique abilities with trying to be a regular teenager.

[07/29/15 - 11:01 AM]
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" Executive Team to Remain with Late-Night Flagship Franchise
"Steve, Jen, Tim, Jill and Adam have been key architects of 'The Daily Show's' success, and we are excited that they will continue at the core of the creative team working with Trevor Noah as the show evolves," said Michele Ganeless.

[07/29/15 - 10:29 AM]
"The Men in Blazers Show" Season Premiere This Mon., Aug. 3 at 11 P.M. ET on NBCSN
The season premiere of the 30-minute show will feature NBC Sports Group's Premier League analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, hosts of The 2 Robbies "Football" Show on NBC Sports Radio, as they preview the 2015-16 season.

[07/29/15 - 10:08 AM]
Nat Geo WILD Highlights the Importance of Big Cat Awareness with Full Lineup of World Lion Day Programming, Aug. 10
The network's programming initiative also draws awareness to the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative with public service announcements and on-air promotional attention, kicking off Wednesday, July 29.

[07/29/15 - 10:02 AM]
MTV Announces Season Two Pick-Up for "Scream" During Summer TCA Presentation
Plus: the network sets return dates for "Finding Carter" and "Ridiculousness."

[07/29/15 - 09:45 AM]
HBO Documentary Films Acquires U.S. Rights to Leah Wolchok's "Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists"
The feature-length documentary debuts Monday, Dec. 7 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO, following a limited theatrical run (Nov. 20-Dec. 3).

[07/29/15 - 09:01 AM]
FX Networks Launches Emojis Based on Hit Original Series
"Archer," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," "The Strain," "Man Seeking Woman" and "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" are among the initial offerings.

[07/29/15 - 08:40 AM]
"Talent" and "Hollywood Game Night" Are the #1-2 Shows of the Night on the Big 4 in 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Tuesday, July 28.

[07/29/15 - 08:40 AM]
NBC Confirms "Welcome to Sweden" Exit, "Hollywood Game Night" Repeats to Fill Slot
Plus: look for the "Mr. Robinson" one-hour premiere to rebroadcast Sunday, August 9 at 7:00/6:00c.