or


[08/01/10 - 12:11 PM]
ABC at TCA: Lee Just 36 Hours Into New Job
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "I am, as you can probably guess, super unprepared," incoming ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee told reporters at the network's executive session at the TCA Summer Press Tour. "I've been in the job for 36 hours. I apologize in advance if I don't have all the answers to all the questions."

Not surprisingly, the bulk of those unanswered questions revolved around his predecessor, Steve McPherson. "I don't want to talk about Steve," he confessed, a standard line throughout the day thus far.

With no programming announcements or schedule changes, the session ultimately became a discussion of Lee's philosophy going forward. A self-professed fan of "Modern Family," "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy," Lee called ABC "one, in my view, of the premier, iconic American storytelling brands. I grew up watching this on far-off shores, and it's a great honor to be a part of that."

As far as his pedigree, having come from BBC America and most recently ABC Family, Lee said, "They're very, very different networks. It was a very different job to get my brain around what the BBC would be like in America, because it wasn't what it looked like in London. We felt it was a very different job to say what would a millennial brand look like? We're optimistic and within Walt Disney Company. This is a whole new challenge, and I certainly don't want to say I'm going to be doing the same thing here as we did there."

He would later add, "But if I do get the chance here, as we did in the last couple of jobs, to take some risks, make some great shows, have some surprises and still do it to a defined target audience, hopefully it's going to be a lot of fun."

It's not an entirely new audience to Lee though. "We went out of our way to really identify and target a millennial audience [at ABC Family, whereas] this is a core 18-49 channel. But there are similarities in that particular demographic, because this is the first year... when the 18-49 demographic has actually dominated. 51 percent of that is millennial."

Lee in general didn't reveal any preferences in terms of procedurals versus serialized dramas, multi-camera versus single-camera comedies and so forth, nor any particular reliance to make decisions: "I remember when we tested the British 'Office.' It was the worse-tested show I had ever tested in my life as an executive. And that's because it broke rules. We never tested 'Secret Life of the American Teenager.' That may have been the same thing. So sometimes you get a counterintuitive response from testing. On the other hand, ignore testing at your peril, because it will often tell you weaknesses that you are too self-deceptive to realize yourself."

Additionally, Lee presented himself as fully aware of the hard decisions one ultimately makes in his job. "I was still getting e-mails about "Middleman," which got a terrible rating... and we only gave it the first run. In the end, it's about will the show over time not only grow creatively, match the network, and hopefully, have you got the patience to do that? And they're very, very difficult decisions. Even on the smaller cable networks that I've lived on, there were shows I was passionate about that we knew would never reach enough of a rating point, and they're tough. They're the worst parts of this job, because you're calling out people you love that you worked with to say, 'You know what? I think it would work on Syfy.' They're tough moments, even on cable."





  [august 2010]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· MIDDLEMAN, THE (ABC FAMILY)
· MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
· SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, THE (ABC FAMILY)





[02/16/18 - 11:49 PM]
Development Update: Friday, February 16
Updates include: Madeline Stowe to star in FOX's "Mixtape"; Aunjanue Ellis set for lead role in "Chiefs" at CBS; and Lynn Collins among those bound for ABC's "Safe Harbor."

[02/16/18 - 05:54 PM]
"Descendants 3" Was Announced to Disney Channel Viewers Tonight in a Special Message from "Mal"
"Descendants 3" will begin production there in summer for a debut next year on Disney Channel.

[02/16/18 - 01:48 PM]
NBC Olympics' PyeongChang Coverage Delivered Most Dominant Winter Games Thursday Night Since Sarah Hughes Won Gold & Bode Miller Took Silver in 2002
NBC further spins the numbers for Thursday, February 15.

[02/16/18 - 12:00 PM]
Video: TBS Reveals First Trailer for "The Last O.G."
The series centers on Tray (Tracy Morgan), an ex-con shocked to see just how much the world has changed when he is released from prison for on good behavior after a 15-year stint.

[02/16/18 - 11:56 AM]
Travel Channel Triggers Mid-Season Pick Up of "Expedition Unknown" with Josh Gates
Production on the new season is slated to begin this spring.

[02/16/18 - 11:47 AM]
Check Out the New "iZombie" Season 4 Key Art!
The new season kicks off Monday, February 26 at 9:00/8:00c on The CW.

[02/16/18 - 11:00 AM]
Emmy(R) Award Winner Alfre Woodard to Guest-Star as Cookie's Mother on "Empire"
Renee, Cookie's mother, comes back into her life with a turbulent reunion.

[02/16/18 - 10:30 AM]
VH1's Unstoppable Streak Continues with a New Season of "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" and the Return of Erica Mena Monday, March 19 at 8PM ET/PT
After several failed relationships Erica is ready to leave her past behind her in search of a fresh start in Atlanta.

[02/16/18 - 10:30 AM]
Emmy Award-Winning "So You Think You Can Dance" Returns for 15th Season, Premiering Summer 2018 on FOX
Emmy Award winner Nigel Lythgoe, award-winning choreographer Mary Murphy and award-winning actress, singer and dancer Vanessa Hudgens will return as resident judges on the series, hosted by Emmy Award nominee Cat Deeley.

[02/16/18 - 09:02 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Rides Winter Olympics to Top Spot
The Peacock leads the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[02/16/18 - 09:00 AM]
CBS All Access Announces Additional Casting for "Strange Angel"
Production of the 1930s-set series began earlier this month on location across Los Angeles.

[02/16/18 - 08:17 AM]
Science Channel's All-New Series "Secrets of the Lost" Kicks Off with Two Episodes Offering Incredible Insight Into the Great Pyramid of Giza with Help of Newly Uncovered Ancient Text
The new, six-episode series premieres Sunday, February 25 at 10:00/9:00c on Science Channel.

[02/16/18 - 08:06 AM]
Emmy(R) Award-Winning "Rupaul's Drag Race" Returns for a Milestone 10th Season on Thursday, March 22 Followed by an All-New Season of "Untucked"
Each supersized, 90-minute episode of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will give fans more fashion, lip-syncs and drag than ever before.

[02/16/18 - 08:03 AM]
Welcome to the Neighborhood! Netflix Reveals First Look at "Santa Clarita Diet" Season 2's Newest Residents
Joel McHale, Maggie Lawson, Gerald McRaney and Zachary Knighton are all on tap for the new season, due this spring.

[02/16/18 - 05:31 AM]
90th Oscars(R) First Slate of Presenters Announced
The presenters, including past Oscar winners and nominees, are Mahershala Ali, Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Tiffany Haddish, Greta Gerwig, Tom Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and Daniela Vega.