or


[01/10/11 - 01:29 PM]
ABC at TCA: Lee Wants More Comedy; Touts Renewals, Development
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "That's a core part of our schedule," ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said about its renewals of "Castle," "Cougar Town," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Private Practice."

Lee, five months into his job as network topper, was on hand to tout the aforementioned pickups during ABC's executive session at the TCA Winter Press Tour this morning. "My real ambition is to make the ABC studio and the ABC network a real showrunner culture," he added with regards Bill Lawrence, Shonda Rhimes, Steve Levitan and company.

Two shows not on the list however were "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters." "We have ambitions to pick ['Housewives'] up. We are not quite there, ready to do so," he said. "And 'Brothers & Sisters' has gotten really good numbers this year... But we have not made decisions on them yet, and we are not necessarily ready for them, but we'll see as we go forward."

All in all, it was a relatively low key affair as Lee, as expected, reiterated his ambitions to add another night of comedy next season. "I have a twinkle in my eye that I'd love to see another night of comedy," he said, later adding kind words about their first wave of comedy pilots. ("We just picked up on Friday two hilarious comedies, one from Chris Moynihan called 'Man Up' and one from Reich and Cohen, which is called 'Smothered,' which I thought was absolutely hilarious.")

On the drama front, Lee addressed rolling back "V's" second season to 10 episodes: "We made sure it was ten episodes so we could quality control those episodes. And we've also brought we brought a whole load of new ideas into it, so we've tried to really amp up the level of adrenaline in that show. And I think that's our ambition, to make sure that shows like that just get better and better and better. And we were very pleased to see it come back with a good number, very pleased."

As for its acclaimed-albeit-ratings-challenged freshman entry "Detroit 1-8-7," Lee noted that "we haven't made our decisions yet on second season. I'm not saying I wouldn't have liked it like it to have stayed with high numbers, because it's an extremely high-quality show... It's a really gritty, brilliantly written show which we're very proud of. So do we hope it comes back. We're not going to make those decisions probably for another two to three months, I have to say."

Lee also tubthumped Shonda Rhimes's latest drama pilot for the network, an untitled hour about a public relations fixer in Washington, D.C. ("There's a fabulous procedural. I called it procedural. It's so character driven, it's a strange word for it from Shonda Rhimes that we picked up right before Christmas."), as well as potential franchises from the now Disney-owned Marvel Comics.

"We certainly would like to do it," he said about "The Incredible Hulk" and "A.K.A. Jessica Jones," citing the power of the Disney brand. "This is one of the things I think our company does better than other companies that I've worked for in the past, is that you can get the whole company behind an idea and that if it works, you can then make that idea live in theme parks and in retail stores and beyond."

On the flip side, Lee was quick to address the failure of "Skating With the Stars." "We did a whole lot of postmortems afterwards, and, look, not everything works. Statistically, most things don't work. I think we were probably too similar," he said with regards to "Dancing With the Stars." "And I think maybe we put them too close together, or we made something whose DNA was really too close together even though the brief before going in there was, 'Hey, we have this fabulous, culturally defining show. We'd love to extend it.'"

He was also candid about the decision to spell "Cougar Town" for "Mr. Sunshine": "Look, does the position after 'Modern Family' provide for us a great launch pad for what we consider to be strong comedies into the future? Yeah, of course it does. I mean, otherwise we wouldn't have put the Matt Perry show there, and we think that's a good place to put it. In the long term, do we have ambitions that 'Cougar Town' could on its own start an hour? We would love to see it do that. Nevertheless, nobody looks at our Wednesday at 9:00 and 9:30 and doesn't feel that's a great hour of television and those are very good ratings."

The executive sessions continue tomorrow with FOX.





  [january 2011]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
      


· BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC)
· CASTLE (ABC)
· COUGAR TOWN (TBS)
· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DETROIT 187 (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· INCREDIBLE HULK, THE (ABC)
· MAN UP! (ABC)
· MARVEL'S AKA JESSICA JONES (NETFLIX)
· MIDDLE, THE (ABC)
· MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
· PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
· SCANDAL (ABC)
· SKATING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
· SMOTHERED (ABC)
· V (ABC)











[01/30/15 - 03:44 PM]
Video: "Game of Thrones" - Season 5 Trailer
The show's 10-episode fifth season kicks off on Sunday, April 12 at 9:00/8:00c.

[01/30/15 - 02:01 PM]
Production Has Started in New Orleans on "Zoo," CBS's New Drama Series Based on James Patterson's Bestselling Novel
The series starring James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Billy Burke, Nora Arnezeder and Nonso Anozie will premiere in summer 2015.

[01/30/15 - 01:30 PM]
HBO Greenlights Miniseries "Lewis and Clark," Starring Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts, With Production to Begin This Summer
Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are among the executive producers.

[01/30/15 - 01:01 PM]
Airdate of March 25 Set for "Nashville: On the Record 2," One Hour Music Special Featuring Performances by the Cast and Special Superstar Guest Reba
Direct from Nashville's world famous Grand Ole Opry House, cast members of ABC's acclaimed primetime series "Nashville" will take the stage to perform songs from the show and provide candid interviews backstage.

[01/30/15 - 11:34 AM]
ABC Family Begins Production and Announces Cast of Two Comedy Pilots: "Kevin from Work" and "Tough Cookie"
Both pilots are single-camera and are shooting in Los Angeles.

[01/30/15 - 11:24 AM]
HGTV Delivers Highest Rated Wednesday Night in Its History with "Property Brothers" and "House Hunters"
HGTV spins the numbers for Wednesday, January 28.

[01/30/15 - 10:30 AM]
USA Network Announces Super Bowl Spot for "Dig"
The 15-second spot will feature clips from the international production, premiering Thursday, March 5 at 10:00/9:00c.

[01/30/15 - 09:18 AM]
Chart Topping Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX Will Get the Party Started for Super Bowl XLIX at "VH1 + Papa John's(R) Super Bowl Blitz: A Concert for the Troops"
Joining tonight's celebration is Super Bowl XLIX's esteemed National Anthem singer Idina Menzel.

[01/30/15 - 09:06 AM]
"Rosie O'Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand Up," A Unique Hybrid of Comedy, Confession and Life-Saving Information, Debuts Feb. 14, Exclusively on HBO
Taped at the Levity Live Comedy Club inside the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, NY, the special showcases O'Donnell's skills as a laugh-out-loud stand-up comedian, while incorporating a vital message literally near and dear to her heart.

[01/30/15 - 08:44 AM]
Series Finale of "Parenthood" Delivers Its Biggest Overall Audience Since December 11, 2012
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, January 29.

[01/30/15 - 08:36 AM]
ABC Dominates the First Night of the February Sweep with the Return of TGIT, Scoring its Highest Adult 18-49 Rating Since Season-Premiere Thursday
ABC spins the numbers for Thursday, January 29.

[01/30/15 - 08:34 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC's Dramas Return with a Demo Victory
"Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" return up double-digits from their fall finales in adults 18-49.

[01/30/15 - 08:16 AM]
Stephen Fry Joins BBC America This February as Host of Comedy Quiz Show "QI" and the BAFTA Film Awards
The newcomer will launch with three back-to-back episodes on Thursday, February 19 at 8:00/7:00c.

[01/30/15 - 07:30 AM]
USA Network Takes Viewers Behind-the-Scenes of the Upcoming Event Series "Dig" in an Original Half-Hour "Making-of" Special on Monday, February 23
As previously announced, the series launches on Thursday, March 5 at 10:00/9:00c.

[01/30/15 - 07:05 AM]
Aziz Ansari Returns to Netflix with Brand New Stand-Up Comedy Special
The special will launch on Friday, March 6 at 12:01am PT in all territories where Netflix is available.