[08/04/13 - 11:58 AM]
ABC at TCA: Lee on Split Seasons, Episode Orders
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- With "Shark Tank Week" (read the story) and its midseason premieres (read the story) grabbing the headlines, Paul Lee (President, ABC Entertainment Group) nevertheless revealed a few more tidbits during ABC's executive session this morning at the TCA Summer Press Tour:

-- "We're going to see how the fall launches," Lee responded when asked what will spell "Grey's Anatomy," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Revenge" and "Scandal" during their respective winter breaks. "But we have as you know a number of other shows that we picked up, that we announced in the upfront and we can happily put in those gaps."

-- "Conrad [Green] has worked through a really interesting two hours," Lee said about how "Dancing with the Stars" will work without a separate results show. He said we'd have to ask Green for specifics, but the impression was the results will be announced at the end of each two-hour broadcast. "Certainly you build for a climax at the end," he added.

-- "Obviously we were thrilled with 'Happy Endings' behind 'Modern Family' but a show has to sort of earn its right to attract an audience on its own," the executive said the show's cancellation. "And we never found in the places that we put it, it could bring an audience to it, which was very upsetting because it was a very, very good show and difficult to see [happen]. We couldn't find its sea legs away from a strong lead-in and that's why we ended up with that decision."

-- "We stumbled a little bit in second season," Lee admitted about "Revenge," where Sunil Nayar is succeeding Mike Kelley as showrunner. "What Sunil is bringing to us is a slightly less complicated and a really interesting take. So the first episode back... is a fantastic episode starting with a magnificent hook."

-- "Suburgatory" has a 13-episode order, Lee revealed during the post-session gaggle. He added that they're open to ordering more should the network's needs merit.

-- And finally, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" - despite talk of being a limited series or having an expanded order out of the gate - actually only has a 13-episode commitment. "However many we wind up doing this season, what we're planning to do is tell a kind of complete tale with a beginning, middle and end," co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz explained during the show's panel. "If it does well [and] people like it, hopefully we'll come back and tell another adventure with this cast." They added that those initial 13 will be split around "The Quest," which launches January 2 in "Wonderland's" Thursday slot.

  [august 2013]  


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