Paul Lee, President, ABC Entertainment Group, took his time today in front of the TV critics to admit the network’s fall schedule didn’t go as well as he expected. There was no breakout hit. He’s proud of “Nashville” but the numbers have been so low there should be a country music song written about them.
Here are a few of the other points Lee made:
Out of step: ABC was disappointed the All-Star version of “Dancing With the Stars” didn’t do as strongly as expected. Lee says, “Turns out people like to see bad dancing as much as they do good dancing, but we believe passionately in that franchise.”
Not so weak end: The network put the comedies “Last Man Standing” and “Reba” on Friday nights to recapture some of the interest families had in the network back in the “Full House” days. The surprise has been how popular “Shark Tank” has been with young and old.
King the faith: Lee says airing the comedies “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23” shows how much the network believes in the shows. “We love those two shows. They are incredibly distinctive. They are water cooler shows. They’re incredibly well written. We didn’t have much place to put them because we can’t put them at 8, so if you look at the nights of the week, really, Tuesday was the only place to do it. So we really thought this is a really nice place and a way slightly a cable play, if you think about it for us to use these slots to raise sampling on those shows and get people to see them.”
Checking out: “Last Resort” failed because it was a male show. It had a very passionate male audience but the show didn’t connect with female viewers.