ABC at TCA: Executive Session Session Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

ABC at TCA: Executive Session Session Live-Blog

January 14, 2015 by  


Paul Lee, ABC Entertainment Group president, is at TCA to talk about the state of the network.

Follow along for the live-blog…

9:33 AM: ABC sizzle reel time. ONCE’s FROZEN arc, lots of Shondaland shows, CASTLE’s wedding, and new shows are showcased.

9:35 AM: “We’re pleased with how the network is going,” Lee says. He notes their brand growth has been successful. He also says they’ve done a good job at building out their studio, as well. Lee says they have five or six of their top dramas coming out of their studio.

9:37 AM: Lee says he “could not be more proud” of the Wednesday comedy block, and the flow it has.

9:38 AM: “We’re in a world where passion rules, where social conversation is so important,” Lee says. He notes their showrunners with distinctive voices is essential.

9:40 AM: Lee says THE WHISPERS will launch after the NBA, and air into the summer. He shares that people are swapping discs of SECRETS AND LIES around ABC. AMERICAN CRIME’s finale packs a power punch Lee says he hasn’t seen in a while.

9:43 AM: Lee says that they are attempting to have more diversity on THE BACHELOR.

9:44 AM: 11 episodes of AMERICAN CRIME, and 10 episodes of SECRETS AND LIES. If the show gets renewed, they’ll have new central stories, though some of the actors could stay around.

9:45 AM: “I’ve always loved the show, and it’s a critical brand for us,” Lee says of REVENGE. He says there are ways to reinvent it, so it doesn’t seem like they’re trying to get them to wrap it up.

9:46 AM: “I’m not making BBC documentaries,” Lee says of FRESH OFF THE BOAT’s creator’s apparent unhappiness with the show not being totally the same as his life.

9:47 AM: “The series itself does change,” Lee says of the SECRETS AND LIES adaptation. “Formats are great kick-off areas. But you have to apply just as high standards.”

9:49 AM: “I think the huge amount of competition…has created so much great television,” Lee says of broadcast/cable/streaming bulking up. He acknowledges the broadcast model works with different needs, but it has created some incredible shows.

He notes “when you limit what you can do, you can focus [storytelling].”

9:52 AM: Lee says he feels he has the best team in television, and he’s very proud about how focused they are and how minimal they are with the notes. He says as a former showrunner, he would appreciate getting honest, specific notes. But they’re “very disciplined” about it.

9:55 AM: Lee says he knows the Tuesday at 8 PM slot is hard, and FRESH OFF THE BOAT’s requirement for renewal will be different than other shows would need.

9:57 AM: “We’re thrilled with the sustain of the franchises,” Lee says, pointing to DWTS’ continued success. Lee says in about 4-6 weeks, they’ll have some reality competitions to announce…but not singing competitions.

9:58 AM: NASHVILLE will have some upcoming guest stars that Lee is excited to announce soon. He says a lot of the tourist activity to Tennessee is people who watch the show. He notes the brand is very important for them.

9:59 AM: Lee points out serialized shows are better for the digital market, whereas back in the day, procedurals worked better for syndication deals.

10:01 AM: “ is really a big, cultural, phenomenon,” Lee says. They’ve encouraged people to bring out wine/popcorn every Thursday.

10:04 AM: “If GALAVANT does well over time, you can imagine the fun the company can have with that,” Lee says.

10:06 AM: Going to storytellers with different kinds of experiences and going to different kinds of casting makes for a different kind of show.

10:07 AM: “Our show is to empower the voice of the showrunner,” Lee says re: the sheer number of voice overs. He points out it’s the showrunners who bring that, and often the voices directly contradict what we’re seeing on-screen.

10:09 AM: “Look, Hollywood is often ahead of the curve and often behind the curve,” Lee says of EMPIRE’s big launch and why it took so long for TV to be more diverse. But he says it’s wonderful to see television reflecting the country right now.

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