Live-Blogging the ABC Executive Session
July 16, 2008 8:55 AM
We're set up with our eggs and OJ, waiting for words from Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment.
9:12 a.m.: Mr. McPherson takes the stage.
9:13 a.m.: ABC is thrilled by the success of “Wipeout.”
9:14 a.m.: Spoiler for Comic-Con: “Lost” is breaking zero news, just showing a video that will be available on the ABC press site immediately afterwards.
9:15 a.m.: Jimmy Kimmel is here asking if ABC is courting Jay Leno. Guffaws abound. Kimmel asks if Mr. McPherson is concerned about his car if Mr. Leno replaces Mr. Kimmel. Seriously though, “For NBC, I can’t believe that they're going to let this guy go at the top of his game,” Mr. McPherson says.
9:18 a.m.: “Private Practice”: One thing that was critical for “Grey’s Anatomy's” success was that it had a realistic medical drama against the personal issues of the doctors. “Practice” veered away from that. Kate Walsh’s character will be back doing surgery, with more drama at the hospital.
9:24 a.m.: In terms of new series, “Opportunity Knocks” will get a stronger promotional effort than “Life on Mars” due to its difficult time period.
9:26 a.m.: Mr. McPherson says ABC is looking into product integration, but “we are not setting out to bastardize shows to protect against the DVR.”
9:28 a.m.: Katherine Heigl, what’s up with her? “I think it’s unfortunate when there’s any turmoil on a show.” The cast and crew deserve a lot of credit. “She’s absolutely staying with the show.”
9:31 a.m.: Problems with “Life on Mars”? What problems with “Life on Mars”?
9:34 a.m.: "Private Practice" and "Pushing Daisies" might have more than 22 episodes this season. Maybe more like 24 episodes, because shooting has started sooner on them.
9:37 a.m.: The challenge with new shows and returning shows are those new early adopters, because hard-core fans will come back anyway. However, you don’t want to alienate the core fans.
9:38 a.m.: “Wipeout” is escapism. Mr. McPherson has never had a show before that had so many people in the business (critics, folks in the sales group) want to go to the set and try it.
9:40 a.m.: Mr. McPherson says it’s probably a good bet that new episodes of “Wipeout” will be made. ABC is going to try to resist the temptation to burn through episodes in the regular season as opposed to the show being summer only.
9:43 a.m.: Discussion of “Dancing With the Stars.” Kristi Yamaguchi was a definite front-runner, but Mr. McPherson says testing of the show didn’t give that impression. My guess for a dancer in the fall: George Takei.
9:46 a.m.: ABC would absolutely be open to variety shows, like the new Osbournes show, with the right talent.
9:48 a.m.: “Lost” will still get 48 episodes in for its official end date. The creators discussed getting to certain endpoints by each season, so you were right if you felt that parts of its strike-shortened season were rushed.
9:51 a.m.: “The Bachelor” isn’t on currently on the fall schedule, but Mr. McPherson says casting is important, and ABC’s looking for the right person. So, BACK OFF! JEEZ!
9:52 a.m.: Mr. McPherson says he likes to give creators the ability to set an ending point for their shows, and David E. Kelley felt this was a good stopping point for “Boston Legal.” Ergo, that’s why “Legal’s” ending this year. Oh yeah? Try telling that endpoint theory to Joe Lawson.
And we're done. We've got "Eli Stone" next and our next LBing (that's live-blogging, see, because I'm writing on the Internet, I've got to use acronyms) is the "Scrubs" panel at 3 p.m. PST. BE THERE OR READ IT LATER.