Tension on the Set Leads to Shakeup for ABC Drama

Apr 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

An ABC drama series is undergoing a big change behind the scenes, with the show’s creator stepping down. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that "Revenge" creator Mike Kelley, who serves as executive producer and showrunner, is stepping down.

Kelley may stay on as a consultant, the report notes.

"Kelley called the departure, which comes at the end of his current contract, ‘a difficult mutual decision’ between him and ‘Revenge’ producer ABC Studios,” Andreeva writes.

She adds: "I hear Kelley, who created the cult CBS drama ‘Swing Town’ before taking a crack at a female-driven contemporary take on ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ with ‘Revenge,’ had been lobbying for shorter seasons for the heavily serialized drama. From the get-go, he had argued with ABC and ABC Studios that ‘Revenge’ was much better suited for cable-style orders instead of the standard broadcast 22-episode seasons."

Andreeva also notes: "I hear the pressure to churn out 22 episodes a season while maintaining the quality has taken a toll, sometime causing tension on the set and ultimately leading to Kelley’s decision to move on."



  1. The problem TV executives seem to forget is if you decide on doing a particular show, can it sustain the number of shows needed per season and can it last 7 to 10 years? When Revenge came out, my friend and I thoroughly loved the show, but had qualms about its sustainability – there weren’t that many people that she had to get revenge on. My friend thought that they would have a different “Revenge” every season – like “24”. Look at “How I Met Your Mother” – they finally decided to end it after way too many years of those two kids sitting on the couch while their dad (not the same person in the show) told them a story. Cosby had a problem as well – kids growing up. The submarine show – great show, excellent cast, no sustainable longevity. That’s why Cheers, Seinfeld, and Friends didn’t have problems with continuity over a long run. No plot, no kids. Shows like all of the Law & Orders, the forensic science/crime/medical shows and others have a new plot each week and can continue as long as they can keep an audience. L&O could even sustain personnel changes as well. Every time I see notice of a new show, I judge whether or not it could go ten years. If not, I don’t watch..

  2. Ultimately it is all about $$$…
    “TV Economics 101:
    Cable vs. Broadcast Dramas”
    By Bill Gorman

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