or


[08/01/10 - 12:11 PM]
ABC at TCA: Lee Just 36 Hours Into New Job
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "I am, as you can probably guess, super unprepared," incoming ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee told reporters at the network's executive session at the TCA Summer Press Tour. "I've been in the job for 36 hours. I apologize in advance if I don't have all the answers to all the questions."

Not surprisingly, the bulk of those unanswered questions revolved around his predecessor, Steve McPherson. "I don't want to talk about Steve," he confessed, a standard line throughout the day thus far.

With no programming announcements or schedule changes, the session ultimately became a discussion of Lee's philosophy going forward. A self-professed fan of "Modern Family," "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy," Lee called ABC "one, in my view, of the premier, iconic American storytelling brands. I grew up watching this on far-off shores, and it's a great honor to be a part of that."

As far as his pedigree, having come from BBC America and most recently ABC Family, Lee said, "They're very, very different networks. It was a very different job to get my brain around what the BBC would be like in America, because it wasn't what it looked like in London. We felt it was a very different job to say what would a millennial brand look like? We're optimistic and within Walt Disney Company. This is a whole new challenge, and I certainly don't want to say I'm going to be doing the same thing here as we did there."

He would later add, "But if I do get the chance here, as we did in the last couple of jobs, to take some risks, make some great shows, have some surprises and still do it to a defined target audience, hopefully it's going to be a lot of fun."

It's not an entirely new audience to Lee though. "We went out of our way to really identify and target a millennial audience [at ABC Family, whereas] this is a core 18-49 channel. But there are similarities in that particular demographic, because this is the first year... when the 18-49 demographic has actually dominated. 51 percent of that is millennial."

Lee in general didn't reveal any preferences in terms of procedurals versus serialized dramas, multi-camera versus single-camera comedies and so forth, nor any particular reliance to make decisions: "I remember when we tested the British 'Office.' It was the worse-tested show I had ever tested in my life as an executive. And that's because it broke rules. We never tested 'Secret Life of the American Teenager.' That may have been the same thing. So sometimes you get a counterintuitive response from testing. On the other hand, ignore testing at your peril, because it will often tell you weaknesses that you are too self-deceptive to realize yourself."

Additionally, Lee presented himself as fully aware of the hard decisions one ultimately makes in his job. "I was still getting e-mails about "Middleman," which got a terrible rating... and we only gave it the first run. In the end, it's about will the show over time not only grow creatively, match the network, and hopefully, have you got the patience to do that? And they're very, very difficult decisions. Even on the smaller cable networks that I've lived on, there were shows I was passionate about that we knew would never reach enough of a rating point, and they're tough. They're the worst parts of this job, because you're calling out people you love that you worked with to say, 'You know what? I think it would work on Syfy.' They're tough moments, even on cable."





  [august 2010]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· MIDDLEMAN, THE (ABC FAMILY)
· MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
· SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, THE (ABC FAMILY)











[10/24/14 - 12:08 PM]
Oscar(R) Nominee Paul Giamatti and Golden Globe(R) Winner Damian Lewis Cast as Leads in the Showtime(R) Drama Project "Billions"
Acclaimed director Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Divergent, Limitless) has signed on to direct the drama pilot, which will be filmed in New York in early 2015.

[10/24/14 - 11:22 AM]
ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" Social Platforms to Give Fans a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Janel Parrish's "Pretty Little Liars"-Themed Dance
The ABC Family social media team has partnered with "Dancing with the Stars" to give "PLL" fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Janel and her professional partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, as they get ready for their big performance.

[10/24/14 - 11:14 AM]
TV Land Presents: A Frightfully Funny "Roseanne" Halloween Marathon Event
TV Land will honor these notorious tricksters with a full-day marathon event that highlights "Roseanne's" Halloween episodes, leaving viewers cackling on Sunday, October 26 from 6:00 AM- 6:00 PM ET/PT!

[10/24/14 - 11:02 AM]
"Once Upon A Time" to Air Special Two-Hour Event "Smash the Mirror" on Sunday, November 16
Look for back-to-back episodes beginning at 8:00/7:00c on said night.

[10/24/14 - 11:00 AM]
"Marvel's Agent Carter" Rounds Out Cast with Lyndsy Fonseca
She'll play an aspiring actress living in 1946 New York, who will befriend Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she herself seeks to find her place in the post-war world.

[10/24/14 - 10:52 AM]
NBC Expands "The Voice" Live Playoffs with Extra Hour, Night
The Peacock will pre-empt "Marry Me" and "About a Boy" on Tuesday, November 11 as well as "The Mysteries of Laura" on Wednesday, November 12 to make room for the expanded "Voice" editions.

[10/24/14 - 09:46 AM]
Four-Time Emmy Winner Jim Parsons to Star in NBC's Animated Holiday Event "Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas"
The one-hour special premieres Tuesday, December 16 at 8:00/7:00c on the network.

[10/24/14 - 09:35 AM]
Terrifying Monsters Run Amok During Animal Planet's Inauguaral "Beastly Nights" Programming Event
Just in time for Halloween, Animal Planet unleashes five nights of cryptic creatures, near-death tales and never-before-seen footage.

[10/24/14 - 09:16 AM]
CBS Stars Get Social with a Week-Long #CBSInstagramTakeover Oct. 27 - Nov. 2!
In addition to Instagram, fans can follow along on the series' Facebook pages and CBS.com.

[10/24/14 - 09:13 AM]
ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Beats NBC's "Fallon" by Its Largest Margin Yet in Homes
ABC spins the late-night numbers for Thursday, October 23.

[10/24/14 - 08:55 AM]
"The Biggest Loser" Retains 92% of Its Week-Ago Rating, Despite a Significantly Stronger NFL Game on CBS This Week
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, October 23.

[10/24/14 - 08:42 AM]
WWE(R) Superstar Christian(R) and WWE(R) Hall of Famer Edge(R) Reunite on Syfy's "Haven" in an All-New Episode Airing November 28
Jay Reso will appear in an all-new episode airing November 28, and will reprise the role for two additional episodes airing later in 2015.

[10/24/14 - 08:33 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Thursday Night Football" Wraps CBS Run on Top
The Thursday football franchise heads to NFL Network only beginning next week.

[10/24/14 - 08:19 AM]
ABC More Than Doubles Its Nearest Non-Sports Competition on Thursday
ABC spins the numbers for Thursday, October 23.

[10/24/14 - 07:23 AM]
Season 3 of CNBC's "The Car Chasers" Will Premiere on Wednesday, November 5
Season 3 consists of 16 thirty-minute episodes: 8 new episodes will air in 2014, and the remainder of Season 3 will air in 2015.