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October 9, 2015


ABC exec calls Heigl's latest remarks "unfortunate" - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 8th 2009 5:55PM
ABC logoABC president Steve McPherson just finished holding court at his network's executive session. Not much in the way of news came up, but when an astute critic -- namely me -- brought up Katherine Heigl's latest foot-in-mouth incident, McPherson didn't mince words.

He called the Grey's star's remarks -- where she complained on several talk shows about her 17-hour first day back on the set, a day that supposedly was created to accommodate her promotional schedule for The Ugly Truth -- "unfortunate." He continued: "It is what it is. People are going to choose to behave the way they behave." He felt especially bad for the show's behind-the-scenes crew, who also put in those long hours without complaint; "It's really hard for the people busting their tails every day to hear that (from Heigl)." He later said that "I'm not going to try to explain someone else's behavior," and repeated the word "unfortunate" once again.

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The Upfronts: ABC

by Mike Moody, posted May 19th 2009 8:33AM
ABC logoYesterday, we gave you a preview of ABC's upcoming fall comedies and dramas. Today, we got the official lowdown on the network's 2009-2010 schedule during its upfront presentation.

As expected, the network picked up a number of new shows and stuck with some of its most solid performers.

Returning: Lost (Update: Lost will be back, but exactly where and on what night has not been determined.), Castle, Scrubs, Better Off Ted, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Dancing With the Stars, 20/20, Supernanny, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, The Bachelor. Wife Swap, True Beauty, America's Funniest Home Videos

Gone: Samantha Who?, Cupid, The Unusuals, In the Motherhood, According to Jim

New: Cougar Town, Hank, The Middle, Modern Family, Flash Forward, Eastwick, Shark Tank, The Forgotten

New for Mid-Season: V, Happy Town, The Deep End

Watch this space for more details on the new shows and comments from ABC execs...

More on the schedule, comments and some details on the new shows after the jump.

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ABC president: We're prioritizing returning shows, and Heigl is staying - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 16th 2008 6:25PM
Steve McPherson talks to the pressAfter Jimmy Kimmel left the room, ABC Entertainment Steve McPherson got on with the business of facing the press at his executive session. I kicked it off with a question about Scrubs, following up on what Bill Lawrence told me in May about a possible "next generation" ninth season.

"We do think there's an opportunity after (this eighth season)," said McPherson. "If any or all the cast is a part of that, I think there's a growth (opportunity) there. It's a show that, despite being moved around into like 17 time periods and really never being given the marketing support, has really performed unbelievably well on NBC." He went on to say that they hope "it won't be a one-season situation."

Other than that, most of the conversation revolved around the network's returning shows, which makes sense, since the network is only debuting a few new shows (none of which had pilots that the network thought were suitable for preview) this fall.

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Bill Lawrence of Scrubs: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted May 22nd 2008 2:19PM
Bill LawrenceAs I found out when I first spoke to Bill Lawrence last year, it doesn't take much to get the creator of Scrubs going. All it might take is a quick question and he'll go off on a monologue that is not only funny, but has a lot of good information as well.

That's what I got from him when I spoke to him earlier this week. Yes, we went over what happened with NBC after the writers' strike and how his show was able to make the shift to ABC. But, since he already spoke about that at length, we talked more about why NBC treated the show like it did, what creative shifts he's going to make to the show this year (expect to see less baby and relationship stuff this year, and more of the medical drama and comedy that got people hooked on the show). And, of course, he also dropped the mini-bombshell that I posted about earlier in the week, that there might be a ninth, "next generation" season of Scrubs.

I'll warn you right now, this is a long transcript, which is why we're splitting it into three parts. But it's got a lot of good information, and if you're patient, you'll find some interesting spoilers about what's going to happen next year on the show (production on eighth season should be wrapped up by August, according to Lawrence). So, buckle up and enjoy the ride...

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There might be a ninth season of Scrubs, says Bill Lawrence

by Joel Keller, posted May 20th 2008 10:21AM
Bill LawrenceI finally got a chance to speak with Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence yesterday, and, as you'd expect, he had plenty to say about departing NBC. In addition to the circumstances behind the show's move from NBC to ABC, Lawrence also talked about NBC's treatment of the show and why he thinks it stuck around for so long, despite that treatment.

But he also dropped a bit of a bomb: next season may not be the show's final season. And if there is ninth season of Scrubs, it likely will continue without him or Zach Braff on board.

More after the jump.

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The Upfronts: ABC

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 13th 2008 9:07AM
ABCABC released its 2008-09 prime-time schedule this morning during a press conference call conducted by Steve McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. I listened in and got the rundown:

Returning: Boston Legal, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Grey's Anatomy, Lost (Midseason), Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty, According to Jim (Midseason), Samantha Who?, America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor (Midseason), Dancing With The Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny, Wife Swap, Saturday Night College Football, Primetime: What Would You Do?

Out: October Road, Notes from the Underbelly, Men in Trees, Big Shots, Carpoolers, Cashmere Mafia, Cavemen, Miss/Guided, Women's Murder Club, Oprah's Big Give

New: Life on Mars, The Goode Family (Midseason), Scrubs (Midseason), Opportunity Knocks, Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Project (Midseason)

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Lifetime nixes ABC's October Road and Men in Trees

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 20th 2008 10:23AM
Men in treesThis is disheartening. ABC has been looking to Lifetime as a new home for Men in Trees and October Road. Both dramatic series have not as yet been picked up for next year, and now this report makes it clear they are both skating on thin ice. The powers that be at Lifetime were given copies of both shows to review and chose not to pick up either of them. They basically threw the ball back to ABC, forcing the network to decide the fate of these two shows.

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ABC pres admits there were too many serials - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 15th 2007 10:35AM
ABC LogoThe first session of yesterday's ABC presentation started bright and early at 9 AM with a Q&A with network president Steve McPherson. He was cheekily introduced with a video showing the rehearsals of a "new cast member" of Dancing with the Stars. It turned out to be McPherson, at a scene that looked like it came from either a previous press tour or an upfront presentation. Everyone laughed but me, mainly because I wasn't grizzled enough of a TV veteran to get the inside joke.

Anyway, some of the information he gave at the Q&A after the jump.

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My accidental lunch with ABC's Steve McPherson - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 14th 2007 5:55PM
Steve McPherson of ABCAfter the TCA Lost session, the gathered reporters tried to get some one-on-ones with the stars and producers, but I decided to skip that and go straight to lunch (the closest I got to a one-on-one was when I saw Matthew Fox exit the bathroom as I was on my way in. Me: "Havin' fun?" Fox: "Yeaaaah." It was in a tone that told me that he'd have rather gotten a full-cavity body search at the airport than sit for that panel). So, there I was, sitting at a big empty table with an AOL colleague, innocently eating and chatting, when ABC President Steve McPherson sat down with two reporters in tow.

It seems that little bombshell the Lost producers dropped about an "endpoint" had the reporters all atwitter, as the two were peppering him with questions about it. Before we knew it the table was jam packed with reporters, asking McPherson if he knew about this endpoint and when it might be. When he speculated it might be after a seventh season, one reporter chimed in that "they said it might be after five." But McPherson was smooth throughout, telling everyone that he's been talking with the producers about an endpoint almost since the beginning of the series, and he didn't seem to be that concerned about it.

As the conversation turned from Lost to other shows, I decided to throw him a question about my favorite fall disappointment, The Nine.

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