Former ABC exec Steve McPherson said Thursday that he was not being investigated for sexual harassment at the time of his exit, according to TV Guide.
McPherson is "not going to sit back idly regarding the false and defamatory stories fueled by unknown and anonymous sources that are now appearing in the media since his resignation from ABC," according to a statement from his rep.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, McPherson, who's led the network for six years, resigned as he was the subject of an ongoing, formal investigation surrounding charges of sexual harassment.
That's because McPherson, who abruptly announced his departure last night in a series of bland press releases -- ABC's particularly emotionless comments simply stated that "Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted" -- was responsible for bringing all those fan favorite shows to the small screen over the last six years.
If only it were permanent. (Commence booing and hissing at your leisure.)
Turns out that Meredith Grey's temporary departure from Grey's Anatomy this coming sixth season (Ellen Pompeo is going out on maternity leave) won't be the only character taking leave from the halls of Seattle Grace. Katherine Heigl's chock-full-o'-cancer Izzie Stevens will be going MIA for a few episodes as well.
If you're like me, the how and why doesn't really matter because this is just delightful news (my dislike for Heigl and her outbursts is no secret), but the details and spoilers are after the jump if you really want to know.
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.
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.
Thanks to Marc Cherry and Shonda Rhimes, the ABC show-runner panel was a good way to start the afternoon. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there, as the panels for Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice, and Desperate Housewives were surprisingly dull, especially considering the fact that Cherry and Rhimes returned for the DH and Practice panels, respectively.
Even something Cherry said that seemed like it would be news -- that he's going to end DH after the seventh season -- turned out to be old hat, as he announced the very same thing at the Winter 2007 tour. "Yeah, I've made the decision that after seven years, I will probably keel over in a hump and die," he said. "I love my baby, you know. I love working with these gals, but the idea of letting anyone else take the show from me kind of makes me sad and sick to my stomach."
"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.
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...
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.
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)
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- Will the writers strike boost DVD sales?
- Could Winona Ryder be Spock's mom in the new Star Trek movie?
- George Clooney got into a heated argument with ... Fabio?!
- NBC's "Green Week" reminds someone of something CBS did years ago with Elizabeth Taylor's perfume. [via TV Guidance]
- Ex-New York Daily News critic David Bianculli has launched a new TV blog.
- Mark Cuban thinks Bill O'Reilly is a moron.
- Meanwhile, NBC chief Ben Silverman thinks ABC chief Steve McPherson is a moron.
He not only told the newspaper that he should have gotten one more season to tie up some loose threads, but that his show outperformed other shows, like Notes from the Underbelly, that got renewed. "TV just became really, really white again," he told the Times.
Returning: Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, October Road, Notes from the Underbelly, Men In Trees, Brothers & Sisters, Wife Swap, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, Lost, Supernanny, America's Funniest Home Videos, Boston Legal, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, 20/20, Primetime (specials and special series)
Out: The Nine, Six Degrees, The Great American Dream Vote, Show Me The Money, Day Break, In Case of Emergency, The Knights of Prosperity, What About Brian, George Lopez, According to Jim (maybe... finally!)
New: Big Shots, Carpoolers, Cashmere Mafia, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Cavemen, Miss/Guided, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Sam I Am, Women's Murder Club, Oprah's Big Give
Moving: Men In Trees moves from Thursdays at 10 to Fridays at 8. Notes from the Underbelly and October Road (along with Cashmere Mafia) will premiere when Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor end their seasons. Lost will begin airing in February and show no repeats, in a Wednesday time slot that's still to be determined.
Detailed descriptions of the new shows (and some notes on the schedule) after the jump.
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