Press Tour Live-Blog: ABC’s Paul Lee

08.04.13 4 years ago 5 Comments


Paul Lee is just moments away from taking the stage to justify another season of mixed ABC ratings, but most of the buzz in the ballroom is about the new Doctor.

We’re easily distracted.

Let’s see if Paul Lee can get our attentions back with his usual talk of ABC’s brand and the scrumptiousness of the network’s programming!

10:18 a.m. Paul Lee also has to follow a very solid panel for “Trophy Wife.”

10:22 a.m. ABC’s sizzle reel contains WAY more bass than should be inflicted on us the morning after the TCA Awards.

10:24 a.m. “I brought a 90-page PowerPoint presentation for you all,” Paul Lee says, before referring to the pilot we’re watching at lunch as “Scandal,” rather than “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which is actually what we’re seeing.

10:25 a.m. Lee calls “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” a particular favorite of his. He couldn’t be more pleased about “Scandal” and Kerry Washington’s Emmy nomination. He praises Jimmy Kimmel for “doing some of the best work of his career.” He’s pleased with “Shark Tank” on Friday. ABC is, he tells us, “the most co-viewed network,” which is not to be confused in ANY way with “the most viewed network.” ABC is getting a lot of international interest for stuff. 

10:28 a.m. “Wonderland” was announced as a bridge between “Once” seasons, but now it’s its own thing. Why? They’re building a block of empowered women on Thursday and “This is Alice like you’ve never seen Alice before. She’s a truly kickass Alice,” Lee says. He’s excited about the show and the showrunners.

10:29 a.m. What notes has “Nashville” been getting from the network? Do they want the show to be more “Scandal”-esque? “All of our showrunners and competitive and that’s great,” Lee says. “They built their own voice and they built a particularly interesting musical voice on that show,” he says, adding that Connie Britton’s character will drive the plot more in the second season and they rivalry between the main characters will soon come to a head.

10:31 a.m. Does Paul Lee still view ABC as targeting young viewers? Or are they trying to drive more male viewers? Lee is “super-proud” to be the No.1 network among women 18-49. He praises “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Goldbergs” as being four-quadrant shows. 

10:32 a.m. Why did ABC cut “Dancing” to one night? “We really wanted to focus and eventize ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” Lee says. The network also thought “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Goldbergs” were shows they wanted to build a night around.

10:33 a.m. What will a new showrunner bring to “Revenge” this season? “I think we stumbled a little bit in the second season,” Lee says, but he promises that the third season will be “slightly less complicated” and he says that the show will be enjoying itself in the third season and it starts with a “magnificent hook.”

10:34 a.m. Is ABC making fewer stabs at live, event-style programming? “We’re absolutely doing limited series,” Lee says. He calls “Betrayal” a limited series.

10:36 a.m. What plans does ABC have with Marvel? “I think we are loving this relationship. We have lots of little schemes in back-of-mind,” he says, but adds that he can’t tease anything.

10:36 a.m. “Competition is very good,” Paul Lee says of Netflix.

10:38 a.m. What expectations does ABC have “Betrayal”? “We’ve constructed it as a 13-episode run and we’re really making it like a cable series,” Lee says, adding that it’s a better pairing with “Revenge.” “We’re looking forward to seeing the flow-through from them,” he says.

10:39 a.m. Paul Lee has nothing to say about the CBS/TWC dispute.

10:40 a.m. Paul Lee was at an Irish Wake in Belfast last week. That might explain the nonstop string of goofs in this press conference. He says everybody at the wake wanted to talk about America TV and how great it is. “Revenge” is a Top 10 seller in Australia. 

10:42 a.m. Lee says that “Missing” was an example of constructing a show around the international marketplace, which he now knows was a mistake. He now wants to develop interesting stories and assume that the world will respond. “I don’t think it’s our job to create shows branded for international,” he says.

10:43 a.m. ABC thinks “Goldbergs” is going to be a four-quadrant show, which is why they’ve paired “Trophy Wife” with it. They think Rebel Wilson is a huge talent and that’s why “Super Fun Night” is after “Modern Family.”

10:44 a.m. Does ABC have a timetable for “Grey’s Anatomy”? He expects “Grey’s Anatomy” will have many more shows. “It is the No. 1 drama on television when you look at the C-3s,” he reminds us.

10:45 a.m. Why is Rebel Wilson American in “Super Fun Time”? “It was actually Rebel’s choice,” Paul Lee says. “I’ve gotta say, she’s got such creative force,” he promises. “It was her choice and we fully supported it,” he says. 

10:46 a.m. ABC is trying to avoid repeats this year. Yawn.

10:47 a.m. What is the future for “Suburgatory”? “We have a little inkling in our mind of where that  show’s going to go?” Lee says. He says that creator Emily Kapnek is planning to bring back more of a fish-out-of-water feeling and he likes the first script.

10:47 a.m. Did ABC learn anything from killing “Happy Endings”? He calls last fall extremely challenging because of the election season. He says they were thrilled with “Happy Endings” after “Modern Family” but it couldn’t find its sea-legs away from that home. The network loved the show creatively.

10:49 a.m. “Rookie Blue” will be back at its normal place next summer.

10:50 a.m. “Peter Pan is going to be a fascinating character,” Lee promises of the new addition to “Once Upon a Time.” He says that there are no plans for addition spinoffs now.

10:50 a.m. “I certainly have a glint in my eye,” Paul Lee says of the addition of LucasFilms to the Disney family. “We started conversations with them,” he says, adding that he loves that world. Nothing even vaguely specific.

10:51 a.m. ABC still sells 18-49, but ABC has co-viewing and a lot of total viewers. Or something. 

That’s all, folks…

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