Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Things We Took Away from the ABC Executive Session at the Television Critics Association Press Tour

There is nothing funny about NBC’s current Late Night predicament.
At least according to Stephen McPherson, President, ABC Entertainment Group, who refused to take the bait thrown at him by sound-bite-hungry reporters anxious to get his thoughts on NBC’s current late-night woes during this mornings ABC Executive Session at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena.“We are all competitive and we want a vibrant landscape,” said McPherson. “We want a good competitor. It’s like playing for the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox stop playing baseball. You can’t get excited about that.”
THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY and COUGAR TOWN have all been picked up for a second season.
Unfortunately the joke is on BETTER OFF TED and SCRUBS, whose ratings Steve McPherson called “very disappointing.” Adding, “Whenever we put comedy other than Wednesday is a bit of an island. As we’ve seen with THE MIDDLE and MODERN FAMILY repeats, that night is pretty strong. Our intent was not to  burn them off but that was the best slot we have at this time.”

Everybody loves Nathan Fillion.
Including McPherson who touted the series ability to hold up in repeats (after a reporter questioned the network’s lack of CBS styled procedural franchises) while praising showrunner Andrew Marlowe who apparently has been doing a wonderful job of growing both the main characters and the ensemble. While the effusive McPherson stopped short of announcing an official third season pick-up for the Nathan Fillion vehicle, you can pretty much read between the lines. Specifically the lines of the second Nikki Heat Book that ABC just announced will hit shelves in September 2010.

Simon Cowell AMERICAN IDOL exit isn’t a win for ABC.
“He’s an incredibly important part of AMERICAN IDOL, but it’s not like he’s going back to England, he’s still going to be on Fox [with THE X FACTOR]. I’m not sure it’s some giant win [for us],” said McPherson.

The future of UGLY BETTY remains up in the air.
“When we made the tough decision to launch FLASHFORWARD on Thursday, it put UGLY BETTY in a tough spot on Friday,” explained McPherson with regards to BETTY’s ugly ratings on both Friday and now Wednesday. “We really hope we can make it part of that Wednesday comedy line up. Comedy/light drama and 10 o’clock is something we’d like to see grow.”

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  • ct

    Shame on ABC for not putting TED at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Or for not moving the whole line-up a half-hour forward and putting TED at 9:30. And shame on SM for that bs about them not “burning off” episodes. Really? Two episodes at a time in a slot you know it’s not doing well in, rather than running episodes on Wednesday, where your comedies are successful? I call bull…crap, sir!

  • bws

    yeah, they never really believed in TED. A relaunch with Modern Family, Cougar Town, and the Middle would have really helped this year. I love ABC but this was not the best way to go about it. The good news is that I think we will see a fair amount of its stars post-TED.