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.”