Lesbians were essentially shut out of ABC’s day at the Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour Sunday. While ABC’s fall programming schedule is packed with new series that feature strong women front and center, the lesbian content doesn’t seem promising judging from their presentation to critics Sunday in Beverly Hills.
Here’s a rundown of the scripted series ABC will be kicking off come September and beyond.
9:45 ABC Executive session
Incoming ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee, noting that he’s only been on the job for 36 hours (having just been promoted after the departure of Steve McPherson), didn’t say much about specific plans for the network’s fall primetime schedule, other than that he isn’t planning to shuffle premiere dates and time slots. Lee, who earned the bump after developing such ABC Family hits as Kyle XY, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars, said the networks are very different and he’d have to look at how to build the network when it comes to promoting programming with gay characters and LGBT story lines.
“We’re really going to have to sit down and figure out how we build this network; it’s a very different network,” he said. “But we’re very proud of what we did with ABC Family.”
Addressing ABC’s third-ranked (26% of programming hours inclusive of the LGBT community with a “good” rating”) from GLAAD compared with ABC Family’s No. 2 slot (37%), Lee had little to say: “I was very, very proud of that and it’s a very important thing.”
Let’s hope that with more time comes more visibility on the flagship network in the Disney family.
Asked if he’d be more patient when it comes to such bubble shows as Better Off Ted and Pushing Daisies while at ABC, Lee said he’d be open to allowing more time for programming to stick, but that “we’re all slaves to ratings.” During his tenure with ABC Family, he noted that he had more time to be patient and let programming find its audience. Lee added that he’d be open to letting canceled shows end their runs on Saturday nights in lieu of sending viewers online.
One thing that Lee was certain to stress? “I do know one thing: I know that Modern Family should win the Emmy for comedy this year,” he said.