Just-appointed Abc Entertainment Chief Enters Critics' Den
Noting that he had been on the job a mere 36 hours and was therefore "super unprepared" to be addressing the Television Critics Association about ABC's plans for the fall season, Paul Lee, the new president of ABC Entertainment, said on Sunday that he has no intention of revamping the network's fall schedule, at least for now. "This job is about creating new, strong, brand-defining hits. So we do have our work cut out for us. But we all do. Every network needs to replenish itself. So yes there's work to do." He noted that there is a major difference between programming for a cable network -- he is credited with rescuing the ABC Family channel from limbo == and programming for a broadcast network. He observed that a well-made show, after waiting to be discovered, can be a success on cable if it grabs a demographic niche but that a broadcast show must appeal to a broader audience and must prove its ability to capture ratings much sooner than cable. Lee said he will be guided by network research and his own "gut" as he seeks out "brand defining" programming. "Quality storytelling is what it's all about," he said. "I'm certainly going to spend some time over the next month or two getting into the brand and exactly how it lives and breathes. But if I do get the chance here, as we did in the last couple of jobs, to take some risks, make some great shows, have some surprises and still do it to a defined target audience, hopefully it's going to be a lot of fun."