As I mentioned in our ABC Comedies preview, Paul Lee is out at ABC. The reason Paul Lee got fired was because he didn’t listen to me. Last year, I told him which ABC Dramas to pick up to series. The only one on my list he picked that premiered in the Fall was Quantico. Surprise, surprise… that’s the only one that got renewed! Blood & Oil, Of Kings and Prophets, and Wicked City were all busts. Expensive, off-brand, misguided busts. Seriously though, the whole slate last year was a bit of a downer.
Who watches ABC Dramas? Women. Shonda Rhimes shows are very, very popular. They’re sticky. They’re viral. There was a time when Scandal owned Twitter, until Empire came along. And yet, Lee & company decided to go with high-concept, no-audience freshman dramas last season. There’s no way two ladies at work would be standing around a water cooler talking about Blood & Oil. I hate to say I told you so… but I told you so.
Now that we’ve covered the past, let’s cover the future. ABC has eleven dramas in contention, with another one already picked up to series. That’s a lot. They also have constituents they have to keep happy — Shonda Rhimes and Marvel, to name but two. Not surprisingly, both Rhimes and Marvel have a series in contention. Could they be groomed as replacements for Agent Carter and has-to-end-at-some-point Grey’s Anatomy? Or will new ABC president Channing Dungey go out on a limb?
Let’s find out…
Broken Conviction The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez Designated Survivor The Jury
Marvel’s Most Wanted Model Woman Notorious Presence
Spark Still Star Crossed Time After Time
Something tells me ABC will go with Broken, Presence, Conviction, Time After Time, The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez and, already picked-up, Designated Survivor. Channing Dungey apparently wants to go towards procedurals, so I’m saying pickup 3 producedurals and 3 other series that are more “on brand” with ABC.
ABC picked up 6 new series last series and it’s safe to assume they’ll pickup 5-6 new series. I just can’t understand in what world (Marvel) ABC would pickup Marvel’s Most Wanted, it has failure written all around. Why not avoid going down that road when all the signs are showing it won’t work?