As part of the network’s TCA Press Tour presentation, President of ABC Entertainment Group, Paul Lee, took some time to talk about where things stand with some of their popular and long-running series, how some of their freshman series were received, and their hopes for some of their upcoming programs.
Lee said that the horror thriller The River (premiering on February 7th) is set for only eight episodes, but there is the plan to have it be a long-running series. He is also thrilled with the performance of Once Upon A Time, is optimistic about the future of Pan Am, and said that while they made a good attempt, he doesn’t think they quite breathed life into the Charlie’s Angels franchise through the recent series. And, while he has high hopes for how Cougar Town will play when it returns, Lee is still unsure of when exactly that return will be. Check out what he had to say about all the series after the jump:
I like to see the guild awards, because the specificity allows for nominees that you won’t see on more general lists. The Art Directors Guild is especially interesting because they separate the films into three categories: period, fantasy, and contemporary. The 15 nominees highlight everything from Oscar favorites Hugo and The Artist, to crowd-pleasers Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Captain America, to poorly received films like Cowboys & Aliens and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. There’s a similar contrast in the TV nominees between the classy HBO programs you’d expect (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, and Mildred Pierce) and the critical punching bags American Horror Story and The Playboy Club. The full list of nominees is after the break.
The American Society of Cinematographers announced their nominations for the best-photographed TV of 2011. Boardwalk Empire topSthe list with 2 nominations in the one-hour drama category. HBO also had a presence in the movie/miniseries category with Mildred Pierce and the half-hour series category with Bored to Death. (This is the first year the ASC introduced a half-hour category.) I am happy to see Pan Am among the nominees, because the pilot was gorgeous. Due to the specific nature of the awards, there are a few curious selection that won’t get awards attention anywhere else, like Chase and Man Up. Reminds me of my surprise at discovering that Home Improvement won 7 Emmys, all of which were awarded to apparent lighting guru Donald A. Morgan for Outstanding Lighting Direction.
Hit the jump for the full eclectic list of ASC nominees.
So far the fate of Pan Am has been up in the air, but it sounds like a solid decision might have already been made. AOL TV reports series actress Karine Vanasse updated her Twitter to say, “Well, we received THE call, Pan Am is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we’ll give it our all!” That seems to solidify that the series won’t be back for another season, especially since the show wasn’t part of ABC’s midseason schedule, however, ABC has reached out to say, “Nothing has changed. We are not canceling Pan Am. We are still in production and will continue to be in production finishing the original 13 episodes plus one more additional one. We have one more original episode this coming week, Dec. 4 and then will return in January with new episodes, airing all of them. Pan Am is still in contention for next season. We won’t know about that until our upfront announcement in May.” However, unless the ratings pick-up, the lack of an order for a full season just doesn’t bode well for the period drama which I’ve grown mostly fond of thus far. We’ll see what happens next year, but I’m betting we’ll have to get our fill of Kelli Garner and Christina Ricci from somewhere else.
Another midseason schedule, another great TV series missing. Just a few days ago NBC announced their midseason schedule, and along with it came the news that Community will be benched for the foreseeable future. A similar scenario is now happening with ABC’s midseason premiere schedule. While their announcement today includes premiere dates for GCB (which will replace Pan Am in the post-Desperate Housewives slot starting in March), the Ashley Judd drama Missing, the horror-drama The River, the comedy Work It, and a new season of Dancing with the Stars, the fantastically quirky sitcom Cougar Town is nowhere to be found. Hit the jump for more, including a list of the premiere dates.
Finally, it’s time for ABC to chime in with their verdict on some series that have been waiting for good or bad news. Thankfully, it seems be mostly good all around with EW reporting that the network has given full season orders to their new freshman fairytale drama Once Upon a Time and Tim Allen‘s return to sitcoms with Last Man Standing. Personally I found the former pilot to be an absolute pain to get through while the latter sitcom is cheesy, but not without a few genuine laughs. Unfortunately, the exaggerated nature of that kind of sitcom coupled with the audience laughter just doesn’t work for me. However, a comedy that really has continued to shine and keep fans laughing is Happy Endings, which just got a full season order for its sophomore run.
However, one show still waiting in the wings is the fantastic but, lower rated Pan Am since the show only got an order for five more scripts, which doesn’t guarantee that more episodes will be ordered to air. It’s only slightly below the line of what ABC wants out of the drama, but the great cast, intrigue, romance and more have made it a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the set of series recordings on my DVR. So it sounds like all you Nielsen families and viewers need to tune in and give it a chance, because it’s really quite stellar and you can’t go wrong with lovely ladies like Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Kelli Garner. Here’s hoping Pan Am joins the ranks of these other ABC shows sooner that later.
In 1963, air travel represented the height of luxury and Pan Am was the biggest name in the business. The pilots were rock stars and the stewardesses were the most desirable women in the world, and to represent Pan Am, they also had to be educated, cultured and refined. The women formed a powerful sisterhood, partaking of one of the few career options that offered them empowerment and respect, as they enjoyed the rare opportunity to travel outside the country.
On ABC’s new drama series Pan Am, actress Christina Ricci plays Maggie, a rebellious young woman who has to keep her wilder side in check, in order to be a workplace professional and pass the beauty checks that will allow her to stay on the flight crew. During a recent interview to promote her new Fall show, she talked about her desire for the consistency of work that TV provides for an actor, how she was attracted to breaking the misconceptions about what stewardesses were at that time, and how fun and exciting it is to portray a period in time when air travel was glamorous. She also talked about what it was like to be seduced by Robert Pattinson in the upcoming feature Bel Ami, and how gritty that material is. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
As part of the TCA Press Tour presentation for ABC Entertainment Group, President Paul Lee took some time to talk about their new high-concept dramas, Pan Am and Once Upon A Time, their slick reboot of Charlie’s Angels, their upcoming comedy series, and the announcement of the final season of Desperate Housewives. Here are the most interesting points:
- ABC currently has the #1 comedy in America with Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy is still their #1 drama series.
- Pan Am is a passion project for creator/executive producer/writer Jack Orman (E.R.) and executive producer/director Tommy Schlamme (The West Wing) and promises to be romantic, sexy and adventurous.
- Charlie’s Angels will capitalize on their built-in audience, while still modernizing the story in unexpected ways.
- Although Once Upon A Time is a very ambitious piece of storytelling, the network has been reassured in the ability to sustain it for series, after seeing Episodes 2 and 3. And surprisingly, the pilot was made for essentially the same cost as a normal pilot.
- The upcoming Season 8 will be the last season of Desperate Housewives, which will have its final arc built through 22 episodes. They have also started to redevelop Hallelujah with Housewives creator Marc Cherry, for a possible series pick-up.
- ABC is developing the Marvel properties The Incredible Hulk and Jessica Jones for possible TV series.
- The network is very pleased with their mid-season comedy and drama series, which include Apartment 23, Work It, Scandal, The River, Missing and G.C.B.
Hit the jump for more of what he had to say:
This week ABC is revealing their premiere dates for the new and returning series for the 2011-2012 season kicking off in September, and plenty of fan favorites are returning in a big way. Comedy series like The Middle and Modern Family are getting special one-hour premieres while Grey’s Anatomy gets a whopping two-hour premiere episode. In addition, after the jump you’ll find out the premiere dates for new series like the remake of Charlie’s Angels, the period drama Pan Am, Tim Allen’s return to TV in Last Man Standing the fairytale drama Once Upon a Time and more. If you want more information on any of ABC’s new series hitting this fall, check out our previous post (Link 1) on their upfronts presentation. Otherwise check out the full premiere schedule after the jump.
We’ve already highlighted the trailer for the anticipated remake of the classic series Charlie’s Angels, but ABC has also released trailers for the rest of their new series as well. Now you can see the official trailers for ABC’s new series including Apartment 23 starring James Van Der Beek, Leslie Bibb and Kristen Chenowith in Good Christian Belles, Tim Allen’s return to TV in Last Man Standing, Dan Fogler in Man Up, Missing starring Ashley Judd, the fairytale drama Once Upon a Time, Christina Ricci in Pan Am, the high society drama Revenge, the Amazon-set The River, Henry Ian Cusick in Scandal, and the comedies Suburgatory and Work It.
Again I’m not impressed or interested at all in Once Upon a Time, and Last Man Standing just looks like a huge disappointment for Tim Allen fans. However, I’m defintely more interested in Pan Am after seeing this new trailer and I really hope Apartment 23 is able to get the attention of children of the 90′s who grew up with Dawson’s Creek because it looks pretty damn funny. Anyway, you can decide which shows you’ll want to check out in the fall after watching the trailers after the jump. For more details on each series and even more clips, be sure to check out our previous post on ABC’s 2011-2012 schedule.
The circus that is upfronts continues with ABC announcing a slew of cancellations, pick-ups and renewals. Via TV Line, the network has decided to cancel sci-fi series V, Matthew Perry’s sitcom Mr. Sunshine, the superhero family drama No Ordinary Family and the on-the-bubble drama Brothers and Sisters (after considering giving the show one more season, the network decided to free up their Sunday night slot and axe the show). Other cancellations at ABC include Off the Map, Detroit 187 and Better With You.
On a lighter note, freshman comedy Happy Endings and procedural drama Body of Proof were both renewed for a second season, and the Charlie’s Angels reboot has scored a pick-up. Other new series getting picked up include Tim Allen’s return Last Man Standing, controversial series Good Christian Belles (previously Good Christian Bitches), period soap Pan Am, Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and the fairytale-themed Once Upon a Time from Lost vets Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Damon Lindelof hinted via Twitter that the show is “gonna be special.”