The Television Critics Summer Press Tour continues to move along with ABC taking the spotlight today. Channing Dungey, president ABC Entertainment, is facing the critics for the first time since becoming the ABC top boss.
She’s lucky the network has been having success.
“I’m very happy with our summer as well, because we had an incredible season for ‘The Bachelorette,’ really, really terrific, and our ‘Sunday Fun & Games’ night launched in a big way and has proven to be a terrific night of family entertainment,” Dungey says. “In fact, we have the top two new shows of the summer in ‘Match Game’ and ‘Pyramid,’ and I’m thrilled to announce that we are bringing back all of our game shows for next season.”
Dungey fields more questions about the state of ABC.
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QUESTION: “Designated Survivor” has a terrorist attack. “Conviction” is about police not doing their job. What kinds of conversations do you guys have about relationships with police and government right now?
ANSWER: We have lots of internal conversations about all of this. We are in the business of storytelling. We are in the business of entertainment, and there are going to be shows that do parallel events that are happening in the real world sometimes very closely. I think that what our responsibility is as a network is to make sure that we are responsible in telling those stories.”
Q: Why did you announce two members of “Castle” were being cut and then canceled the series?
A: So that’s a case where you have things running on sort of two parallel tracks. We were always very up front with the studio and the producers about the possibility that we might not be bringing the show back for Season 9, but the studio has to do what they need to do in order to prepare for the possibility of a Season 9. So they did what they felt they needed to do in order to be ready should they get the nod, and ultimately, for us at the network, we did not feel that it was the right thing to do to order another season.
Q: What do you want viewers to get out of “Speechless?”
A: It’s challenging to find a show that does what that show does so well, which is, you don’t feel, in watching the show, that it’s a show about a family with special needs. It’s a show about a family in which one of the members happens to have special needs. And it’s a very slight distinction, but it’s a really important one, because what I think is so great about the show is that it still feels very universal, very accessible, very relatable. It’s smart and funny.
Q: Would you like “The Bachelor” to be a little more diverse?
A: We could. The show has been very much in a cycle where the first runner-up in one cycle becomes the person who leads the next cycle, and it’s worked very well for us because the audience feels really engaged in helping to choose that candidate, so I think what we would like to try to do is just widen the pool of choices.