Q&A: Stephen McPherson
President, ABC Entertainment Group
Stephen McPherson: The goal in development is always to come up with the next generation of hits. This year, there is particular opportunity at 10 p.m. for dramas, and we are still working hard at broadening our comedy slate.
THR: You're making a big push in comedy, with more than a dozen pilots. Are you looking to open comedy blocks in the fall?
McPherson: Yes, if the cards lay out for that.
THR: You've picked up a lot of pilots. Do you still plan to order series off-season?
McPherson: We've always ordered pilots year-round, but the majority of our process takes place from January to May.
THR: A large portion of your pilots this season are from outside suppliers. Going forward, what will be ABC's development strategy after combining operations with the studio?
McPherson: That's not really the case; most are from ABC Studios. But we will always look for the best creative wherever we can find it.
THR: What do you consider ABC's biggest needs for next fall?
McPherson: Strong 10 p.m. shows and filling a few other holes throughout the week.
THR: What is the plan for Wednesday in the fall? It appears to be a clean slate after the successful relocation of "Private Practice" to Thursday.
McPherson: Wednesday plans will be informed by our development.
THR: What are your plans for "Ugly Betty"? Will it return in the fall, and will it stay on Thursdays?
McPherson: "Ugly Betty" will return.
THR: What was the rationale behind the acquisition of "Surviving Suburbia," originally developed for the CW?
McPherson: It's a solid comedy that fits our brand, and it happened to have an ABC star in Bob Saget.
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