At this week’s Television Critics Association press tour ABC officially renewed six series and they include comedies Modern Family, The Middle, and Cougar Town, drama Grey’s Anatomy and crime dramedy Castle. Sunday nighters Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters are noticeably absent from the early renewal lineup; the former is expected to be picked up later this spring while the latter remains on the bubble.
New ABC president Paul Lee shared his thoughts on the network’s current lineup. On Cougar Town: The comedy “has found its voice.” On Detroit 1-8-7 (which has yet to be picked up for a second season): It’s ”a gritty, brilliantly written show which we’re very proud of”, a “very, very high-quality show” that “gets better.” On freshman comedy Better with You: It’s “a really funny show.” On V: The network is “very pleased” with the season 2 premiere ratings. ”We made sure it was ten episodes so we could quality control those episodes. And we also brought a whole load of new ideas into it, so we’ve tried to really amp up the level of adrenaline in that show.”
And lastly, Lee talked about how he hopes to pave a successful future for ABC by granting showrunners additional freedom: “My real ambition is to make ABC Studios and ABC a real showrunner culture. From my perspective, the ability to allow showrunners to take risks, and for us to give them the air support that they can do that, is one of the most important parts of my job… So from my perspective, that combination between a potent brand and empowered showrunners can really give us a chance to succeed going forward into the future.”
We can expect to receive renewal/cancellation news about the freshman slate of ABC programming, including No Ordinary Family, within the next two to three months, according to Lee.
Well would you look at that? Following in Glee‘s footsteps, FOX has decided to green light a third season for its hit animated program The Cleveland Show. Yes, there’s a solid reason why the Family Guy spin-off got renewed for a third season so early in the game: it was the highest rated new scripted half-hour program among the 18-34 demographic. Voice of Cleveland Brown/co-creator/executive producer Mike Henry on the early pickup: “Thanks to FOX for their continued support. I’m thrilled to keep my multiracial existence going for another season.” Renewal news comes as a big relief for Henry and co. since the turnaround time for animation creation is very time intensive. Henry: “It’s about a ten month process from start to finish. But we don’t really try to be too topical and…I think it works to our advantage because hopefully in five years the episodes will still be as funny as they are now.”
Season 3 is so far out. Want some details about what’s planned for season 2? Will.I.Am, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West (to reprise “Kenny West”), Tony Hawk, Carl Reiner, and the cast members of Glee are planned to lend their voices to the series; a Family Guy crossover episode is planned that’ll land Peter, Joe and Quagmire in LOCALE; and in the finale episode the Browns will journey to Comic Con. Says Henry: “[In the finale] the whole family goes to Comic-Con for summer vacation. Co-creator Rich Appel: “I think it’s safe to say that the nerds on our staff will not disappoint the nerds in our viewing public.” The Cleveland Show is here to stay, folks.