ABC execs: We're happy so far


ABC Entertainment toppers Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne emphasized their
victories and tried to manage expectations for the rebuilding network in a
pre-November-sweeps conference call Wednesday.

Braun and Lyne heralded the network's performance in the adult 18-through-49
demographic Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday nights, with Braun citing the
"unexpected success of all of the new comedies." For that reason, Braun said, ABC
is willing to be patient with struggling Wednesday-night medical drama
MDs, although the network did pull the show for sweeps, scheduling it for
a December return.

Braun reiterated what has become ABC's favorite factoid: The network so far has
been first or second in 18 through 49 on six of seven nights. That said, ABC was
kicked off that perch last Tuesday night, with an hour-long special of Fox's
That 70s Show and the big season premiere of 24. In a glass-half-full approach, Lyne said ABC veteran NYPD Blue "actually benefits
from 24 as a lead-in."

With regard to new Tuesday-night comedies 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Life with
and Less Than Perfect, Braun said, "These are young shows that
are just now beginning and, over the next two years, they will just start to
approach their prime. We recognize there's a long way to go and that there will
be bumps in the road for sure. We want to keep everyone's expectations
reasonable, giving where we are coming from."