ABC TV Group Chairman Lloyd Braun and ABC Entertainment President Susan
Lyne know ABC's fall schedule has to perform phenomenally well if it is to
rebuild the network after last year's poor showing.
'Nobody has been looking forward to a new television season more than we
have,' Braun told reporters at the summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif.,
Braun said ABC's upfront numbers, which should top $2 billion including all
sports programming and the Academy Awards, are 'tangible signs of a turnaround,'
and of advertisers' faith in ABC's new programs.
'We are throwing all of our
resources behind our new shows, and we are going to squeeze every last ounce
of appeal out of every new show,' Braun said.
'Development at this network is now a year-round process.'
That's a change from days past at ABC, Braun said, who admitted that the
network didn't push the development process hard enough during the heyday of the
wildly successful Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Besides ABC's already-announced list of fall premieres, the network will
insert reality program The Bachelorette between its two planned runs of
The Bachelor , Lyne said.
The new show will feature the first
runner-up, Trista, getting her chance to choose from 25 men.
ABC plans an NYPD Blue retrospective on Tuesday, Sept. 24, leading in
to the show's 200th episode after nine years on the air.
The network also is moving The Drew Carey Show to Monday night at 8
p.m., followed by Whose Line is it Anyway
The two Carey vehicles will lead in to Monday Night Football.
In other changes, actress Lena Olin is joining the cast of Alias as
the 'prodigal mother' of lead character, Sidney, played by Jennifer Garner.
David Kelley, executive producer of The Practice, is going to be more involved with writing
that show at ABC's request, and will add a new character to the