ABC's McPherson: Hits Not Easy - Broadcasting & Cable

ABC's McPherson: Hits Not Easy

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ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson admitted Tuesday that trying to launch 10 new shows in the fall will be no easy task. The network is launching that large number of programs after none of the shows it debuted last fall made it back on this year’s schedule.

"We know its an aggressive schedule," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. "We are rebuilding and we have a lot of work to do. There is risk, no question, but if you looked at our options, this is the best. It’s not ideal, obviously. I wish I had seven nights of programming I didn’t have to change."

On the subject of rebuilding, McPherson also backed the job his friend, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, is doing over at the rival network.

"Kevin is rebuilding right now and has done a good job of building a schedule," McPherson said. "If he’s allowed to put his schedule on and promote it the way he wants to promote it, he’ll do well."

While McPherson did say he doesn’t see NBC as a legitimate contender right now for first place, he also downplayed the ratings race, which he says has been rendered meaningless due to the parity between the networks.

"If I was in Vegas, I think it will be a three-way horse race, and frankly one that doesn’t matter," he said. "It’s really an ego-measuring contest. It’s not about business, you don’t sell first or second or third or fourth place."

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