Dancing With the Stars has gotten "older," Scandal is "rocking and rolling" and Nasvhille will be "sustained" despite "bipolar" ratings.
That's the latest from ABC Entertainment Paul Lee, who just faced reporters at the TCA Press Tour, where the network's big boss admitted: The all-star version of DWTS was "disappointing" and that "people want to see bad dancing, too."
So does this mean that DWTS is going away, or slowing down in its frequency of scheduling? Not so fast.
"We still intend to keep it going twice a year," Lee insisted. "It's still a big, broad, crowd pleaser. I think the All-Star version made it a little bit older. I think we have the ability of casting fresh and bringing in the younger audience again. We think there's a lot of life in it. 16 million viewers is a lot of viewers." Season 16 premieres March 18.
Nashville, meanwhile, remains the network's only new fall drama still holding on for dear life, after 666 Park and Last Resort were quickly canceled. And despite mediocre ratings (it does well in the 18 – 34 demographic, but not 35- 49), Lee insists it's going survive. "Those performances are superb," Lee says of stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. "We know we have the young trendsetters in and loving that show and we want to use that…We're going to sustain this one," he promises, adding that he hopes the ladies' Golden Globe nominations will help.
Lee also heaped gobs of praise on Scandal show runner Shonda Rhimes for what he considers the network's most notable success story this season. "Scandal is just rocking and rolling. I love that show I think Shonda and Kerry [Washington] are really doing a great job with that show…That show has built itself a really passionate audience."
So how about fan-favorite (but not necessarily high-rated) comedies Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B? Will they stick around? "We haven't made any of those decisions yet," Lee told reporters, "but I can tell you these are shows that we love. He hopes that the additional airings on Tuesday nights will give them "more of a chance to grow."
Coming up on the horizon, Lee is understandably passionate about Joss Whedon's Marvel pilot, S.H.I.E.L.D. "We haven't seen the pilot," Lee explained. "We fast-tracked it. We've very hopeful that that will go to series. The script is great. We've very excited about it and Joss is wonderful to work with and thrilled to be back on television, which I'm enjoying."