Castle, Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion

ABC

ABC shook things up in May when it canceled long-running dramas Castle and Nashville. Those cancellations are still being felt by fans and critics alike and Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, set the record straight at her executive session at 2016 TCA Summer Press Tour.

"Nashville is a show that I personally truly loved," Dungey said. "To not have it back was a little bit of heartbreak for me." According to Dungey, there were extensive conversations between ABC and the studio partners, but it was something they could not work out. "I'm thrilled the show has found a new home on CMT so now that I can keep watching it," she admitted.

As for Castle, the long-running drama would've been in season nine. Prior to its cancellation, news broke that co-lead Stana Katic was not asked to renew her contract. Original cast member Tamala Jones was also not asked back…and then the show was not asked back by the network.

Nashville

ABC/Mark Levine

"So that's a case where you have things running on two parallel tracks. We were always upfront about possibility that we might not be bringing show back for season nine," she said. In terms of Katic and Jones not being asked back, Dungey said it was the studio doing what it needed to do to prepare. "Ultimately for us we felt it was not the right thing to do to order another season," she said.

Dungey also fielded questions about diversity on TV, namely in the world of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette where there has yet to be a lead of color.

"I would very much like to see some changes there," Dungey said. "I think one of the biggest changes we need to do is increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning…So that is something we really want to put some effort towards."

When asked if the show could just cast somebody, Dungey said "we could," but the network has success in keeping it with the first runner-up or contestants that have made it far into the process. "I think what we would like to do is widen the pool of choices," she said.

 

And for what it's worth, Dungey admitted to being a fan of Lifetime's UnREAL, the drama that takes place behind the scenes of a dating reality series. "I enjoy watching it as a viewer," she said when asked about internal ABC conversations about the show. "I think those two women are kind of incredibly compelling."

In terms of news, Dungey announced the return of Kyra Sedgwick. The Closer star will return to TV in the thriller Ten Days in the Valley. The Emmy winner will play a TV producer whose child goes missing.

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