TCA: ABC, You and Me

The first of the Big Three started its’ presentation today at the TCA Press Tour. First up, ABC and its two-parter:

– Odd sight: A reporter for the “Sarasota N.Y. newspaper” asks if ABC is courting Jay Leno. Turns out the reporter is… Jimmy Kimmel! He dashes about before real journalists asked him about… well, you know…

– ABC chief Stephen McPherson touched on a lot of issues in his one-hour executive session, and defended Katherine Helgi, despite a developing feud between her and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes. McPherson is also putting promotion muscle behind its Sunday Night lineup, which is competing hard with NBC and Fox.

– At the Eli Stone panel, producer Greg Berlanti revealed the bigger spectacle the show is (musicial numbers, huge computer-generated scenes, and special guest stars) the more fun the show becomes. For them, at least.

– ABC next had a panel on its new Life on Mars drama (and for the last time, it’s NOT a sci-fi show!), tand the participants discuss about setting and the filming the program in New York City. The show is based on the BBC drama of the same name, about a cop who travels back to the 1970s.

– Now, about Private Practice – the hour-long Grey’s Anatomy spinoff has been critized for too-much soap-operaness. ABC exces hope this upcoming season Practice hits its stride, with more medicial-related drama and action around the hospital.

– On ABC’s reality/competition beat: The network has ordered more episodes of surprise hit Wipeout, but hadn’t said anything about The Mole, which hasn’t done as well in the ratings.

– On to Scrubs – It looks like the program may not be headed to the sunset after all. The program is moving to ABC in mid-season from NBC. McPherson is considering brining the show back beyond 2009 with a new cast – similar to what has been done with ER (really, really dumb idea… How do these guys keep their jobs?) The network also plans webisodes and to shoot the medicial comedy in HD for the first time.

– ABC had a panel on new traveling game show Opportunity Knocks from executive producer Ashton Kutcher, and it was a rather interesting one. Kutcher took the stage and defended the reality TV genre, which critics often frown down on. They played the game with critics by digging up information on each and every one of them. Remember what I said earlier about critics storming the stage?

Finally, ABC has released the premiere dates for its fall schedule. Click here to see.