TCA: More ABC

Highlights from the second day of ABC’s portion of the TCA tour:

ABC Showrunner fest

ABC had the showrunners from its popular dramas on a panel, incluidng those from Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty. University Park native Shonda Rhimes assured everyone there is no feud between her and Katherine Heigi, who critized the writing staff of the show last year. Ugly Betty showrunner Silvo Horita suggested to Ms. Rimes that Helgi’s character be put in a coma. Okay, then…

Meanwhile, Marc Cherry stated he wants to end Housewives after seven seasons – but ABC chief Stephen McPherson shouted from the back of the room “Not gonna happen!” Which basically means he wants the show to last as long as The Simpsons – meaning Teri Hatcher could be 75 and Eva Longoria might be on her fourth marriage before this show ends… In other news:

Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution

In a rather unusual move for a first-run syndicated show, Disney’s new fantasy/sci-fi action hour titled Wizard’s First Rule premieres on the weekend of Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Produced by ABC Studios, the program is cleared in 95 percent of the country, including WGN-TV in Chicago.

In the past, first-run syndicated hours (or half-hours) usually premiered either in late September or early October. Even in 1988, when a writers’ strike delayed production of many programs, new syndicated scripted fare (War of the Worlds, My Secret Identity, Superboy, etc.) debuted the weekend of Oct. 8.

By the way, yes, Jerry O’Connell was in My Secret Identity.

Disney Channel

The Disney Channel brought out the cast of the latest Cheetah Girls movie to the press. The movie is set in India (and filmed there on location) and deals with the Bollywood scene. The movie, titled The Cheetah Girls One World, debuts later this year.

ABC Family

The cable net formerly known as CBN, The Family Channel, and Fox Family Channel had a lot to toot: The Secret Life of an American Teenager has been green-lighted for thirteen more episodes and is launching a new-miniseries titled Samurai in September. Meanwhile, the second season of Greek on Aug. 26 and the third season of Lincoln Heights on September 16.

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