The final day of the press tour came Saturday, and it was ABC’s turn to face the press.


– During the ABC executive session, Stephen McPherson talked about ABC’s aggressive new series push this fall – eight in all – airing Tuesday through Friday (more on this a little later.)

– But the big news is McPherson wants Paula Abdul to become a judge or be a constestant on Dancing With The Stars. Ms. Abdul has become the off-season’s most sought after free agent, after she aburptly left American Idol after eight seasons last week. But keep in mind the price could be high if you want her as a judge on Dancing, Mr. McPherson.

– Other than the departures of Rebecca Romajn from Ugly Betty, TR Knight from Grey’s Anatomy, and a Scrubs cast shake-up, there are no other major cast changes due at returning ABC shows.

– ABC canceled animated comedy The Goode Family and live-action sitcom Surviving Suburbia.
Wait, these shows were on the air?

– Okay, on to the fall lineup – ABC announced eight spanking new programs, including an all-new Wednesday night line-up and two highly-anticipated science-fiction series.

Four new sitcoms line Wednesday, in consecutive order: Hank, The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town.

Also being added is new Tuesday night drama The Forgotten.

ABC is introdcing two new sci-fi series: Flash Forward, which airs Thursday nights at 7 p.m., and V, a remake of the ’80’s NBC mini-series and regular series of the same letter. The latter is being moved up from a January debut to a November one, where it replaces new reality series Shark Tank, which had a sneek peek tonight.

Disney/ABC Domestic Television

– This wasn’t part of the tour, but it is news nonetheless: Disney/ABC’s syndicated At The Movies is dropping Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz after just one season taking over for Richard Roeper and Roger Ebert. Instead, the movie-review show will go back to the “dueling critics” format it once had and is bringing back fill-in host Michael Phillips, a film critic for the Chicago Tribune. New to the show this season is A.O. Scott from the New York Times.

The series plans to continue shooting at WLS-TV’s 190 N. State Street studios in Chicago.


Announced earlier in the press tour: ESPN plans a documentary on Steve Bartman and the Cubs ill-fated 2003 playoff run, in which he interfered with a foul ball which some say cost the team a chance to go to the World Series.

Can they leave this guy alone? Of course not, since this is The Worldwide Leader in B.S. we’re talking about.

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