Today the focus is on ABC. Herewith some high points:
"Detroit 1-8-7" dumps doc style -- not name. Landing on ABC's fall schedule accorded Most Anticipated status - thanks in part to lead Michael Imperioli - the show about Detroit homicide detectives has also drawn unanticipated flak. Detroit officials are unenthusiastic about having the city’s name linked to standard cop (and gang) code for murder. And as originally conceived, the show was to also embrace the currently in-vogue faux documentary style seen on shows like "The Office" and "Modern Family."
Producers yesterday confirmed the doc style was 86’d. The city of Detroit banned documentary crews from following cops after a 7-year-old, Aiyana Jones, was killed May 16 while A&E was filming "The First 48."
Officials were concerned police may have overreacted because of the presence of film crews, and "Detroit oddly because the one city were documentary film crews could not follow the police," said producer Jason Richman. The premise of the show was "immediately undermined at that point. Of the name, "we think it's cool and represents the visual identity of the city -- it wasn't meant to mirror [its troubles.] We're sticking with it."
Matthew Perry is Mr. Sunshine. Matthew Perry returns to a network series comedy this fall for the first time since that last little network series comedy went off the air (in 2004.) Since “Friends,” Perry was in "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and starred in a couple of films. “You can tell how successful the movies were by my being here," he accurately quipped yesterday, as he introduced ABC comedy, "Mr. Sunshine."
Perry wrote the pilot -- about a manager of a dysfunctional sports arena called "The Sunshine Center," -- noting, "my character is selfish because I knew someone for whom that was the case for a long time." And who would that be, Matty? "If you want an answer to that, just pick up any newspaper from 1996, or look on any magazine cover. They say write what you know. It's an interesting road for someone to take to change terrible behavior and become a better guy."
Michael Chiklis as family man. Of his high-concept ABC show, "No Ordinary Family" (about a regular family endowed with superpowers after crashing in the Brazilian jungle on a vacation) Chiklis says, "at its core this is a family drama about a family that is somewhat dysfunctional. . . .I submit that people who aren't interested in sci-fi would be interested because it's innately relatable on a familiar level. This isn't 'Heroes' and it isn't 'The Incredible.'' Nor, he might redundantly add, “The Shield.”
Maura Tierney news. Cast late in ABC’s Jerry Bruckheimer courtroom drama, "The Whole Truth," Tierney was asked about her battle with breast cancer, which forced her to bow out of "Parenthood." She responded, "I'm healthy.
Meet the boss. Paul Lee is the new president of ABC Entertainment, replacing Steve McPherson, who abruptly resigned this past week as reports surfaced that ABC was investigating sexual harassment charges.
Lee and everyone else associated with the network, from those running the show to the guy who mans the coffee carts at TCA – were told to say nothing about Steve.
“I don't want to talk about Steve,” Lee said. OK, howabout ABC? "It's a great honor [but] I am super unprepared and have in the job for 36 hours. I apologize if I don't have all the answers."
Lee, former head of ABC Family and a veteran BBC executive who helped launch BBC America, added: "I'm certainly going to spend some time getting into the [ABC] brand and figuring out how it lives and breathes." And no plans to change anything that guy named Steve put in place.