On the latest edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off, Joe, Lesley Goldberg and I focus on what's up at ABC, and what's trending this pilot season:
There's been a shakeup at ABC. It was no secret that Paul Lee and his boss Ben Sherwood didn't always see eye to eye, but no one expected an ouster in the middle of pilot season. Lee did have some misses during his tenure, but on balance, he'll be remembered as a strong network president with a bold creative vision and an ability to truly increase diversity on ABC's shows.
His replacement is Channing Dungey, the former head of drama at ABC, and now the first African American to head a major broadcast network. She's known for her strong relationship with showrunner superstar Shonda Rhimes.
And to the dismay of many, pilot season does indeed still exist, and this year, among the 87 new pilots hoping to get series pickups, the family comedy is king. On the drama side, legal and crime thrillers are proving popular following the success of shows like The Jinx and Making a Murderer.