TCA Update - ABC: Denny no ghost, No closure for "Daisies"/"DSM"/"Eli" and "Veronica Mars" movie news!
Things we learned from ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson:
-Denny is "not a ghost" on "Grey's Anatomy." "I actually think that when you get to the end of the season, you see everything that she had in mind," he said of creator Shonda Rhimes' puzzling decision to have Katherine Heigl's Izzie see and make sweet love to dead people. "Might not be your cup of tea, but I think you will be surprised at how insightful and actually smart the storyline itself is in terms of the dynamics that it’s creating for the characters who are involved and where we end up with those characters at the end."
-The continuation of "Scrubs" after creator Bill Lawrence and star Zach Braff leave at the end of this season is still up in the air, although McPherson is pleased with the ratings. "I think it would be hard to do the show without Zach but Bill and I are continuing to talk about it."
-There was no good or definitive news on when the final episodes of "Pushing Daisies," "Dirty Sexy Money," and "Eli Stone" could actually see the light of day. "We’d like to air the end of those shows," said McPherson. When asked why the network simply couldn't air the final shows on all those unused Saturday nights or stream them on ABC.com McPherson said it was complicated and mentioned afflilates and rights and clearances.
In a moment of graciousness McPherson took their lack of ratings success on the network's shoulders. "Most of the time when shows don’t work, you can really, in hindsight, look back and kick yourself and say I should have seen that. I really love those shows. I commend the producers on the shows. They did a great job. They delivered what they promised. And so for us, it was just a frustration that we couldn’t get a larger audience or that Nielsen said we couldn’t get a larger audience."
-In the "no justice" department, especially in light of the above, "According to Jim" may live to see another day. "We should just leave that open because I think the show — listen, Jim has been an amazing asset for us," said McPherson. "I think it has gone on and they’ve performed beyond everyone’s expectations. And I thank them for all their work. I think this is probably the final run, but you never say never."
-There are no plans for ABC to pick up "King of the Hill" as has been rumored.
-During the panel for the reboot of his series "Cupid," creator Rob Thomas revealed that during an upcoming hiatus he will be writing the script for the long-rumored, greatly anticipated "Veronica Mars" movie. "But my writing that movie is really just half the battle," cautioned Thomas. "Somebody else has to pay for it. But we are hopeful. I mean, (original "Mars" producer) Joel Silver does have a certain pile of money that he can decide on and he called me asking if we — you know, can we do this now? So I know that (series star) Kristen (Bell) wants to do it. I want to do it. Joel wants to do it, and now I suddenly find myself with enough time to write that script. So that’s my next project."
While this is good news for "Mars" fans it seems like bad tidings for "Cupid," which stars Sarah Paulson ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") and Bobby Cannavale ("The Station Agent"). The reason Thomas will have the time to write the screenplay is because ABC already cut the series' initial order from 13 to 8 episodes.
Thus concludes my brief reports from winter press tour. I'll occasionally be making recurring appearances with more intel from the various presentations of shows new and old, both here and in the Globe. As always, my thanks to Matthew, Joanna, and the "Viewer Discretion" faithful for graciously allowing me into their and your virtual home.
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ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
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Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
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Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.