The broadcast network is sharing the stage with cable sibling Freeform for the first time, in the first presentation of the week, to really focus on new scripting programming.
"Here's the guy who writes most of my tweets."
So Roseanne Barr welcomed ABC / Disney boss Ben Sherwood on stage on Tuesday afternoon to launch the network's annual dog and pony show – this year, Pitch together with renamed cable sibling Freeform. After quickly making it clear that he has nothing to do with Roseanne's controversial Twitter account, Sherwood used the Lincoln Center in advance to find out about the success of Barr's working-class comedy.
The gimmick | The one-hour, 50-minute presentation did not go down at Freeform and shared David Geffen Hall for the first time with ABC. Sherwood insisted the enhanced partnership between the brands was one way to connect Disney with an audience ranging "from teenagers to baby boomers and everyone in between." But in fact it always came back to Roseanne . When ABC programmer Channing Dungey finally stepped onto the stage, she reminded the audience that the show had been followed by "one in ten Americans" since it first aired in March.
The Spin | It was Rita Ferro's second point of contact as head of a newly integrated ad sales department. ABC was late to integrate its ad sales team, and Ferro also confirmed this. "Last year, we promised to destroy better silos," she said offstage. It then revealed a number of unequivocal statistics on the effectiveness of ABC and Freeform. There were many late attendances throughout the presentation – see "1 in 10" above – but the vast majority of promotional offers do not include a 35-day window.
The Star Power | Grown-ish and Black-ish actress Yara Shahidi, a bridge-screen from ABC to Freeform, took the stage and inspired a whole theater with a felt stumping speech about her generation. "A generation that wants the true," she said to an enthusiastic audience, "a generation that is not penned." Later in the presentation the good doctor enchanted Freddie Highmore's buyers and Nathan Fillion made her laugh. Featured as Dungey's "Sweetheart", The rookie's star (late Castle ) won the room when he acknowledged his niche fame: "If you do not know me, that's I'm probably a very big deal for your mother. "
The Darling | Roast Master Jimmy Kimmel returned to big laughs with a long series of excavations in his networks and rivals. Highlights include: "CBS is [reviving] Murphy Brown .CBS knows what millennials want, and they'll be damned if they give it to them." And then, "It's refreshing to see something brown on CBS His barbs were not reserved for ABC rivals. He scolded Shonda Rhimes and joked that he and his colleagues "hope they will rot in hell." He added that the TV megaproducer had chosen Netflix: "As the saying goes, when a door closes, you're fucked."
The Room | After a day and a half of fierce conversation and more than a few hard-to-follow hisses, the crowd at Lincoln Center seemed grateful for the plethora of clips and feature-length trailers aired during ABC's presentation. Drama A Million Little Things (ABC's Highest Test Pilot) and Comedy The Kids Are Alright received particularly warm applause. Also a preview of the children's version of Dancing With the Stars is well done.
WTF? Moment | A new slogan is more than enough for a single presentation, but that has not stopped ABC from releasing two dizzyingly similar "Straight Forward" (ABC News) and "Forward Together (ABC)." Hillary Clinton left us at a yard sale, "joked Kimmel.A special greeting also goes to Gray's Anatomy taunting Kimmel with just a cut out of the room, but seemed to be wrong from the medical drama: "Danielle, did you put a gun in your vagina?
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