ABC Chief on ‘Wicked City’s’ Demise

Paul Lee also addressed the potential confusion between his ‘American Crime’ and FX’s ‘American Crime Story.’
Paul Lee trotted out on stage Saturday touting a “strong fall” at ABC.

“Every year, you have to add a couple of assets, and we believe with Quantico we have a real asset,” the ABC Entertainment Group president explained during his time before the Television Critics Association. He praised lead Priyanka Chopra, whom he labeled the “quintessential ABC star,” and insisted the fast-paced series has a long life ahead.

Before Lee opened himself up to questions from the room full of reporters, he also pushed the four series he’ll be premiering in March and teased ABC’s forthcoming Bernie Madoff miniseries Madoff and Shonda Rhimes’ The Catch with well-received footage. (Of the latter, he acknowledged he won’t see the revised pilot until next week; what he showed was simply the first scene he had seen.) Then came the press queries, and suddenly Lee was forced to address the quick demise of heavily promoted Wicked City and the troubles at The Muppets, both of which contributed to ABC’s third-place fall finish (tied with Fox) among the all-important 18-49 demographic.

Wicked City’s Demise

Despite heavy (heavy) promotion, Wicked City became the first network series to get the hook this fall. Lee acknowledged that the anthology drama — which in its first installment followed a murder case that had bubbled up around the cocaine-happy Sunset Strip — “might have been” off-brand for ABC, but he has no regrets about giving it a shot. “You’re in a much worse place in these jobs if you’re not taking big swings and you’re trying to eek out some B-pluses,” he stated, before directly addressing of the series’ demise: “It didn’t find an audience, and we didn’t have any belief that it would in the long term.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter