When it comes to upfront showmanship, ABC’s Steve McPherson may be the new Leslie Moonves.
Over the past decade, the Eye supremo was the unofficial star of upfront week. Reporters always looked forward to his barbed jabs at the competish, while advertisers guffawed at short films in which Moonves — a former thesp — poked fun at various pop-culture touchstones (“Million Dollar Moonves,” anyone?)
But with Moonves now CEO of his own company, he cut back on the barbs and got out of the spoof biz. That left an opening for another webhead to steal the spotlight — and that’s what McPherson did.
ABC entertainment boss wowed the cynical Madison Avenue crowd by performing a showstopping ballroom routine with “Dancing With the Stars’ ” Edyta Sliwinska. He trained for eight weeks to get the fancy footwork down, and it paid off with a rare upfront standing ovation.
As for the Alphabet’s new sked, it’s too soon to tell if McPherson made all the right moves.