Variety was the first to break the news, and now it's official: Paul Lee is heading to ABC. What's more, he'll even be on stage this Sunday to take questions from reporters as part of the Alphabet net's TV Critics Assn. press tour day. Lee is cutting his vacation in Britain short to fly back and take part in the TCA. (TCA leaders had strongly suggested to ABC that not having an exec session would be damaging — and that even if Lee didn't have much to say, he'll at the very least provide the network some charm offensive.)
That may be the most awkward exec session we've seen in a while. Lee will not have even started his new job when he shows up. He won't know a lot of his own execs. And, for all we know, he may have not even seen the shows yet.
And given how ex-ABC Entertainment topper Steve McPherson's sudden departure may have legal issues attached, it's doubtful anything will be addressed in that matter.
Guess we'll be talking a lot about "Pretty Little Liars."
Read Cynthia Littleton's story about Lee's official ABC Entertainment hire here. And here's the press release below:
|DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP ANNOUNCES PAUL LEE AS NEW PRESIDENT, ABC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP|
|DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP ANNOUNCES PAUL LEE AS NEW PRESIDENT, ABC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
|Burbank, CA – Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman Disney/ABC Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group today announced today that former ABC Family President Paul Lee has been named President, ABC Entertainment Group, effective immediately.
In his new role with the ABC Entertainment Group, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment.
In discussing the announcement, Sweeney stated: "Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was tapped for this new responsibility. Paul's success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable, and I'm looking forward to his continued success on ABC."
Lee added: "I'm proud of everything we achieved at ABC Family, and I'm looking forward to working with another great team at ABC Entertainment Group to bring even more compelling stories to viewers. ABC is a great network defined by creativity and known for delivering some of the best shows on television. I'm excited to be part of it, and deeply honored to be chosen for the unique opportunity to lead the network and the brand into the future."
MORE AFTER THE JUMP.