Comedy Impact Report 2011: Tube Titans

Credit for ABC’s comedy resurgence goes to many, but Samie Kim Falvey is clearly due some praise. The exec, who was named senior VP of comedy development in 2006, oversees a healthy laffer lineup that includes two-time Emmy winner “Modern Family,” “Happy Endings” and “The Middle,” as well as freshmen “Suburgatory” and “Last Man Standing.” “We’re trying to make sure the showrunners stay true to their voices while trying to reach the broadest audience possible,” says Falvey. “We’re looking for creators who are dying to talk about something personal to them.”

In a crowded landscape where timeslots are highly competitive, “Suburgatory” might be the most gratifying success story. The skein, from Emily Kapnek, has thrived as a “Modern Family” lead-in and become an integral part of the Alphabet’s Wednesday night lineup, averaging a very healthy 3.6 rating/10 share in the 18-49 demo and 10 million viewers overall. Falvey also had faith in the return of “Last Man Standing” headliner Tim Allen, a former ABC star with “Home Improvement.” “We never bailed out on the three-camera comedy,” she says. “The best strategy is always to go with the best shows, no matter the form.”

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