Paul Lee Seals New Contract as ABC Entertainment Group Chief

Paul Lee Seals New Contract ABC

There’s bound to be a lot of movement inside the Disney/ABC Television Group in the coming year as Ben Sherwood takes the reins from outgoing president Anne Sweeney. But one thing that won’t change in the near future is the leadership of ABC Entertainment Group.

Paul Lee has sealed a multiyear deal to remain president of the group, which encompasses the entertainment operations of ABC network, the ABC Studios production division and entertainment fare for Disney syndication and ABC Daytime. His contract renewal talks were under way well before Sweeney’s plan to step down in January was announced last month.

Disney topper Bob Iger has said that he tabbed ABC News prexy Sherwood as Sweeney’s logical successor as soon as Sweeney let her intentions be known to him last summer. But Iger has also voiced his support for Lee despite ABC’s rocky performance with new programs during the past two seasons.

Lee has been at the helm of ABC since July 2010. He came to the Alphabet after a successful six-year run at the ABC Family cabler, and before that he ran the BBC America cabler in its startup phase.

ABC declined comment on Lee’s deal.

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  1. Jim says:

    This man should have been demoted to the ticket booth at Disneyland.

  2. mick Carter says:

    What dirt does Paul Lee have on ABC executives huh? The man destroyed my favourite network with Fluke and stupid dramas this season hint:Mind games

  3. CAK says:

    One of Paul Lee’s many problems is that the idiot runs away from hits/potential hits that would instantly fix some of the holes in ABC’s schedule. DWTS is having a great spring season, up from last spring and last fall(2.3/15 million viewers Monday). Yet, it hasn’t even crossed his mind to bring back the DWTS Results Show to lift up Tuesday’s dismal numbers. Instead, he trots out another 1.0/3 million viewer, DOA show for the 10pm slot. How many times does one programmer get to keep bringing on board one dead show after another? And as someone else mentioned, ABC/ESPN share football, so why shouldn’t ABC get some of those highly rated Monday Night Football games? Does he even campaign for any of the games? Either the first four or the last four MNF games should go to ABC, which when combined with DWTS, would give ABC solid Monday night programming all the way through December. Also, someone with knowledge of college football should make sure SNF doesn’t get the short end of the stick when it comes to college games. Before Paul Lee took over Saturday Night Football always presented big time college football games. Now, the schedule is beyond pathetic. ABC’s big problem is that thy just need someone who will man up and demand the best for them. They have everything in their possession to be number one, except leadership. They need a man or woman with the capability of building upon their established hit shows, something Paul Lee clearly has not done. You just cannot continue to pander to someone who cancels shows with growing potential such as, “Better With You,” in order to bring in garbage like Suburgatory, that get increasingly bizarre, stupid, and unfunny in more ways than one. There’s a handful of strong shows that were canceled to bring in weaker Paul Lee shows, which again begs the question of how someone with that record of failure gets a renewed contract. Maybe it has something to do with the amazing lineup of pilots they attained, but something tells me he’s not even sane enough to know the potential hot pilots from the garbage ones.

  4. Nikki says:

    I’m very surprised ABC is continuing to give Lee opportunities to fail. ABC is doing so poorly, and has for the past few seasons. Do they think he’s going to get better given his track record? Seems silly.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      All of the big 4 broadcast networks are struggling. Both FOX and NBC are unmitigated disasters now that football has ended and NBC’s Voice is starting to hit new ratings lows more frequently. CBS’ tired cop procedural formula is starting to weaken with no new hits to replace these aging dinosaurs. ABC, unlike the other networks, does not have the benefit of the NFL ratings juggernaut on their schedule. Lee’s experimentation with filler shows like The Assets and Killer Women didn’t yield successful results but it was worth the effort to try to minimize repeats of ABC’s popular serialized shows. Not implying there isn’t room for improvement at ABC because there is but I think all of the networks have their own respective serious issues to deal with. I just don’t think ABC’s problems are necessarily any worse than their competitors’. Programming new hits is a shared problem across all networks as DVR and other multi platform viewing options are seriously eroding live television viewing for most scripted content.

      • Gerry says:

        Yeah but really? Killer Women? at least his predecessor when he had failures, they were interesting failures. They were looking for more male viewers and that’s not their niche. Stick with what works! I agree to give him more time. Development season looks good so lets see what happens next year.I still believe ABC and ESPN should run Monday Night football simultaneously to give ABC some of that inflated football rating. Not fair they were cut out of the pie.

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