Former NBC entertainment prexy Warren Littlefield knows from scheduling difficulties. And he’s also aware that the new series he’s exec producing with creator Noah Hawley for ABC, “My Generation,” faces a big scheduling challenge as it bows at 8 p.m. Thursdays next month, opposite such established skeins as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Bones,” “Community,” “30 Rock” and even CW success story “The Vampire Diaries.”
“It’s a very competitive world,” Littlefield said. “It’s not just about the network choices; each household has a hundred other channels.
“We don’t ask for guarantees. We know there are no guarantees.”
A year ago, ABC’s marquee fall premiere, “FlashForward,” launched in the slot (back when “Survivor” still resided there for CBS), and struggled from the outset. Its problems only increased as it tried to get a creative reboot on the fly, through showrunner changes and the like, which meant being pulled from the schedule for some fatally long stretches before limping into cancelation.
Given that the existing shows already have a strong hold on the 18-49 demo, it was natural to wonder how confident Littlefield was that ABC could even afford to give “My Generation” (which takes a documentary-style look at a group of high school grads 10 years later) a chance to build viewers.
“We have those assurances on paper in a contract,” he joked.
“We respect that it’s a tough time period. The only thing we can do is do the best possible show we can.”
Though it doesn’t have the buzz of “FlashForward” — which for all we know might bring the blessing of reasonable expectations — Littlefield doesn’t feel the network is shirking promotion of “Generation.”
“How does a network feel about you?” Littlefield asked. “If you’re in a movie theater, you see the trailer. If you’re watching ABC you see a 60–second spot. We feel their love. We just need to find an audience that embraces us.”