UPDATE (Refresh for live blogging): Jimmy Kimmel was greeted with a huge cheer from the audience at the ABC presentation. “You people never learn, do you?” he opens, reprising some of what he said last time around. “And I know you have money this year by the way, so don’t try to act poor.” Here are his best jabs:
- On Fox’s decision to air Glee after the Super Bowl. “Apparently, they are trying to set a new Guinness World record for the most 43-year-old drunk guys saying ‘What the fuck is this?’ all at once.”
- On CBS’ reality hit Undercover Boss: “Here’s a hint for employees of chain restaurants. If your new bus boy comes and speaks English, he’s probably the CEO of Fuddruckers.”
- On NBC: ‘They canceled Law & Order and picked up Law & Order: Los Angeles. You know, the last time NBC took a show that had been on for 20 years in New York and moved it to LA, it wound up as the lead-in to George Lopez on TBS.
- On McPherson: “I think Steve MacPherson said it best earlier when he said, ‘We’re looking for shows to break the mold’ …and then introduced a new medical drama from Shonda Rhimes.”
- On Lost: “Watching Lost is what I imagine it must be like to be trapped inside the brain of Paula Abdul.”
- On cable competition: “Analysts say the networks are losing ground to cable. I disagree. I believe we’re gaining ground on newspapers.”
- His closing: “Network television is in flux. It’s been in flux for some time now. You might say we’re completely fluxed. That said, at ABC we want to give you a good hard fluxing for hours, from every conceivable position. Because that’s what we’re doing, constantly fluxing others. So let’s flux this thing up good this year.”
The presenation opened with an intro by Disney/ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney. Then the ABC presentation starts with an “initiation video” for the network’s new head of sales Geri Wang — who is seen going through the Wipe Out obstacle course only to get repeatedly knocked down and thrown in the mud pit. After Wang, in person, makes her pitch supported by a high-tech powerpoint presentation completed with flying images from ABC shows, entertainment president Steve McPherson comes out. He touts the top creators who have shows on the network, like Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. “Without Shonda, there would be no McDreamy, there would be no McSteamy. There will be just McPherson,” he deadpans.
Introducing the network’s new series, he heaps the most praise on No Ordinary Family and Generation Y — which he calls ABC’s “swinging for the fences” shows. Further separating them from the rest of the pilot pack, ABC did not include the two in the trailer package of the new drama series. Instead, they received a special introduction by Lost star Matthew Fox as “two new series that promise to take television to a new level once again.” The trailers for both series get solid applause, especially No Ordinary Family.
As for the 4 other new dramas lumped together, cop procedural Detroit 187 gets a tepid reception. The Whole Truth looks engaging with the constant cuts between the prosecution and the defense and back again, Off The Map is OK but not very memorable, while Body of Proof looks better than expected given its Friday time slot. Of the 4, Off the Map gets the biggest applause.
Thunderous applause for the cast of Modern Family who introduce the network’s new comedy series. Better Together and Happy Endings both look solid, with the trailer for Better Together getting the most laughs of any series. Mr. Sunshine didn’t fare as well, with long stretches of silence.