On the heels of beating Jay Leno for the first time in-season last week and marking his 10th anniversary in late-night, Jimmy Kimmel returned to headline ABC’s upfront presentation today older if not wiser. Kimmel was introduced by a video featuring celebrities congratulating him on his anniversary, including Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, stars of ABC series and the Kardashian sisters. Kimmel started off by thanking the Kardashians for taking time “from their busy schedule of having sex with the Minnesota Timberwolves.”
Kimmel skewered ABC entertainment president Paul Lee for putting panned cross-dressing comedy Work It on the air last season. “Remember last year that show Work It? You know we were kidding, right? The fact that Paul Lee greenlit that should tell you everything you need to know about what Brits think about us.”
On Lee, who was reportedly approached for the top job at the BBC. “He decided to stay. In the end, ABC has something that BBC would never have: dental.”
On ABC shows: “Dancing With The Stars is still going strong-ish. Last night I was watching the show, fell asleep fell off the couch and hit my head on the floor. And for the first time this season, I actually saw stars.” On ABC’s upcoming all-stars edition of Dancing: “Dancing With The Stars All Stars — how many times can we lie to you in a single title.” Also, “The upcoming Duets is unlike any other singing competition show… assuming you haven’t seen any other singing competition show.”
Some of Kimmel’s shots at other networks:
“NBC: spinning chairs and a monkey: this is truly the golden age of television,” a reference to The Voice and NBC’s new comedy Animal Practice, which features a monkey. “This is the first character on NBC who threw their own feces since Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice.”
On Fox hiring Britney Spears as new X Factor judge: “If you pay her $15 million, how much do you pay someone who can sing?” He paid homage to axed X Factor judge Paula Addul, who “paved the way for bipolar reality series judges. No one was more dedicated or medicated.”
Once again, Kimmel beat up on the most-watched network, CBS, for its older median age. “They have their finger on the pulse of Americans with almost no pulse.” “CBS is the way to reach the 18-49…. trips to the bedroom demographic.” “CBS is going to stay in their lane — they’ll have their turn blinkers on the whole, time, but they’ll stay in their lane.” “CBS viewers love watching cop shows because the chases remind them of the time when they could drive.”
Kimmel closed with a reference to the Secret Service prostitution scandal. “We know you have $9 billion, so don’t try to get cheepy Secret Servicey with us,” he told advertisers. “We don’t get naked until we see the money.”
Meanwhile, ABC brass basked in the glory of Modern Family, now the No. 1 scripted series on TV, and freshman standouts Once Upon A Time and Revenge. “Last year, ABC was all about ambition and stability; this year, it’s about doubling down,” said Lee, who often mentioned his British upbringing during the presentation, opening with a mock request for everyone to rise to “God Save The Queen”, and using expressions like “utterly delicious”, “wonderfully charming” and “delightful” to describe his new series.
Scenes from Once Upon A Time and Revenge dominated the back-to-back-to-back ABC series montages that opened the presentation. Their main casts of the two shows were on hand to present ABC’s new Sunday lineup that they are a part of. “Paul, it’s a good thing you picked us for a second season so I don’t have to add you to my list,” said Revenge star Emily VanCamp, whose heroine punishes everyone on her list.
The presentation ended with a performance by Duets stars Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Robin Thicke.