ABC’s Paul Lee On The Future Of ‘Castle’ & ‘Nashville’, ‘Muppets’ Woes, Big Swings – TCA

It came down to the wire last year, with Castle‘s Stana Katic signing on for Season 8 hours before ABC’s upfront presentation. With deals pending for both Katic and costar Nathan Fillion, there’s been a lot of speculation about the show’s future, whether there are contingency spinoff plans or even a Castle 2.0 should Fillion and/or Katic opt not to return.

“We’d love for Castle to keep going for years to come,” ABC president Paul Lee said at a TCA panel today. “There are lots of good ideas for that. I don’t want to give a glimpse to what those ideas might be, but I’m feeling optimistic that we’ve got some good ideas.”

NashvilleAlso, no end date yet for soap Nashville, which has had a challenging fourth season with star Hayden Panettiere taking a medical leave for treatment of postpartum depression. Panettiere just returned to work, and the series is going ahead, with no plans to wrap the story. “We don’t have any plans to end it (after Season 4),” Lee said. “Nashville has an incredibly passionate audience, so we don’t have plans other than to keep it going.”

Lee also spoke of off-beat comedy series Galavant, which beat the odds to return for a second season. “It’s an adorable show,” Lee said. “The execution of the second season is really strong.” He also mentioned a potential Broadway future for the series.

Lee addressed the softer-than-expected start of The Muppets, which underwent a showrunner change. “We didn’t quite feel that the show had the joy, the laughter and heart we were looking for,” Lee said, adding that “we have very high, high hopes” for the revamped second part of the season.

Lee also fully supported the twist in the fall finale of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal that featured Olivia Pope getting an abortion. “I loved the way it was a big surprise,” he said. “I backed (Rhimes) to the hilt.”

Lee was not apologetic about the quick demise of Wicked City. “I love taking big swings, and that was a big swing. It didn’t find an audience, and we didn’t think it would grow, but you are in much worse shape if you don’t take swings.”


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