Live-Blog: ABC’s Upfront Presentation

ABC has the hottest broadcast drama series at the moment, Scandal, and the network didn’t waste any time to flaunt it to advertisers. ABC’s upfront presentation opened with a pre-taped skit featuring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope summoned to the Oval Office to do damage control for Disney-ABC Group president Anne Sweeney and her henchman, played by Jimmy Kimmel. The skeletons in ABC’s closet:

1. “Dancing With the Stars … they’re not really stars. We pick them up at the bus station”. (Kimmel)

2. [ABC president] “Paul Lee isn’t really British – he’s Mexican. We think that’s why Univision is beating NBC”. (Kimmel)

3. “ABC Family is adopted” (Kimmel)

4. “I steal Diane Sawyer’s clothes… and eyelashes”. (Sweeney).

Pope’s advice — “Own it; go out there and admit everything” is met with objections from Kimmel. “I think we lie about everything except Good Morning America,” he says. And with that, Sweeney comes out onstage, greeted with scorning gestured by Sawyer. The highlight in her opening remarks is when she acknowledged Barbara Walters and her announcement yesterday that she will retire next year. A huge standing ovation brought down the house. Sweeney continued with the Scandal theme with a “gladiators” reference in her speech.

Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule

“Hola,” Lee greets advertisers, drawing laughs. He is elaborating on the plan to introduce 8- to 12-episode limited series and splitting some of its serialized dramas into cycles running all originals from September to Christmas and then in the new year. “That will create buzz and lower repeats,” Lee said, also highlighting the switch to launches throughout the year to get away from the “September slugfest.”

Related: ABC New Series Trailers

Of the new ABC series, a supersized trailer for 1980s throwback The Goldbergs gets a very warm reaction as it plays heavily (and sweetly) on nostalgia. Also getting big laughs is the Bad News Bears-in-tone Back In The Game.

Hot Aussie comedian Rebel Wilson was on hand to introduce her new Wednesday comedy series Super Fun Night, which launches after Modern Family. The audience loved her raunchy monologue, which included lines like “Super Fun Night is the anti-Sex And The City: when these three ladies eat at night, they’re not talking about dick”, and “Don’t worry, I won’t be doing a Lena Dunham. I’ll only put my boobs out if it’s necessary for the storyline… or a Wednesday.” She received a big applause, with the trailer for her show also getting good reaction sans her American accent, which irked some. “Isn’t she great,” Brit Lee said seeing her off. “I have no idea why my ancestors sent her ancestors to prison.” (more…)

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