ABC programming chief Paul Lee spent a surprising amount of time this morning on the phone trying to calm reporters whose undies seemed bunched over the move of Grey’s Anatomy to 8 PM Thursday (to make room for Shonda Rhimes new drama How To Get Away With Murder at 10 PM) and the quantity of the culturally diverse new series Lee has ordered for next season.
Related: ABC 2014 Schedule
“We wanted to reflect the changed face of America,” Lee explained, in re the new series’ cultural diversity. But his comment also applied to the many questions he took on his move of Grey’s Anatomy into the timeslot that, decades ago, was known as The Family Hour. It’s a notion that, practically speaking, ended years ago for American viewers, thanks to the more adult original programming now available in the hour on cable and other programing platforms, and via DVR viewing, etc. But, it’s a concept to which some watchdog groups, politicians, advertisers – and reporters, apparently — have clung. Lee noted the move was made, not to push the envelope but because the network has “stumbled” at 8 on Thursdays in the past “so this made all the sense in the world.”