Channing DungeyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 4/21/18 at 2:19AM EDT
Grey's Anatomy renewed for Season 15, becoming ABC's longest-running scripted series
The renewal was considered a foregone conclusion since Ellen Pompeo signed a two-year deal in January to stay on the medical drama. With the pickup, Grey's Anatomy surpasses The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the ABC sitcom that aired for 14 seasons between 1952 and 1966. The renewal was revealed at the Grey's Anatomy's Season 14 wrap party on Friday night. “Grey’s Anatomy has a special place in my heart and millions of viewers feel the same way,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in a statement. “Thanks to fiercely loyal fans who have been on this journey since the beginning, and new generations of viewers who continue to discover the joy and drama of Grey Sloan Memorial, the show is as strong as ever.” ALSO: See the Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw farewell cake.
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Is ABC ditching its reputation for diversity in wake of Roseanne's success?
Roseanne's emergence and ABC's "heartland strategy" come as Shonda Rhimes is leaving for Netflix, with Fresh Off the Boat on the bubble, and after a controversial Black-ish episode was pulled, prompting creator Kenya Barris to reportedly seek an early exit from his ABC Studios deal. "Recent signs suggest that ABC is entering a new and more complicated era" when it comes to diverse shows, says Alyssa Rosenberg, "and the network isn’t alone — the number of women and people of color creating new shows declined across the industry as a whole in the 2017-2018 television season. And it’s striking, if a little tricky to discuss, that ABC’s reputation for bold discussions of race has hit a rough patch under the leadership of Channing Dungey, who became the first African American woman to serve as president of a major broadcast television network in 2016." As Rosenberg notes, Dungey has used "the language of diversity" in trying to broaden the network's audience to appeal to so-called Heartland viewers. "So far, Dungey’s attempts to secure a broader audience have shown some success," says Rosenberg, pointing to The Good Doctor and Roseanne. ALSO: By trying to appeal to "heartland" viewers, is ABC becoming "Trump TV"?
Posted Friday 3/30/18 at 2:11PM EDT
Roseanne revival is officially renewed for Season 2
A pickup for a second season (11th overall) is a no-brainer. But as The Hollywood Reporter notes, ABC will get to charge even higher rates for commercials following the record-breaking ratings. Roseanne was already commanding $175,000 per 30-second ad, a rate that is sure to soar. "We’re thrilled that America has welcomed the Conner family back into their homes," said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in a statement. "The show is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it left the air 21 years ago. We can’t wait to see what the Roseanne team has in store for next year."
Posted Friday 3/30/18 at 1:40PM EDT
ABC says its decision to revive Roseanne and American Idol sprang out of Trump's victory
On the morning after Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, ABC executives say they convened and came up with a new strategy. “We looked at each other and said, ‘There’s a lot about this country we need to learn a lot more about, here on the coasts,’” says Ben Sherwood, the Disney president who heads ABC's television group. That meeting led to the revival of Roseanne and American Idol, shows that could appeal to the Heartland viewer. “We went after it because that’s a show that, fundamentally, is about the American dream,” Sherwood says of Idol. “It’s about a girl with a cowboy hat and a boy with a banjo and people from small towns where music has saved their lives in different ways.” Adds Entertainment president Channing Dungey: "We had spent a lot of time looking for diverse voices in terms of people of color and people from different religions and even people with a different perspective on gender. But we had not been thinking nearly enough about economic diversity and some of the other cultural divisions within our own country. That’s been something we’ve been really looking at with eyes open since that time.” ALSO: The Roseanne-Trump narrative doesn't make sense because what would it mean if another classic sitcom like Seinfeld came back to massive ratings?
Posted Wednesday 3/28/18 at 9:54PM EDT
Why it's wrong to attribute Roseanne's big ratings to politics
"As a TV show, Roseanne hasn't suddenly become a mouthpiece for the alt right and any interpretation of the premiere that pretends it's a validation of a need for conservative TV is absurd," says Daniel Fienberg, adding: "Or, put a different way, Roseanne, a show that was once of its moment, came back as a show of a new moment and just as there was an audience for the show when it was at its peak, there was clearly an audience waiting for the show now." Fienberg expects that the big takeaway from the Roseanne revival will be to create shows about Trump supporters, or shows "about bridging gaps between Trump supporters and their estranged Trump-hating families (or Hillary supporters and their Trump-loving families). You can already bet that somebody in ABC's halls of power is wishing they had a new season of Last Man Standing ready to premiere after Roseanne next week or, failing that, hoping that they might convince Jonathan Taylor Thomas that America is ready for more Home Improvement. But Roseanne is not a conservative show."
- Roseanne's huge ratings prompts "soul-searching" from TV insiders who think it "revealed the untapped potential of comedies that provide realistic portrayal of blue-collar America"
- Sara Gilbert was "in shock" by the ratings: "There are no words because the words all sound cliche"
- Roseanne's progressivism and Roseanne Barr's personal beliefs might've created passionate interest on both sides
- ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey attributes the big ratings to a combination of nostalgia and politics
- Dungey says she was taken aback, but “I’m not quite ready to pull that trigger at this moment" on a Season 2 renewal
- Fox News stars celebrate Roseanne's ratings: "The 'Proud Deplorable' SMASHES expectations," tweeted Sean Hannity
- Rush Limbaugh wonders if pro-Trump shows will become a network trend
- A market-by-market comparison reveals Roseanne beat Will & Grace even in big cities like New York and L.A.
- Roseanne revival was good, but not because of Roseanne Barr
- John Goodman wasn't expecting massive viewership
- Becky's surrogacy storyline is problematic
- A warning: Reboots tend to fade after nostalgia factor wears off -- Will & Grace's demo audience has dropped substantially
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
ABC and American Idol producers are standing by Ryan Seacrest
"We stand by the results of the investigation," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says of E!'s third-party investigation into Seacrest for alleged sexual harassment of his former stylist. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Idol producer FremantleMedia, adds: "I've known Ryan now for almost 16 years. I stand by him. Obviously it's unfortunate. I'm not privy to the details. He seems to be very robust in his defense. And we'll see where it all goes."
Posted Friday 2/23/18 at 1:46PM EST
Oscar producers want to put the focus on the films, not politics or causes
"In this #MeToo era the people behind the Oscar telecast have a message: Our show will be focused on films, not the cultural moment around them," says Brooks Barnes of the plans for the 90th Academy awards. The Golden Globe Awards revolved around the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, the SAG Awards focused on gender equality and anti-domestic violence activists swarmed the red carpet at the recent BAFTAs. "We want to make it as entertaining as possible — reverential and respectful but also fun and emotional,” said Jennifer Todd, who is producing the Academy Awards for the second year in a row with Mike De Luca. “The Oscars should be a spectacle. Fun and funny and great performances. It should also be a giant commercial for the movie business, which we all need to keep going.” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey adds: “We certainly want to honor and respect Time’s Up and allow that message to be heard. But we’re trying to make it more planned than spur of the moment — it has its moment and then doesn’t feel like it overshadows the artists and films being honored...I would love for every award recipient to not feel like they have to acknowledge it independently." ALSO: Oscars reveal this year's performers, including Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige and Common.
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 4:08PM EST
Once Upon a Time will end with Season 7
Ratings for the Disney-themed fairy tale drama have tumbled 35% since it was moved from Sundays to Fridays. In fact, Once Upon a Time's disappointing performance, including hitting series lows, has hurt the network that has traditionally done well on Friday nights. “For seven years, they have captivated us with their creativity and passion while reimagining some of our most beloved Disney fairytales, creating an undeniable global hit,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement. “Saying goodbye will be bittersweet, but Once Upon a Time will forever be part of the ABC legacy and we can’t wait for fans to join us in this epic final chapter.”
Posted Tuesday 1/16/18 at 6:10PM EST
ABC is still planning for a Dancing with the Stars Junior
The spinoff was originally supposed to air this spring but was changed to a four-week all-athletes addition. "We were in the early stages of talent search for Dancing Junior and it wasn't going to come together as quickly as we would have liked,” says ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey.
Posted Monday 1/08/18 at 5:52PM EST
Why ABC hasn’t come up with a title for its Grey’s Anatomy firefighters spinoff
“Coming up with a title is one of the most challenging things we do,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said at the TV press tour, pointing out that Grey’s Anatomy’s name was settled on “right before air.” Dungey said she didn’t want to announce a name today, then change it in a few weeks.
Posted Monday 1/08/18 at 5:52PM EST
ABC boss blames “political fatigue” for The Mayor’s cancelation
“I feel like the show arrived on the scene at a time when people were feeling a little bit fatigued about anything that had to do with politics,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said at the TV press tour. “And I think even our title, The Mayor, maybe didn’t help us because when you watch the show it was so much about that workplace family, as well as his relationship with his mom, and [not] so much about politics.”
Posted Monday 1/08/18 at 5:52PM EST
ABC is “cautiously optimistic” of bringing Once Upon a Time back for Season 8
“It’s always hard at this point in January to know because some of it’s also dependent on your new development and how you feel about some of those things,” explained ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, “so that’s part of why it’s really hard at the top of the year to really know what’s going to happen.”
Posted Monday 11/06/17 at 10:48PM EST
The Good Doctor’s big ratings attributed to its “unabashed yet never maudlin sentimentality”
"What I love about this show is that it is unapologetically from the heart,” says executive producer Daniel Dae Kim, the former Lost and Hawaii Five-0 star, who has been trying to adapt the South Korean version of The Good Doctor since 2013. “There’s no cynicism in this character. So many leads on television we see these days are antiheroes, (but) Shaun is the anti-antihero.” The show has also received high praise for its “nuanced handling” of autism, which is the result of many hours of research and the hiring of a consultant who is involved in every stage of the writing process. ALSO: ABC entertainment president had vowed to stop chasing cable-like fare, opting instead for programming “that has hope and optimism and positivity at its core.”