Comedy is king, at least at ABC, as the network has renewed three of its freshmen comedies, giving them the much-coveted second season pickup. The announcement came Tuesday and was given by ABC’s Steve McPherson who said he had given early second-season orders to Wednesday night comedies Modern Family, Cougar Town and The Middle. The network also gave the green light to another comedy pilot called Mr. Sunshine, starring Friends alum Matthew Perry.
ABC also announced the pickup of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which follows the celeb U.K. chef as he travels to Huntington, W.Va., in order to launch a new healthy cooking initiative. The show, from Ryan Seacrest Prods. and Fresh One Prods., will air Fridays at 9 p.m. starting March 26.
And McPherson confirmed the network is at work on a spinoff for The Bachelor. The new show, Bachelor Pad, will run in late summer as a bridge between The Bachelorette and the fall schedule. The show, hosted by Chris Harrison, features former Bachelor contestants keeping it sexy in a house. ABC’s other big reality franchise, Dancing With the Stars, is back Monday, March 22. McPherson said the show would include fewer contestants this season.
McPherson also reiterated that ABC wasn’t interested in pursuing Conan O’Brien and wouldn’t move Jimmy Kimmel to make room for him. “We don’t have any plans to change our latenight right now,” he said. “I love Kimmel. He’s been amazing. (We’re about to) launch a new strategic marketing plan for them. Our intention is really to embrace him and bring him as part of the ABC brand as opposed to this offshoot.”
Well, thank goodness for that. At least one network honcho seems to think messing with your late night schedule and pissing your talent off is a bad idea.