for two weeks 2022-18 TV season, the traditional Nielsen entertainment show continues to decline for years. With the exception of a few NFL games, the premiere week premiere did not reach 10 million viewers, Even with a week of delayed viewing.
However, there is evidence that viewers are still looking for web series, as a handful of streaming data suggest. ABC’s Abbott Elementary from 2. Climbing reached 7 million viewers across all platforms a week after its premiere, with 2.7 million coming from streaming and digital platforms. Web DramaRookieFrom 3.23 Multi-Platform After a week of viewing, it reached 8.2 million viewers that day. grown ups-60 ratings for both shows also more than tripled.
Figures like these make Simran Sethi, executive vice president of programming and content strategy at ABC Entertainment, optimistic about the state of the business. “The audience is still with us,” she told The Hollywood Reporter . “It feels like a very dynamic market, telling a strong, broad story.”
Sethi is ABC’s head of development and current programming, with THR About the start of the season, the network’s high-profile new drama Alaska Daily , starring Hilary Swank, and prioritizing multiple development cycles during the year.
I wanted to start by asking you how you feel about the first few weeks of the season and the upcoming Thursday lineup this week.
We’re excited. Our original unscripted shows are always exciting times after the summer break, and Bachelor in Paradise , one of my favorites. And I think seeing Abbott [Primary] news and the fact that we’re up in live seven and multi-platform 360 % in 7 days, we grew to 7 million viewers in 7 days, it’s a really very, very encouraging and exciting reminder that you can still bring people together with a great show together. Then Rookie: The FBI premiered last week — those numbers are early days, but it holds 60 percentage of imports, which is fine. And the same as rookie mothership [adult 92 A live number -23]. I feel good about it.
Thursday, interesting to put out a show in it) The first [ Grey’s Anatomy] and the first season of Shows [ Alaska Daily ] back to back. It’s such a lovely contrast and a testament to how good our creators are. Krista [Vernoff] and Shonda [Rhimes] are telling incredible stories [on Grey’s], even after The first season, with this new batch of interns, is very important for the present and this generation. They’re their own people, but it still taps into the nostalgic feel and iconic tone of Grey’s Anatomy we remember from the early days – for those We are old enough. I don’t know if you…
I like it very much.
I saw that set of [original] interns, I had a feeling when I watched the premiere episode and saw this new crop come together a very similar feeling. I think Grey’s still has a loyal fan base that everyone has a lot of in this new season. And then Alaska Daily , for all of us, celebrating journalists as heroes is truly a labor of love. It’s important to us, and it’s important to [creator Tom McCarthy]. I think this tells the story of the crisis of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, especially as an example of how important local journalism is, and that’s really why we all want to do this show.
Programs about reporters and journalists don’t have the best track record in history. What do you think this show has the potential to break that mold?
I think to me and all of us on ABC, it’s really Tom and Tom’s voice. He is a filmmaker with a passion for the field and a passion for celebrating journalists and their work.He was on the Anchorage Daily News and he did a piece called ” The “Lawless” series was really inspired by Kyle Hopkins.” I think this kind of work that emphasizes the importance of local journalism is exciting. Tom in particular, I think in all of his In the movie, it all touches on human nature in a very approachable and very warm way. He has a warmth in his storytelling, even about [serious] issues. He’s very good at telling human stories and making you care about people and it feels like His ability to be creative in this form, in this form, in this workplace, he’s also passionate about it and feels like we can do the right thing with that record.
And, you know, We’ve got a great cast of characters and it still feels like the hallmark of a classic ABC workplace drama. There’s competition in the office or romance in the office. It’s got those elements and I think it’s got Tom and Peter Elkoff, who is Co-showrunners, really writing the characters you want to be with you.
Talking about the development side of your work, it seems that on ABC and Elsewhere in the online world, after years of lip service to the idea, year-round development has finally taken hold.
Yes. This is me Talking really a lot with Karey [Burke], when she was the head of ABC a few years ago, and I worked really hard to change the nomenclature from “year-round development” to a defined cycle. We have a 2 One cycle, and a second cycle for our mid-season release. These are buckets that our development is strategically shaping, looking for when the project is ready and the script is in the right phase – not because it’s January Deadline and rush – and really waiting for the right talent. I think The Company You Keep and Milo Ventimiglia are perfect examples. Milo filmed in the final season of the regular pilot season This Is Us’ . If we Considering that pilot during the regular, traditional pilot season, we’ll never do a fall launch. We later targeted mid-season, and now we’re on This Is Us got him on ABC in his first year. It’s a really fun show and I’m really excited about it, but I think that’s what it’s about – it’s about talent and timing.
What other advantages does it give you when doing these two different tracks?
match Mid-season is very important to us. The January-February time frame is very favorable. We had a great time with Abbott last year and we had a wide variety of specials for the winter season for awareness and marketing of our show — New Year’s Eve , Oscars, we live in front of a studio audience Last year, We have football. January is also a high usage time – people watch a lot of TV in the winter. Really being targeted in the second cycle, focusing on mid-season, knowing that we can give these projects enough time to roll out mid-season is great.
What do you do when you have multiple studios within Disney providing shows for ABC and they also develop for other platforms owned by the company development process?
The ABC development team I work with, specializing in ABC. I think we do have a very gregarious feeling between our platform and the studio, which is probably why it feels a bit like a big team. Been doing this for 10 years and it’s a very, very collaborative academy environment. We have known each other for a long time on various platforms. Jordan Helman of Hulu put my crib together. Our company has a very friendly partnership, and I think with that comes a lot of opportunities.
When you see things like Abbott Elementary and Rookie getting so many viewers from streaming does that affect how you develop your show? Are changes in audience habits affecting your decision-making?
This is really interesting. I mean, 80 the percentage of our ABC TV shows that happen after the same day live, and 65 percent of comedy viewing happens after. So we’re very, very aware that our audience is watching a lot of different places. I think when we think about our brand and development, the most important thing is that it’s actually about broad entertainment, trying to reach as many audiences as possible with the most thematically consistent shows. Our comedy brand is about “feeling at home”. I think there’s a lot of connection to traditional family comedy, but when you look at what Abbott has proven, we all start families differently. We can These relationships are celebrated in many different settings. Because I think that’s something we’ve been thinking about. I don’t know if that’s affected by what you’re talking about with delayed viewing, but I do think it broadens our scope a bit.
Then those case-driven plays and programs will forever be the hallmark of ABC. We have those very rich characters that you want to live in 23 season. I’m a little teary at The Good Doctor because of Freddie Highmore’s character Sean, we’ve been watching for years, and then He did feel a little bit like he got married – I watched that wedding and I started crying like he was my family. And I think it’s because you invite these characters into your home and you’ve lived with them for many episodes and many years. That’s what we want to keep doing.
I wanted to ask a little about the state of broadcasting right now, especially since we’ve seen two CEOs leave Fox’s over the past week. Charlie Collier heads to Roku while The CW’s Mark Pedowitz looms over a change of ownership. Obviously, this is a very different business than it was a few years ago, but how do you feel about the current situation and the long-term viability of your business?
I feel great. I think they are both incredible executives. But I, I think that’s when I just referenced the environment within [Disney General Entertainment] on ABC, Disney+ and Hulu. It just feels very collegial and feels very friendly and collaborative. It really feels like we have the best team in the business. Dana [Walden] has incredible leadership and Craig Erwich is amazing. I work for two very amazing leaders. And I think we have the opportunity for these broad content, the way we see Abbott the numbers, the way the rookies increased 92 percentage in delayed viewing [Adult -23]. The audience is still with us. It feels like a dynamic marketplace that tells a strong, broad story.
Interview edited and condensed.