In an admission of the lack of success in ABC drama development over the past several years, the President of ABC’s Entertainment Group, Paul Lee, announced today that effective immediately ABC would abandon all its drama pilots and the net would only add new sitcoms and unscripted programming to its Fall 2011 schedule. He noted:
When the best rated drama you can produce in the last three seasons is Castle, you need to hear the message that the TV viewing public is sending you.
We’ve been trying to create the next Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Lost for so long we’ve become distracted from creating sitcoms and unscripted programming that the public will welcome.
I can’t tell you how much time we spent on our struggling new dramas this season when Winter Wipeout, Spring Wipeout, Summer Wipeout and Fall Wipeout sat on the back burner. Well, that won’t happen again.
Anticipating the predictable cries from the entertainment media about abandoning tradition Lee noted, “Tradition isn’t even getting me a two rating in primetime”.
Update: More on ABC’s new schedule moves.