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34 February 17th, 2016 Paul Lee Steps Down As ABC’s Entertainment President: Channing Dungey Named As Successor!

Courtesy/ABC

A report from the New York Times on Wednesday first broke the news that ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee, who found such hit series, as How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal has stepped down, or more than likely been forced out from the company after a power struggle with high-ranking executive.

That executive would be Ben Sherwood, the Chairman of the Disney/ABC Television Group. ABC has since confirmed the news. Lee had been the ABC Entertainment President for the last three years.  However, Ben Sherwood became Paul Lee’s boss early last year and has used ABC’s soft standing in the overall ratings race to make a case inside Disney for a management shake-up at the network.

Lee has been a supporter of the one daytime drama series left on the network, General Hospital.  Longtime ABC development executive Channing Dungey has assumed Lee’s role.  She now becomes the first African-American person to head programming at a major broadcast network. Dungey will now report directly to Sherwood.

Courtesy/ABC

In a statement from Sherwood on Dungey’s new position with ABC, he expressed: “Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers. We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”

ABC has been languishing in the ratings, which makes the case for their to be a change at the top.  Of the major networks, it’s  down the most, year-to-year, shedding 9 percent among adults 18-49 to an average 2.0 rating. It’s down 12 percent among total viewers, its average primetime audience down to 7.2 million viewers. In fact, just one night prior to the news of Lee’s exit, ABC ranked last on the broadcast networks — trailing even the CW and Fox with an anemic 0.8 rating in the key demo.

So, what do you think of the network shake-up at the top of ABC?  Do you think ABC made the right move in forcing Lee out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  1. Timmm says:

    Lee supported GH. We dont know how this women feels about soaps. Until she makes a statement its hard to give an opinion. My feeling is she could give a rats azz about GH or she may just be the one to cut the fat and hire decent actors who belong on GH!

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee seemed to like soaps..
    His ABC primetime biggies were soaps;
    Revenge, How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal etc etc..

    His replacement ‘Channing ‘ by her photo is quite young..
    Truth be told, younger people do not like soaps, and she most likely has never been a fan, no matter what she says..

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    Su…Paul Lee just turned fifty, Channing Dungey’s YOUNGER sister, an actress, is 45. So…she’s probably close to 50 give or take. Since she’s a woman, thougj I’m not sure if thaf will have a bearing, she may be able to tap into the dying embers of the soap genre…fingers crossed.

    su0000 replied

    hi rebecca1..
    wow! she looks so much younger than 50ish.. I sat her photo as early 30′s …

    Timmm replied

    I think your right, she is not the typical demo to like or support soaps. BTW, I dont think young people dislike soaps, I think that one, there are not many on TV and they usually dont make the news and two, way too many other options for todays youth.

  2. clh says:

    I’m guessing this puts the nail in the last ABC soap.

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    Ryan replied

    ABC will now cancel GH, they want out of the soap business.

    Reply

  3. MBmomof3 says:

    Happy to see my ABC boycott is paying off ;)

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    Ricardo replied

    Yes me too, Karma is a bitch ABC.

    Reply

    Llanviewer717 replied

    I’m very glad know that others are still avoiding programming on the alphabet network. From the numbers quoted in this article, a lot of others are avoiding their trash. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

    Reply

  4. Rose says:

    The first thing that came to my mind when I read this was Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’…”fasten your safety belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” I would substitute “ride” for “night.”

    Another thing is that it’s ironic Paul Lee got caught up in what I have to assume was very serious politics at ABC, not unlike ‘Scandal.’ I have to assume no dead bodies in this case though.

    Reply

    Robert replied

    Brian Frons could be dead, or in hiding. If I find the sob, I will send Sheila Carter after him LOL. I will gladly help Sheila to tie him up, and torture him lmao.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    You will need to go above Frons, he was doing what he was told to do and got a 3 million dollar bonus for doing so..

    clh replied

    Disney is pushing to get rid of the soaps. He was just their hatchet man.

  5. Melissa says:

    Perhaps the new head loved OLTL‼️ Maybe we’ll get it back. MB mom of 3 I have been boycotting ABC as well. They don’t mess with my soaps

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    Llanviewer717 replied

    I hope you are right Melissa. How I crave our beloved One Life to Live.

    Reply

    MBmomof3 replied

    I honestly don’t miss ABC. I do DVR and watch GH, but that’s it. I will always miss OLTL.

    Reply

  6. Judy Ann Severs Neuman says:

    Not happy at all on this. Wish someone would take General Hospital to another channel like POP 273.

    They ABC cancel all the soaps that were on 262 SoapNet which Disney now own. And at least I have them there to watch no more now.

    We need someone the can help our soaps.

    Thank for listening

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    hi Judy Ann..
    POP is a rerun network, they do not produce soaps POP reruns them..
    ABC has extension cable for years to place GH on, but that will never happen..
    It is ABC daytime or not at all :(
    ABC development executive Channing Dungey may well be very good for GH as Entertainment President…
    In 3 months time, we will most likely know..

    Reply

  7. Bonnie says:

    Well we still have Vicky and she is our Daytime Exec, and she supports GH

    Reply

  8. kmayne says:

    Hopefully she too will support ABC’s lone soap. As far as prime time goes ABC needs to do something. they were lagging behind the CW on Tuesday nights. Hopefully she will leave GH alone and focus on prime time

    Reply

  9. vinman says:

    Bye….GH……most likely more talk trash…food non-sense….or KarTRASHian crap.

    Reply

    Carpetmom replied

    More lifestyle and FOOD tv?! So tired of that. Calgon/ABC’s GH take me away from 50 ways to make Kale Salad!

    Reply

  10. Trophy Lady says:

    Congratulations to Ms. Dungey! I’m looking forward to her positive impact on ABC, including ABC Daytime. We have no reason to believe that she won’t support GH. Furthermore, as she is a black woman, I am hopeful that she oversees and insists that there are more fully fleshed out black actresses/characters added to the GH canvas! They are in DESPERATE NEED of QUALITY black women on General Hospital!

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    ENOUGH of the black talk! Did you see GH this past Friday? 3/4 of the show focused on Jordan, Valerie, Dr. Maddox , Curtis and T.J. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?

    Reply

    Trophy Lady replied

    Well, I don’t like your tone — so I’d appreciate you being a bit more polite, just for starters.

    But, since you asked what I want, I’m more than happy to tell you.
    If you’d have paid attention (which you seem to imply, yet you’re asking what I want — so that means you really didn’t pay attention), you’d know that I don’t agree with ALL of the black people on the GH canvas being involved with each other. THAT MAKES NO SENSE!!! There are more than enough white people in Port Chuck for the four black people to interact with. Why in the HELL are they ALL tied to each other??? That is just dumb, and point blank — RACIST!

    And, furthermore, I just LOVE how you said, “ENOUGH of the black talk!” If I were talking about the gay storylines, would you have DARED to type, “ENOUGH with the GAY talk!” I’m willing to bet NOT. Somehow, people think they can FLAT OUT tell you to table the race relations talk, but the GAY talk — oh, everyone should be on board! How dare anyone say ANYTHING against the gays, but hey, we’re tired of hearing about the lack of blacks with a DECENT storyline on this show, so that should be disregarded. So, you want us to be pro-gays, but ANTI-BLACK INTERRACIAL ROMANCE right? Gimme a break, dude!

    Timmm replied

    My TONE is vital in getting your attention and I got it!

    I simply pointed out how many blacks were on screen this past Friday. I mentioned nothing about couples and relationships! A lot of races STILL date and marry within their own race. BUT LISTEN, There is nothing wrong with interracial coupling. T.J. and Molly are cute and I really miss Shawn Butler and dug him and Alexis together.

    Lastly, PLEASE do not use the term “Racist” when replying to me! I love all people and hope for happiness!

    PS: “Gay Talk?” There are a lot of gay posters here and they dont bitch about stories. If they did and I had an opinion I would voice it. One of my favorite characters is Lucas. He gets VERY little screen time and I also enjoy Brad. You here nothing about them. Be patient and quit being so angry. HUG SOMEONE TODAY!

    Reply

    Trophy Lady replied

    Sweetie, you make me chuckle. I think that’s what got the attention that you so desired — not your tone. But I do thank you for toning it down because you did appear a bit irate.

    “Be patient” — well, that’s the same thing that black people ROUTINELY heard throughout the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Should they have listened, and remained “patient?” What time frame would you have given them for their “patience?” Again, you make me chuckle. Not sure if it’s truly ignorance on your part, or just something else altogether.

    And, as for your comment that “a lot of races STILL date and marry within their own race” — well, both Ms. Dungey AND her sister, Merrin, have chosen to marry white men. Soooooooo, I’m going to intelligently surmise that Ms. Dungey is ALL FOR black women/white men interracial romance on screen — since, after all, it’s not as ethereal and complicated as you may believe.

    Here’s to hoping that she makes MANY positive changes on GH!

    Timmm replied

    I am not going to get into a debate over civil rights on a soap site. However, I do think it is healthy to talk to one another. NOTHING will ever get accomplished if society continues to yell at one another. Your original post mentioned race. It is STILL a hot button topic in 2016. Please listen, I am for love and happiness. I dont care about the color of skin. A happy couple is all that should matter. I dont care about the sex of a partner. People site the bible over this issue. Fine, its a matter of the gay couple and their talk with Jesus. Its not our place to judge! I simply want better stories on my soaps, black, white, yellow or gay. Amen Trophy Lady?

    Reply

  11. Jane says:

    She’s going to try and prove herself ,probably got her list in motion.

    Reply

  12. robert says:

    was not surprised about this. ABC’s ratings have been bad. some of their primetime shows have been dismal. let’s hope she cares about soaps and get rid of Varni

    Reply

  13. Alan says:

    I’m guessing this means NASHVILLE will finally get cancelled…

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Welcome back to GH JJ?

    Reply

  14. MBmomof3 says:

    I really believe they need to focus on primetime. ABC Daytime may not be great, but it’s doing it’s thing. The last time they attempted an overhaul of their daytime programming they mucked it up royally. Primetime is where the large part of the money is made and spent. That said, I still won’t watch. ABC is dead to me with the exception of GH. I would hate to see this iconic show go, but if it did I would never have a reason to tune into ABC again. Again, I don’t miss it. CW is where its at for primetime TV.

    Reply

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