ABC is talking to Paula Abdul about joining "Dancing with the Stars" in some capactiy.
Steve McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment, said Saturday he would be open to signing the former "American Idol" judge to the Alphabet network’s hit dance competition.
"Absolutely…we would love to have her as a contestant of a judge," McPherson told reporters at ABC’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour. "I think she’s a huge talent. There’s a senstivity and an emotion to her."
McPherson said ABC would be interested in adding Abdul as a judge or possibly even as a dancer on the show, if that’s what Abdul wanted.
"All possibilities are open," he said. "It’s going to depend on where her head is."
McPherson said he called Abdul, an old friend, shortly after news leaked out about her departure. "She sounded great," he said. "I told her had heard about this and said I’d love to talk about possibilities at ABC."
McPherson added that he was "a little stunned by the decision" by Fox to not meet Abdul’s salary demands.
On other matters, McPherson admitted that ABC’s launch of so many shows in unprotected timeslots "is going to be a creative challenge and a marketing quandry." He said the network will be "very focused on Wednesday," and noted ABC had success with an all-new Wednesday drama lineup two years ago.
A relaxed McPherson, dressed in short sleeves, refused several attempts by reporters to bait him into making newsworthy remarks.
A softball about the exit of former NBC chief Ben Silverman– a frequent nemesis for McPherson — was answered with nary an ounce of snark.
"I think NBC’s in transition right now," he said. "We all want a vibrant network system. As competitive as we are…I hope they can get it back."
He did take a mild crack at NBC’s decision to strip Jay Leno at 10 p.m., however.
"NBC seems to be doing their own thing," he said. "The other networks are trying to put on great (shows at 10 p.m.)"
McPherson also dodged a chance to slam Nielsen, which he has attacked before for its antiquated measurement system.
Also during McPherson’s day with reporters:
–McPherson elaborated on planned reshoots on the new comedy pilot "Cougar Town," saying the original prototype didn’t "fully execute on Bill (Lawrence’s) vision." Some risque scenes may be cut, he said.
"We we in now way want to be edgy for edgy’s sake," he said.
–The upcoming revival of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" contains a "million dollar moment" that McPherson said is the most dramatic in the franchise’s history.
–McPherson ruled out across the board budget cuts to save money on production.
–Look for "more scripted balance in the summer"" on ABC rather than "wall to wall reality."
–Insiders confirmed that new drama "V" will premiere Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.