ABC wrapped up its sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday, the first official day of the broadcast portion of the tour.
The network showed off new fall series “The Muppets,” “Quantico,” “Wicked City” and “Dr. Ken.” It also offered up chief Paul Lee to field questions from the press; and brought out cast members and producers of “The Goldbergs,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” for victory laps.
With Fox scheduled to take the stage Thursday, TheWrap looks at the best that ABC had to offer.
1. Tyra Banks Tackles Daytime’s Revolving Door
ABC ceded its first slot Tuesday to its syndication division and “FABLife,” the upcoming panel talk show led by Tyra Banks, who returns to daytime following a five-year absence.
Bemoaning the state of daytime, Banks took a shot at existing shows that look to “just add another new person, just add another person” instead of innovate.
Later, speaking to TheWrap, Banks paid tribute to “The View,” which she called “the mothership of the panel talk show.”
2. The Muppets Take TCA
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy’s tour session to promote their new primetime show may not have been journalism’s finest moment (dozens of earnest questions being addressed to puppets as if they were real people) but it was arguably Tuesday’s funniest. One of the best lines came when Miss Piggy was asked whether she would be willing to fight Ronda Rousey. “I will meet anyone, anywhere, anytime,” she, or rather, the performer operating her, said, adding, “And put them in their place.”
3. America Meets Priyanka Chopra
One of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Priyanka Chopra will attempt to win over U.S. audiences this fall as the lead on action drama “Quantico.” She took a big step toward that transition Tuesday, displaying charm and a sharp sense for what American viewers like to watch. “Any actress in the world would want to play Alex Parrish,” Chopra said of her “Quantico” character. “She’s the female Jason Bourne.”
4. Shonda Rhimes Explains Why She Killed Patrick Dempsey
Asked during his executive session about the decision to kill Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd off of long-running medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” Lee drew laughs when he responded “It was great, wasn’t it?” He the explained that he was talking about the buzz generated by the episode, not the death of a fan-favorite. Asked later about why she chose to kill Dempsey — who wanted off the show, Rhimes said it was necessary in order to preserve the long-nurtured relationship between Shepherd and the show’s lead character, Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo. “Derek had to die in order for that love to remain honest,” she said.
5. Chace Crawford Reveals How Don Johnson “Bullied” Him Into Returning to TV
At Wednesday morning’s session for drama “Blood & Oil,” Chace Crawford talked about how he was convinced to sign on for “Blood & Oil,” his first TV series since “Gossip Girl” ended in 2012.
“I bullied him into it,” Johnson said. Crawford then chimed in, “It was nice to get a call from Don Johnson… I had the biggest grin on my face. It was great. I was already in the process of heading in that direction. I was really excited about getting involved in TV again, and it was great to get a call from Don.”