ABC’s Paul Lee Predicts Success for New Fox Chiefs Dana Walden and Gary Newman

TCA 2014: Lee’s biggest hit, “Modern Family,” comes from Walden and Newman’s studio

Mitch Cam Modern Family

ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee has a curious relationship with Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

The studio they run, 20th Century Fox Television, is responsible for ABC’s biggest hit, “Modern Family.” But under a new deal announced Monday, they’ll also run Fox Broadcasting, one of ABC’s rivals.

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Lee runs ABC’s network and studio, and thinks Walden and Newman will do “extremely well” doing both jobs.

“Running both of them is a challenge but it’s very fulfilling when you get it right,” he told TheWrap. “You do both jobs, you have to buckle up.”

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The companies are closely linked even as they try to edge each other out in primetime. Lee noted that ABC Studios’ “Red Band Society” will air on Fox this fall.

TheWrap asked Lee if it’s hard to decide what shows to keep for his network and which ones to sell to rivals.

“It can be difficult,” he said. “But when you have great executives, the key is to place the right shows in the right places, put the right showrunners in the right places. And look for a mixed economy of both sides.”