TCA: ABC Producers, Talent on McPherson

Steve McPherson’s resignation Tuesday from his post as ABC entertainment chief has been a hot topic during this TCA summer press tour. Although Kevin Brockman, Executive VP, Global Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group, made it clear that the network would not be addressing the issue further, it didn’t stop critics from broaching the topic with the cast and creative team on ABC’s show panels.

Here are what some of them had to say about McPherson:

Mr. Sunshine star/exec producer/co-writer Matthew Perry on his show airing midseason

“Well, I’ll tell you, I had an interesting conversation a few months ago with some ABC people very high up — in the company, and on the phone, he told me exactly when we’re going to be on and what show we were going to be on after. I do not see him here today, as I look around…I don’t see the guy who promised that to me. So we’ll see. I will say that — no, I’m going to leave it at that.

You know what, can I say one — I just want to dial back for one second. You know, the real answer to that question that you had about when it’s going to be on is we don’t exactly know, but the creative team at ABC is all the same. We’re all the same. So, you know, I’m not sucking up when I say that — and I think, just independent of work stuff, that Paul Lee has become my best friend.”

Dana Delany, who did a two-episode arc on ABC’s Castle last season, on being cast in new show Body of Proof

“I think Steve McPherson saw me in the Castle and said, ‘Oh, she’d be good for this pilot.’ I think that’s how it happened.”

Modern Family’s Steve Levitan, during a network-sponsored coffee break, on McPherson’s exit

“My genuine reaction was that it sucks and I’m sorry to hear it…We’ve had the best of Steve on our show. He was a longtime friend, we go way back. We took Modern Family to ABC because of Steve, because he said he would support it. While I hear wonderful things about Paul Lee, I like people who shoot from the hip. You knew where you stood with Steve and I respected that.”

David Zabel, executive producer of Detroit 1-8-7, on exec shuffle affecting the show

“It changes very little for us in terms of the day-to-day because Steve was very supportive of the show, and we appreciate that, but in the day-to-day and the people that we’re dealing with on the creative level and the people obviously we’re dealing with immediately, we are continuing to do what we’re doing a week ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago and make the show, and there’s a lot of support there. And then all of the people we’ve been dealing with are the same for now. So we’re going to just keep doing our thing and hoping that people, you know, here at the network and at the studio continue to be happy with what we’re doing.”

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