For far too long, broadcast networks have programmed shows that don’t accurately reflect the cultural backgrounds of the audiences watching them. ABC has been changing that with a far more diverse slate than its broadcast counterparts. As I wrote at Adweek, the network’s entertainment president Paul Lee talked about the strides ABC has made as he met with reporters at winter press tour.
“I think it’s our job to reflect America,” said ABC entertainment president Paul Lee at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour this week. “I really believed from the beginning that the demographic changes in America were just as important to our revolution as the technological changes.”
At the same time, Lee noted, “We didn’t pick up these shows because they were diverse, we picked them up because they were great.”
Lee addressed a variety of other topics, including anthology-style series, the death of “least objectionable television,” and why binge-watching isn’t a bad thing. He also said that he has finally gotten the message about launching music competitions after last summer’s Rising Star fared even worse than Duets two years earlier. “I don’t think we’ll try that for a little bit,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll come back to that in the future.”
After a dormant period, the miniseries genre is having a renaissance. Just don’t call them that, as I wrote at Quartz.
But nobody calls these shows “miniseries,” anymore. Instead, the networks have embraced terms like “limited series” and “event series” to describe programs with a predetermined end or cast that changes from season to season.
So what’s the difference? Not even the people running the networks can answer that one. “I don’t know,” NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt admitted to reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in January.
“It’s a genre that has kind of gone out of our sort of vocabulary for a long time because we stopped doing them,” said Greenblatt. “I think we use the word miniseries when something is closed-ended and can’t continue.…I don’t know what a limited series is.”
CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler also spoke with me at TCA about why the m-word has become so verboten, and I help clear up the confusion between miniseries, limited series, event series and anthology series.