ABC is pathetic. There, I said it. The network has gone through more executive changes over the past 5-10 years, it's no wonder there has been no build-up and momentum among their development and production. The "breaking" news today, according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter is that ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne has resigned from her position. This comes two weeks after ABC Entertainment Chariman Lloyd Braun basically left the network after too many scrapes with Disney management as well.
Two years ago, Susan Lyne was the established star of ABC's original movie and miniseries division. She and Braun were going to transform the network and lead it out of its third place status.
But the only thing that hasn't changed at ABC over the past several years is, in fact, the Disney management that oversees the network, namely Michael Eisner and, probably even more importantly, Robert Iger. Now I don't claim to be any business-savvy genious, but I never quite understood Iger's rise not only to the top of ABC but basically to the #2 position at Disney and potentially Eisner's chosen "heir" to power. There's a reason why Roy Disney and his group said they would not find Iger to be an acceptable replacement to Eisner -- they don't trust him either. The fact is, Iger did a decent but certainly not extraordinary job as head of ABC back in the early 90s. But ABC's slide has been a long one, and unless I'm mistaken (no, I haven't done a lot of research), it started during his reign. That didn't stop him from getting promoted to upper Disney management where now the people who run ABC answer to him and Eisner. That also means he's responsible for overseeing the people who oversee ABC.
The network has had its share of hits over the years, but it has rarely been able to turn them into anchors for successful full night's of television. But the biggest problem many of the networks have is not nurturing new shows that need it and pulling the cancellation trigger too quickly. I wonder if ABC has done the same thing with its upper management. You can't blame it all on Jamie Tarses not being ready for the top job; that may or may not be true. What is true is that this whole time, at least since Disney purchased ABC/Capital Cities, Eisner and then Iger have been in charge, and now their network is the laughingstock of the industry.
Well, that's not fair. UPN still exists.