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TCA Roundup: ABC, Where the B Stands for “Bitch”

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ABC/RICK ROWELL

The Don't Trust the B cast at press tour.

So ABC had its turn to present at the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday, and recently installed network head Paul Lee addressed the question that I’m sure you were dying to hear answered: “So yeah, Paul, how come so many shows on your network with ‘Bitch’ in the title?”

ABC’s midseason schedule included two shows, Good Christian Bitches and Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, that taken together made for a bit of an awkward programming trend. Both shows have since received an -itchectomy, with the former becoming GCB (by way of “Good Christian Belles”) and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, which, depending on how ABC pronounces the PG-rated title, now rhymes.

“On broadcast, it’s not a word you want to use in the title,” Lee said. Misogynist cross-dressing comedies about how men are being emasculated by women in the workforce, however, are still all good! Other highlights from the ABC presentation:

* Cougar Town, not on ABC’s official presentation schedule, crashed the TCA party and will probably get a return date in March. It’s become a much better show. It’s still a stupid title. They know that. But it’s too late to change it to “B—- Town”—with which title it would probably already be on the schedule!—so life must go on.

* Steven Spielberg, who has suddenly decided to produce everything on TV, including Falling Skies, Terra Nova and Smash, will bring you The River in midseason, a verite-style horror series about a creepy Amazon expedition. I’ve only seen the pilot, but so far I can say: much scarier than alien invasions and dinosaurs. Probably even scarier than Broadway musicals.

* Desperate Housewives may be leaving, but ABC says it sees a longer future for Grey’s Anatomy. And in any case, the network is definitely staying in business with Shonda Rhimes, who brings political-p.r. drama Scandal to the network this spring. The Hollywood Reporter lists five ways Scandal is like Grey’s. One of them is not, “Lots of folk-pop ballads on the soundtrack,” but we can always hope.

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