U.S. TV execs face critics with renewed confidence for broadcast TV's future.

Author:Hornik, Susan L.
Position::New Television Season

For over 35 years the California-incorporated Television Critics Association (TCA)--representing 220 journalists writing about TV in the U.S. and Canada--has been organizing a TV Critics Press Tour twice a year, with the past two years alternating between the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. in January and the Beverly Hilton Hotel in late July.

At this summer's 15-day Press Tour, which ended August 7, executives from six broadcasting organizations, cable TV representatives, Showtime and Hulu commented on programming and changing television viewing.

VideoAge's reporter on the scene offers this summary from the four major U.S. broadcast TV networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and their executives:

ABC's Entertainment Group president, Paul Lee, cites the international success of his U.S. shows as the recipe for the network's success.

"We were looking at our international numbers, and we're really seeing growth, not just on multiple platforms, but internationally. From the slate of new shows, we have eight new pilots from our own studio this year. And a lot of people are talking about our shows, and not just Scandal," he said.

He also mentioned Once Upon a Time, Nashville, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Resurrection, and Lucky 7 as series that have garnered attention overseas.

After spending time overseas for an Irish wake, Lee was struck by the number of people who approached him to talk about American television.

"I think we don't give ourselves enough credit for just how powerful American television is. I mean, sitting in a land a long way away at 4 in the morning.., and you're talking about Breaking Bad and Homeland and Scandal and Modern Family and Mad Men. You know, there's a reason why so many of the talent from features--and I'm talking behind the scenes, writers as well as directors--are moving across to us, to television. And there's a reason why people around the world are watching our shows. We're making extraordinary levels of very sophisticated television across all platforms, from Internet to pay to cable to broadcast ... I was struck by it, by leaving the country and coming back. It is reflected in a very real way in the revenues that we see coming in from the shows that we sell. I mean, Revenge is a great seller around the world and a top 10 show in Australia. Nashville is selling extremely well for us with Lionsgate. And, of course, Once is a great seller for us, and Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and...

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