ABC.COM Debuts Online Series Featuring Country’s Top Stars Building up to ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’

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Fans can get a glimpse of all the behind-the-scenes action from the 2010 CMA Music Festival on ABC.com before the three-hour special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” premieres on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

Beginning today through September 1, ABC.com will launch over 20 online videos featuring CMA Music Festival fan favorites Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Laura Bell Bundy, Eric Church, Gloriana, Julianne Hough, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and more!

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ABC News Debuts New ‘Nightlineprime’ Series August 19; Investigates the Human Mind

ABC News launches a new primetime series, “Nightlineprime,” with four installments of “Secrets of Your Mind — Why We Do What We Do.” This marks “Nightline’s” first foray into primetime series. “Secrets of Your Mind” premieres THURSDAY, AUGUST 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) and continues for three successive Thursdays, concluding September 9.

In this series, “Nightline” anchors and producers explore the mystery and the science of the brain through a range of extraordinary case studies. The series also features the work of world renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes, of West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, and his patients. Each installment of “Secrets of Your Mind” will focus on a different research area, including love’s impact on the brain, medical emergencies involving the brain, violence and the brain, and food and the brain.

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Dramatic Life Changes Chronicled in ABC News 20/20 ‘Before and After’ Edition, August 6

Among those profiled on the Before and After edition of ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, August 6:

  • David Smith, a former friendless shut-in who once weighed 630 lbs, lost an astounding 401 lbs with the help of his first true friend, a fitness trainer named Chris Powell. Not only did Powell help with the weight loss, he was instrumental in helping Smith – painfully shy and awkward around women – hit the singles scene in search of true love. Smith’s incredible transformation even led him to become a personal trainer himself. Chris Connelly reports.

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Disney/ABC Television Group Names ABC Family’s Paul Lee as New ABC Entertainment President

Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman Disney/ABC Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group today announced today that former ABC Family President Paul Lee has been named President, ABC Entertainment Group, effective immediately.

In his new role with the ABC Entertainment Group, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment.

In discussing the announcement, Sweeney stated: “Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was tapped for this new responsibility. Paul’s success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable, and I’m looking forward to his continued success on ABC.”

Lee added: “I’m proud of everything we achieved at ABC Family, and I’m looking forward to working with another great team at ABC Entertainment Group to bring even more compelling stories to viewers. ABC is a great network defined by creativity and known for delivering some of the best shows on television. I’m excited to be part of it, and deeply honored to be chosen for the unique opportunity to lead the network and the brand into the future.”

Lee arrived at ABC Family in 2004 and revitalized it with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming like “Kyle XY,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Greek,” “Make It or Break It” and “Huge.” The network is also home to the biggest programming event on cable with “25 Days of Christmas.”

Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+ years of consecutive growth. 2010-to-date, ABC Family ranks among the Top 5 cable networks in Prime in W18-49 (No. 5), W18-34 (No. 4), F12-34 (No. 2), Teens (No. 3) and Female Teens (No. 3), and among the Top 10 in Total Viewers (No. 10), A18-49 (No. 10), A18-34 (No. 8) and V12-34 (No. 7). ABC Family has also grown its Prime audience by impressive margins: +74% in Total Viewers, +70% in A18-49 and +75% in W18-49. Among the network’s core younger demo sets, the network’s Prime delivery has also more than doubled over the past six+ years: +111% in A18-34, +115% in W18-34, +111% in V12-34.

Under Lee’s leadership, ABC Family made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year.

An announcement regarding a new ABC Family President will be made in the near future.

Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series “The Office” (British version) garnered two Golden Globes(r). Other shows under his supervision included the BBC’s “Changing Rooms,” which formatted into TLC’s signature show, “Trading Spaces,” “What Not to Wear” and the “Graham Norton Show.”

(more…)

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ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson Resigns

According to the Disney/ABC Television Group:

Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted.  Mr. McPherson said, “I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.”  A replacement for McPherson will be announced shortly.

According to his studio bio, which has been removed from the official DATG website, McPherson joined ABC Entertainment in 2004 and has been the driving force behind the network’s primetime comeback, developing quality content and then supporting it with more strategically directed marketing. The ABC Entertainment Group has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television today, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Modern Family.”

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Obama to Make Historical Appearance on ABC’s ‘The View’ July 29

Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of the ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning talk show, “The View,” announced today that President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, will be the featured guest, THURSDAY, JULY 29 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET), marking the first time in history a sitting United States President has visited a daytime talk show. President Obama’s unprecedented appearance is part of the show’s continuing “Red, White & View” campaign, which is committed to political guests and discussions.

Barbara Walters, creator/executive producer and co-host of “The View” will, in honor of this rare occasion, make one exclusive in-studio appearance to mark this historic hour for “The View.”

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Photo Gallery: ‘LOST’ Auction Sneak Peek (Hi-Res Photos)

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We previously announced the ‘LOST’ exhibit and memorobilia auction being held by Profiles in History in Santa Monica on August 21 and 22, 2010.

Profiles in History has graciously provided us with hi-res photos of some of the items that will be going up on the auction block to some very lucky bidders. In addition, the auction preview gallery is now live on Profile in History’s website here.

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ABC News Releases Innovative Application for iPad

ABC News today announced the release of a new application for the Apple iPad, available in the Apple App Store. The new application takes full advantage of the form and functionality of the iPad, using as the principal navigation tool a unique interactive three dimensional globe on which news stories appear. The launch of the ABC News iPad app marks the second time in recent months that the Disney/ABC Television Group has created an innovative video offering for the new platform. In April, DATG became the first to bring ad-supported video to the iPad via the acclaimed ABC Player app which has proven to be tremendously successful, with more than 928,000 downloads and 5.9 million episodes started in just over three months.

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‘LOST’ Exhibit and Live/Online Auction to Take Place August 21 & 22 in Santa Monica

“LOST” The Official Show Auction and Exhibit will take place in southern California at the Barker Hangar in the Santa Monica Airport on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22. ABC Studios, in partnership with Profiles in History, will conduct a live and online auction featuring the iconic props, wardrobe and set decoration of the Emmy Award-winning television series. Along with the auction, ABC will be offering fans an opportunity to immerse themselves in all things “LOST.” Large set pieces from the show will be on display, including a Dharma van and pieces of the plane wreckage from Oceanic flight 815. Other memorable props and wardrobe will also be featured.

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ABC’s Emmy-Nominated ‘Modern Family’ to be Honored by Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, will honor the hit ABC show “Modern Family” at the Respect Awards – Los Angeles, Presented by Centropolis Entertainment, on October 8 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Also being honored are Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and the GLSEN Educator of the Year, presented by Sodexo.

“Modern Family,” which recently received 14 Emmy nominations, portrays positive images and storylines that reflect a diverse America, including the depiction of a family headed by a gay couple. The season premiere is Thursday, September 22 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.

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