Mediaweek TV: With ABC’s Stephen McPherson at TCA

Like most of the major broadcasters, ABC witnessed ratings declines this past fall. But during the network’s portion of the TCA press tour on Friday, entertainment president Stephen McPherson told reporters that last year’s writers’ strike was largely to blame. What’s more, he added, the prospect of an actors’ strike last summer also played into the network’s decision to push most of its new content into midseason.

Along with the launch of Lost’s new season this month, comes an onslaught of new ABC programs throughout first and second quarters, including workplace comedy Better Off Ted, animated comedy The Goode Family, romantic dramedy Cupid and two crime procedurals: Castle and The Unusuals.

In an interview with Mediaweek correspondent Alan Frutkin, McPherson talked about his network’s new content, the continuing search for more content and the slumping economy’s impact on broadcasting in general.