McPherson Signs New Deal With ABC as Ent. President

Steve McPherson has signed a new multi-year agreement to remain on as entertainment president at ABC. His current four-year deal was to end this year.

Prior to his joining ABC as entertainment president prior to the 2004-05 season, the network had only one prime-time show among the Top 20 in the 18-49 age demographic. Today the network has seven shows in the Top 20.

McPherson was president of Touchstone Television prior to joining ABC, where he oversaw the development of several of ABC’s current hits, including Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. He also added the successful drama Brothers & Sisters and Dancing with the Stars to the ABC lineup, along with Samantha Who?, Private Practice and Ugly Betty.

When he took over as entertainment president, ABC was fourth in the ratings among $100,000-plus income homes in the 18-49 demo, and today it is second. During his tenure, ABC’s 18-49 demo rating is up 10 percent for series programming.

In announcing the new deal, Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and co-chairman of Disney-ABC Television Group said, “Steve’s ability to identify talent and develop successful shows is second to none, and that, combined with his marketing savvy, has helped turn ABC Entertainment around.”

McPherson said, “I feel really fortunate to get the opportunity to continue on with the phenomenal team I have at ABC Entertainment, and look forward to building on our success together.”