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History/About the Company
Since then, Disney/ABC Television Group has expanded to provide entertainment, news and kids programming to viewers via more than 200 affiliated stations across the U.S. Disney/ABC Television Group’s properties include ABC Television Network, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, ABC Entertainment Group, Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. Hyperion publishing and the Company’s equity interests in A+E Networks and Hulu round out the Group’s portfolio of media businesses .
Channing Dungey’s new presidency makes her the first African-American to ever lead a major broadcast network. Formerly the executive vice president of ABC drama development, Dungey helped develop series such as “Scandal,” “Quantico,” “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “How to Get Away With Murder” and “American Crime” .
The Disney/ABC Television Group is publicly traded under The Walt Disney Company (DIS) on the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday, April 22, DIS closed out at $103.77 per share. In the past three months, Disney’s stock prices have been on a pretty steady incline, with a brief dip in early February. The recent strong numbers are a direct result of the Disney release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Global success of the movie drove record quarterly operating income at both Studio Entertainment and Consumer Products & Interactive Media, which grew at 86% and 23%, respectively . The company reported their quarter one earnings call for 2016 on February 9, 2016. The earnings results webcast can be heard here: https://ditm-twdc-us.storage.googleapis.com/q1-fy16-earnings.mp3.
It was announced on Thursday, April 21, that the Walt Disney Company sold its 50% stake in Fusion, the multi-platform network launched in 2013, making Univision the sole owner. As the majority owner of Fusion, Univision (NYSE: UCI) will create a separate media group that will include recently acquired The Onion and other digital properties. Univision also will take over ABC’s role in handling distribution and ad sales for Fusion’s multi-platform network and will have editorial control . Disney has been changing its own channel line up, rebranding its ABC Family channel as Freeform, targeting millennial women, while investing in Vice Media Inc., which focuses on young men . In recent years, Fusion has been losing money, making the company’s move, most likely, a financially smart one.
Named as the new president of ABC Entertainment, Channing Dungey faces the hard task of mending an ABC schedule with some holes. With five of its nine half-hour comedies already scheduled to return in 2016-17, and another two virtual shoe-ins for renewal, ABC’s sitcom lineup is arguably the strongest on TV. Certainly it is the most stable; “Modern Family” and “The Middle” next fall will embark upon their eighth seasons, while the homegrown “Black-ish” is getting closer to beginning syndication with its season three pick-up .
Set to premiere next for ABC is “Uncle Buck,” based on the hit movie of the same name. The series will star Uncle Buck (Mike Epps) as a fun-loving but irresponsible guy who needs a job and a place to stay. His brother and sister-in-law need some help around the house, wondering if they could be the answer to each other’s problems . The show is set to premiere this Summer on June 14, following a preview of the revived game show “To Tell the Truth,” Hosted by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.
To get a sneak peek at the new comedy series “Uncle Buck,” starring Mike Epps and Nia Long, click the link to view the official trailer: http://abc.go.com/shows/uncle-buck/video/most-recent/VDKA0_1thuvv8f
Along with “To Tell The Truth,” “100,000 Pyramid,” another game show that is being rebooted from the original, will make its debut on Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. following the second season premiere of “Celebrity Family Feud.” Both “Pyramid,” which was originally aired in 1973 and hosted by Dick Clark, and “To Tell the Truth,” which aired in 1956 and was hosted by Budy Collyer , will bring a new and older skewing audience to ABC during primetime on Sunday nights.
In The News
On February 28, 2016, ABC aired the 88th Academy Awards hosted by comedian Chris Rock, which brought its lowest ratings in eight years. The network has been airing the Oscars since the emergence of television, outside of the periods in the 1950s and 1970s when the award show was aired on NBC . The low viewership was seen as surprising seeing that this year’s Oscars were one of the most talked about awards in recent years, due to backlash and protests over the Academy’s lack of diverse nominees . Also making news was Leonardio Decaprio’s first Academy Award win. Chris Rock held the controversial hosting gig, addressing #OscarsSoWhite with a mixture of jokes and serious statements . Despite all of the talk around and leading up to the event, viewers decided not to tune in, as the numbers clearly speak for themselves.
On Monday, April 18, Ben Sherwood unveiled a plan for ABC to expand the availability of its programming via authenticated streaming platforms by offering to establish such deals on behalf of its 200-plus affiliate stations around the country. The initiative dubbed “Clearinghouse” is described as a “turnkey” solution for ABC’s affiliate stations. Sherwood said that the 14 ABC affiliates in the Hearst TV station group have agreed to lead the pilot program for a technological and administrative template that ABC has hammered out with DirecTV for its Watch ABC app .
The new “Pyramid” game show will be hosted by Michael Strahan, who on Tuesday, April 19, announced that he would be leaving his daytime gig at “Live! With Kelly and Michael” for a full-time role on ABC’s flagship morning show “Good Morning America” . With GMA’s ratings leadership in extreme danger of being overshadowed by NBC’s “Today Show,” executives at ABC have come up with something that looks great on paper – adding more of Michael Strahan, the former football player who has transformed himself into one of the most winning personalities on today’s TV screen . ABC’s Summer Schedule is sure to be a busy one, packed with a new spinoff series and various rebooted game shows featuring various of celebrities.
On Wednesday, April 20, Disney Channel unveiled plans for the 100th DCOM Celebration, a summer programming marathon centered on the airing of the network’s 100th original move since 1997. Things kick off May 27 with a four-day marathon of the 51 most popular original movies followed by encore presentations of these and every other movie in the franchise through June . Releasing 100 movies in 19 years is no small feat, and is surely something to celebrate!