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The ABC Report: Kyra Sedgwick, Procedurals, Marvel, and More
August 5, 2016  | By David Hinckley

BEVERLY HILLS -- ABC’s new entertainment president says she’s thrilled to bring back Kyra Sedgwick (below), and wouldn’t mind if a little more Marvel and Star Wars came along, too.

Channing Dungey (top), who took over as ABC entertainment president earlier this year, told the Television Critics Association Thursday that ABC has closed a deal with Sedgwick to star in an upcoming series called Ten Days (In The Valley).

Sedgwick, best known recently for her award-winning role in The Closer, will play Jane Sadler, a television producer whose stories are troubling the Los Angeles Police Department at the same time she’s going through a hard breakup and her daughter goes missing.

“She doesn’t know who to trust or where to turn,” said Dungey. The 10-episode story will play out over ten days and threads will be left open at the end that could seed future seasons.

Dungey called limited-episode series, like FX’s Fargo and ABC’s American Crime, “a great way of storytelling” that has gained an audience foothold.

She noted that ABC has renewed American Crime despite modest ratings, and praised creator John Ridley as “one of the preeminent storytellers of our generation.”

“What’s important for us is to have certain shows that we really believe in creatively and to give those shows the opportunity to thrive,” Dungey said. “We’re very hopeful in looking at what John has planned for Season 3, we will be able to broaden our base.”

ABC has had a tough time with Marvel shows lately, canceling Agent Carter and deciding not to air Marvel’s Most Wanted. But Dungey said ABC has had “a number of really terrific conversations with the Marvel team, and we’re sitting down again with them in two weeks to talk about next steps in development for this year. We have a lot of enthusiasm for figuring out what the right next project is for us to do together.”

She declined to speculate whether Nick and Adriane, who were written out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so they could migrate to Marvel’s Most Wanted, could resurface in S.H.I.E.L.D. “I never underestimate Marvel’s ability to bring people back,” she said.

She said ABC has “had conversations” with the Star Wars team, including creator George Lucas, and “it would be wonderful if we can find a way to extend that brand onto our programming.”

In a more general sense, she said she would like ABC to develop more “procedural” shows, like the just-cancelled Castle, where the characters solve a crime almost every episode.

Her predecessor, Paul Lee, had steered the network away from procedurals, feeling it needed other kinds of shows to differentiate it from, say, CBS, which has ruled the procedural world for years.

Dungey said she sympathized with viewers who lamented the cancellation several seasons ago of Body of Proof, a medical procedural that starred Dana Delany.

She also said that as a viewer, she will miss Nashville, which ABC canceled this spring. She said she will continue to watch it on CMT, which picked it up.

And she said she enjoys UnREAL, the Lifetime drama that satirizes ABC’s popular Bachelor franchise.

As for the actual Bachelor, she said she would like to see more diversity in the cast, and suggested that would happen when more non-white candidates join the show and work their way up.

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