May 9, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15: ABC Picks Up “Secrets & Lies,” Negotiates on “Nashville”


One more drama for ABC:  the murder-driven soap SECRETS & LIES, which had a high-profile deal that would have required the network to pay a large penalty if it hadn’t ordered the series (it has a 10-episode order, which may tag it as more likely for midseason than fall).  It’s based on an Australian format, with the US version created by Barbie Kligman, and the pilot was directed by Charles McDougall for ABC Studios.  The cast includes Ryan Phillippe, Juliette Lewis and KaDee Strickland (who worked with Kligman on Private Practice).  The buzz is that this closes the books on ABC’s new dramas, although one or more additional comedies are possible.

In other ABC news, Deadline is reporting that the hold-up on a renewal of NASHVILLE is the size of the order.  Although typically a veteran series is guaranteed a minimum of 22 episodes, in this case the network wants only 13 hours of the well-liked but tepidly-rated (and expensive) series, while production studio Lionsgate (which is partnered with ABC Studios on the show, but that’s mostly a financial arrangement) is balking at what such a low order would do to its economics.  This sort of thing tends to be worked out at the last minute… but not always.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."