ABC shows off shows, stars at Television Critics Association summer meeting

LOS ANGELES -- It's been a mission to showcase the diversity in this country, and with shows like Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, ABC is trying to reflect the different voices of America.

And the upcoming fall season is no different.

The summer meeting of the Television Critics Association is when broadcast and cable networks each get a day or two to introduce their stars and shows to reporters from around the world.

The only one of the big four networks to gain viewers this past season was ABC, which made for a very festive gathering. And it proved to be the perfect time to promote the new fall shows.

Having a hit like Black-ish to talk about surely makes it even more fun, and what's not to love when so many ABC shows are finding an audience?

"I'm so proud to be part of a network that is leading the way in opening a lot of doors for diversity," Galavant star Karen David said.

And the guy opening those doors is ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee, the architect of the programming plan.

"We made a commitment five years ago to say, let's reflect America," he said. "Let's make a network that really reflects the voices and faces of the America that watches."

It is built on the foundation laid by Shonda Rimes, who broke new ground with Grey's Anatomy.

"We knew that our show looked like the world we walked around in," star Ellen Pompeo said. "And we were always very proud of that."

But it was Shonda's second show -- Scandal -- that proved she was a catalyst for change.

"No matter your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, there's a place for you in Shondaland," star Kerry Washington said. "And if that's getting popular, then amen."

Scandal's popularity led to yet another hit, How to Get Away with Murder.

And come this fall, ABC is looking to continue its winning ways with new series like Quantico, about a diverse group of FBI recruits.

"We believe the ABC brand is an inclusive brand," Lee said. "It's our job to reflect America as it is."

Lee calls Quantico star Priyanka Chopra "the quintessential ABC star," and she's the first actress from India to appear so prominently in an American TV show.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.