Paul Lee is president, ABC Entertainment Group, a position he has held since July 2010. In this role, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment. He also oversees entertainment programming for syndication and daytime.
Under his leadership, Mr. Lee has shepherded in numerous hit series for the Network, including “Scandal,” “Resurrection,” “The Goldbergs,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Revenge,” “Nashville” and “Once Upon a Time.”
So far this season, the Network has delivered 6 of the Top 15 entertainment series on broadcast TV in Adults 18-49 (more than any net), including the No. 1 freshman show (“How to Get Away with Murder”), the No. 1 new comedy (“black-ish”) and the Top 2 dramas (“How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal”): “Modern Family” (4.9 rating) – No. 2, “How to Get Away with Murder” (4.6 rating) – No. 3, “Scandal” (4.2 rating) – No. 7, “Once Upon a Time” (3.6 rating) – No. 12, while “black-ish” (3.5 rating) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.5 rating) tie at No. 14. In addition, “How to Get Away with Murder” is the season’s highest-rated show with key Women (W18-34/W18-49). Additionally, ABC has had its strongest Thursday start in 5 years opposite the NFL and dominates its non-sport competition on the night and is up by double digits versus the same point last season in Total Viewers (+34%) and Adults 18-49 (+24%). On both Nielsen measures, ABC is off to its strongest start on the night since the beginning of the 2009-10 season. Source: The Nielsen Company, (National, Most Current Program Ratings), 09/22/14-10/26/14
Still to come for the 2014–15 season are “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” Marvel’s second network television series, starring Hayley Atwell, reprising her role from “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”; “The Whispers,” from executive producer Steven Spielberg; “American Crime,” from Academy Award winner John Ridley; “Secrets and Lies,” starring Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis; and “Galavant,” from executive producer Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”).
Prior to becoming president of ABC Entertainment Group, Lee led ABC Family from 2004-2010, where he revitalized the cable channel with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming, including “Pretty Little Liars,” which is now the leading TV show in social media, as well as “Kyle XY,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Greek,” “Make It Or Break It” and “Huge.” The network was also home to the biggest programming event on cable with “25 Days of Christmas.” Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+ years of consecutive growth.
ABC Family also made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year.
Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series
“The Office” (British version) garnered two Golden Globes. Other shows under his supervision included the BBC’s “Changing Rooms,” which formatted into TLC’s signature show, “Trading Spaces,” “What Not to Wear” and the “Graham Norton Show.”
Before arriving stateside, the British-born Lee spent several years at the BBC in London, ultimately serving as channel editor for BBC Prime, the company’s 24-hour entertainment channel.
He started his career as a reporter assigned to Belfast, Northern Ireland, at a particularly critical period in the conflict. Upon returning to London, he segued into entertainment, where he became a producer, director and showrunner, going on to earn a BAFTA and a BANFF Award for the BBC documentary series Arena for his portrait of Woody Guthrie.
In 1990 Lee branched out into drama, traveling to Moscow to direct and produce “Oblomov,” starring George Wendt of “Cheers” fame. He also produced, directed and wrote TV movies. Before joining the BBC in 1984, Lee worked as an assistant production manager on novelas at the Brazilian national network Rede Globo in Rio de Janeiro.
Lee holds an MA in modern languages (Portuguese and Russian) from Oxford University in England.
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