A year ago, Frons said, when ABC executives were projecting the long-term finances of its shows they saw the situation becoming increasingly dicey. "We saw that there were a couple of shows that were not going to be profitable and we said, 'We've got a huge problem,' " he said. At that point, the network ordered pilots for possible replacement shows.
Viewers, Frons said, are more interested in upbeat lifestyle and informational shows. For example, ABC's morning talk show "The View" this season has pulled in some of its best ratings — an average of 3.7 million viewers an episode — second only to the 2008 season that was fueled by interest in the presidential election.