At today’s Winter TCA 2011 press tour, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee spoke about the decision to program a three-hour comedy block on Wednesday night, with the addition of new comedies HAPPY ENDINGS and MR. SUNSHINE starring Matthew Perry paired up with its already solid performers of THE MIDDLE, BETTER WITH YOU, MODERN FAMILY and COUGAR TOWN.

“It’s certainly a risk,” admits Lee. “There is an appetite for comedies. Do audiences have an appetite of comedy at 10:00 pm? Yes, we know that’s true. It’s certainly a risk. We thought that HAPPY ENDINGS, which is an adult show, had a very good tonal mix with COUGAR TOWN and couldn’t imagine a better lead-in. At this point, we didn’t want to create an island of comedy somewhere else on the schedule. It’s a test, to see if it works. If it doesn’t, I have a twinkle in my eye, that I would like to see another night of comedy. I think it’s a good time for comedy in America. You’ve seen our comedies do well. [It would be great if] we could have three nights of comedy.”

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