ABC President Dungey Out After “The Connors” Crashes and Burns

Elder Patriot – Channing Dungey has resigned ahead of being fired following her deconstruction of ABC’s hit show “Roseanne.”

Dungey had terminated the hit show’s star Roseanne Barr following Barr’s tweet suggesting that former Obama former chief of staff Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of the muslim brotherhood and the planet of the apes.

Dungey banked on the show succeeding without its conservative heroine.  After a reasonably successful first week that was fueled by viewers curious to see the new storyline, the show went into a viewer tailspin.

At the time of Roseanne’s firing, we reported that at least two ABC senior executives had expressed their regrets at Dungey’s decision calling it “knee-jerk” and reactionary rather than well-thought out.

“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation.  This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.

A third senior executive predicted that the revamped show, without Roseanne, was certain to flop.  He was right:

“When we greenlit The Conners we thought that the public would tune in to see the family return but what we’ve discovered is that people want Roseanne – they don’t want the family by themselves.”

“In the end, the ratings are all that matter – and there are many people at Disney and ABC who are worried that firing Roseanne will see their Tuesday night ratings drop substantially.  And should The Conners flop, Channing and her team will have many questions to answer. The whisper across ABC is that they will not even be a quarter of what Roseanne achieved last season.”

This was ABC’s second hit show that had a conservative as it central character that Dungey terminated.  

Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing was the first hit show that Dungey canned. The fact that it was picked up by FOX and continues pulling in rating in its new home did not go unnoticed by Dungey’s superiors.

There’s been no official statement tying Dungey’s resignation directly to the termination of “Roseanne” and/or “Last Man Standing,” however, under her watch ABC finds itself last in prime-time ratings among the four major networks.

Low ratings translate to low revenues.  That’s likely the direct cause of Dungey’s separation from ABC, but killing off two hit shows definitely did nothing to help her.