Paula Abdul, 'Lost,' 'Modern Family': Notes from ABC's press tour

Paulaabdul_americanidol_290 If Paula Abdul doesn't end up on one televised dance competition, she could well have a place on another.

ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson said Saturday that he'd "love" to see Abdul on "Dancing with the Stars" now that's she has left "American Idol."

"I was a little stunned by the decision," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. "We'd love to have her on 'Dancing,' whether it's as a contestant or participant of some sort, or a judge. I think she's a huge talent. ... There's a sensitivity and emotion to her that kind of balances out 'Idol.' We'd love to get a piece of that."

McPherson emphasized that the only contact he's had with Abdul was a phone call earlier this week (the two have known each other since McPherson's days as a production executive), so nothing even approaching formal talks has taken place. But "all possibilities are open," he says.

The producers of FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" said earlier in the week that they'd also like to talk to Abdul about taking part in their show.

The final season of "Lost" will premiere sometime in early 2010, but ABC doesn't know when or where yet.

McPherson says the show will most likely premiere "somewhere similar to where it was last year" -- meaning it should be back in the first couple months of 2010. As for a specific timeslot, McPherson says the network won't make a decision until it gets a sense of how its fall shows are doing.

"Lost" will run for 18 hours this season, an hour longer than initially expected.

When ABC screened the full pilot for "Modern Family" at its upfront in May, the network urged everyone in attendance not to reveal a plot twist at the end of the episode. The same request accompanied a screener sent to critics.

As of Saturday, though, that embargo is no more. So get ready for a bit of a spoiler. Cool? Cool.

The three families the comedy follows -- a traditional mom and dad with a couple kids, an older guy married to a young woman and a gay couple that's just adopted a baby -- are all really one big family. The older guy (Ed O'Neill) is the father of one half of the gay couple (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and the harried mom (Julie Bowen) in the traditional family, and their partners and kids complete the cast.

The show, which has already earned a lot of advance praise from critics, will be part of ABC's new comedy block on Wednesday nights in the fall.

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