"Most of the time when shows don't work, you can really, in hindsight, look back and kick yourself and say, 'I should have seen that.' I really love these shows," McPherson said Friday during ABC's day at the TCA press tour. "I commend the producers on these shows. They did a great job. They delivered what they promised. So for us, it was just a frustration that we couldn't get a larger audience."
Frustration or not, ABC doesn't have any concrete plans to air the remaining episodes of the three series; there have been reports that the other episodes will be burned off as late as the summer. At any rate, McPherson says finding a home for the final episodes isn't as simple as just, say, turning over a Saturday night to a marathon of a show.
"There are affiliate complications. There are rights and clearance complications at times, and sometimes it's just about [the fact that] we have a very difficult schedule, and you're looking at opportunity lost when either replacing something or promoting something like that," he says. "So you have to weigh those options. ... The real estate on air, there's nothing more valuable than our real estate. So while it might seem easy -- just run them off -- it really isn't that simple."
The writers strike and the subsequent long layoff for "Daisies" and "Dirty Sexy Money" undoubtedly contributed to their ratings slide this fall. But McPherson says putting the two shows back on the air in the spring wasn't really a viable option either.
"We could have probably gotten maybe two or three episodes of the Wednesday-night shows, for example, on the air in the spring," he says. "What we were worried about then, honestly, is we were looking at a [possible] SAG strike and then worried that that would completely disintegrate the fall. ... So we made the gamble [to wait until fall]."