ABC is welcoming Miss America back, but on its own terms.The network will not be paying a licensing fee to air the pageant when it airs next Jan. 15 as part of a new three-year deal, as some have reported. Instead, the network will be paid in a time-buy arrangement by the pageant, an individual inside ABC told TheWrap.No terms of the deal were announced beyond the number of years.The pageant will air on a Saturday night -- television's lowest viewing night of the week, when ABC, like the other broadcast networks, has been airing repeats -- rather than preempting first-run programming on another night.Still, it's a win for pageant officials, who saw cable network TLC choose not to renew the pageant after it aired in the final year of its agreement in January....ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson said a few months back, "Beauty pageants never evolved. They never reinvented themselves. They just got stale. We're out of that business."But when Miss America officials came calling after being dropped by TLC, the network had a change of heart, primarily because it is a no-lose situation....The Miss America Organization will maintain and oversee the creative direction of the pageant, Art McMaster, president and CEO, said in announcing the deal. It will be produced by Tall Pony Productions, with Anthony Eaton and Lauren Harris as executive producers.
Click here for the entire column by John Consoli.