Skip to main content

Solid as a Rock: ABC Remains Stable with New Fall Schedule

In advance of its network upfront later today (I'll let you know how it is sans Ugly Betty cast-led musical numbers this year), ABC has announced its fall schedule.... with sadly lacked any real surprises in this lackluster upfront season.

The fall schedule looks astonishing like last fall's sked, but we all knew that out of the Big Four, ABC would likely have the most stability going into the new season, with many of its series already earmarked for renewals and very few new projects to choose from. (ABC's current crop of pilots won't be shot until Phase Two this summer, so look for decisions about additional midseason entries later this year.)

ABC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE: 08-09

MONDAYS
8 pm: Dancing with the Stars (Midseason: Untitled Tyra Banks/Ashton Kutcher Reality Series)
9:30 pm: Samantha Who?
10 pm: Boston Legal (Midseason: The Bachelor)

TUESDAYS
8 pm: Opportunity Knocks
9 pm: Dancing with the Stars Results Show (Midseason: Scrubs and The Goode Family)
10 pm: Eli Stone

WEDNESDAYS
8 pm: Pushing Daisies
9 pm: Private Practice
10 pm: Dirty Sexy Money

THURSDAY
8 pm: Ugly Betty
9 pm: Grey's Anatomy
10 pm: Life on Mars (Likely Midseason: Lost, but TBA)

FRIDAY
8 pm: Wife Swap
9 pm: Supernanny
10 pm: 20/20

SATURDAY
Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY
8 pm: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 pm: Desperate Housewives
10 pm: Brothers & Sisters

TBA: According to Jim Primetime: What Would You Do?

New Series:
Life on Mars, Opportunity Knocks, Scrubs*
(picked up from NBC), Untitled Tyra Banks/Ashton Kutcher Reality Series (midseason), The Goode Family (midseason)

Cancelled Series:
October Road, Women's Murder Club, Oprah's Big Give, Big Shots, Carpoolers, Cashmere Mafia, Cavemen, Miss/Guided, Notes from the Underbelly

Renewed Series:
Dancing with the Stars, Samantha Who?, Boston Legal, The Bachelor, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Lost
(midseason), Life on Mars, Wife Swap, Supernanny, 20/20, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, According to Jim (midseason), Primetime

Reactions:
Not all that much, to be honest. It's a pretty stable schedule and I am glad, on the one hand, to see that ABC isn't taking unnecessary risks just to shake things up a little at this point, especially as the net has seventeen high-profile pilot projects waiting in the wings as it were to pick up the slack come midseason, should they be ordered to series. (I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for Rob Thomas' Good Behavior.)

While some of the renewals come as a surprise (who is still watching According to Jim?), I am happy that ABC chose to keep their sophomore drama series--Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money--all on Wednesday night, which will make it a little easier to market their relaunches as a collective three-hour block. While my expectations for the US adaptation of Life on Mars are pretty dismal (why would the creators of October Road be a natural fit for this twisty, metaphysical time-travel cop series?), I do think the network was smart to give it the plum post-Grey's Anatomy slot while we anxiously await the return of Lost until next winter. And moving Wife Swap and Supernanny to Friday nights, to create a three-hour block of family-oriented reality fare with 20/20, could be a real gamechanger on an always underwhelming evening.

All in all, some smart decisions, programming stability (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday are all basically the same as last season), and foresight, without needless complexity, 65-week schedules, or undue riskiness (ahem, scheduling series without seeing a minute of film).

Comments

Unknown said…
I'm disappointed that they decided to cancel Miss/Guided after all. According to Jim is cute, but it's become repetitive and M/G was a breath of fresh air.
Anonymous said…
according to Jim. seriously - what do the producers of that show have on Steve McPherson?
Anonymous said…
From time to time According to Jim is a fun and mindless show to watch. It's for those times when I don't want to think too much about what I'm watching. (Little Junkie)
TxGowan said…
Where's Cupid?
Jace Lacob said…
Again, ABC still has 17 pilots that it still has not shot and will not make decisions on until later this summer. Cupid is one of these.
Anonymous said…
As long as Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money are coming back...I'm happy.

Popular posts from this blog

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season

The Daily Beast: "How The Killing Went Wrong"

While the uproar over the U.S. version of The Killing has quieted, the show is still a pale imitation of the Danish series on which it is based. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "How The Killing Went Wrong," in which I look at how The Killing has handled itself during its second season, and compare it to the stunning and electrifying original Danish series, Forbrydelsen , on which it is based. (I recently watched all 20 episodes of Forbrydelsen over a few evenings.) The original is a mind-blowing and gut-wrenching work of genius. It’s not necessary to rehash the anger that followed in the wake of the conclusion last June of the first season of AMC’s mystery drama The Killing, based on Søren Sveistrup’s landmark Danish show Forbrydelsen, which follows the murder of a schoolgirl and its impact on the people whose lives the investigation touches upon. What followed were irate reviews, burnished with the “burning intensity of 10,000 white-hot suns