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Network Scorecard: ABC

With the Peacock already announcing its fall schedule this week, next up is ABC, which readies to make its lineup announcements in a few hours' time. With renewals already issued for many of its series and eleven series orders (including late-in-the-game Miss/Guided) already out there, don't expect too many surprises from ABC.

"We're heading into the new season with a strong lineup of returning shows that we've developed and nurtured over the past few years," said ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson in a statement. "That solid foundation will help us launch an exciting development slate as we continue our forward momentum this fall. We're dedicated to working hard week after week to deliver the best stories and most memorable characters on TV."

But rather than wait those few hours until ABC's official upfront presentation, here's a look at their official schedule.

ABC Primetime Schedule for the 2007-08 Season:

8-9:30 pm: Dancing with the Stars
9:30-10 pm: Sam I Am
10-11 pm: The Bachelor

8-8:30 pm: Cavemen
8:30-9 pm: Carpoolers
9-10 pm: Dancing with the Stars Results Show
10-11 pm: Boston Legal

8-9 pm: Pushing Daisies
9-10 pm: Private Practice
10-11 pm: Dirty Sexy Money

8-9 pm: Ugly Betty
9-10 pm: Grey’s Anatomy
10-11 pm: Big Shots

8-9 pm: Men in Trees
9-10 pm: Women’s Murder Club
10-11 pm: 20/20

8-11 pm: Saturday Night College Football

7-8 pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8-9 pm: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9-10 pm: Desperate Housewives
10-11 pm: Brothers & Sisters

For those of you keeping track of such things, here's how the ABC schedule stacks up.

Returning Series:
Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Boston Legal, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Men in Trees, 20/20, America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Jimmy Kimmel Live

New Series:
Sam I Am, Cavemen, Carpoolers, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Big Shots, Women's Murder Club, Oprah's Big Give

New Timeslots for Returning Series:
Men in Trees

Midseason Launches/Returns:
Lost, Cashmere Mafia, Notes from the Underbelly, October Road, Miss/Guided, Wife Swap, Supernanny

According to Jim, Big Day, Day Break, George Lopez, Great American Dream Vote, Help Me Help You, In Case of Emergency, Knights of Prosperity, The Nine, Show Me the Money, Six Degrees, What About Brian

Showing a bit of stability, ABC left much of its lineup intact, playing up its strengths (reality franchises on Monday, tentpole dramas on Thursday and Sunday), with a hearty sprinkling of new series throughout. Interesting that it's holding onto Darren Star-produced Cashmere Mafia until midseason, just like NBC is doing with their similarly themed (though far superior) femme drama Lipstick Jungle. Coincidence?

I was really hoping that The Middle would end up with a pickup, but--alas--it wasn't to be. Meanwhile, Miss/Guided will end up in midseason; I'm hoping they take the time to retool a bit. In the end, ABC opted not to renew either According to Jim or George Lopez but is now responsible for releasing the atrocious Cavemen onto an unsuspecting home audience. I'd rather have seen the classier Sam I Am paired with Carpoolers but at the same time, it makes sense to pair the female-driven comedy with similarly-skewing reality fare like Dancing with the Stars (still an hour and a half!) and The Bachelor.

ABC is taking a bit of a chance using Wednesday as a launch pad for three new dramas, but it should be anchored by Grey's spinoff Private Practice at 9 pm (just where will Lost go when it returns in February?). And I am overjoyed to see that Televisionary's favorite drama pilot this season (or really of the past few seasons, if I am being honest) didn't end up stuck on Friday nights, after all: Pushing Daisies will kick off Wednesday nights at 8 pm. Fingers crossed it connects with the rest of America as much as it did with me.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS; 8-11 pm); Dateline (NBC); Gilmore Girls (CW); Dancing with the Stars (ABC); American Idol (FOX)

9 pm: Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); Veronica Mars (CW); Dancing with the Stars (ABC); House (FOX)

10 pm: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Gilmore Girls.

This is it: the Gilmore Girls are leaving Stars Hollow for good tonight. Despite my deep dislike of the show this season, I'll relent and catch their final moments. On tonight's series finale ("Bon Voyage"), Rory scores a gig as a political reporter, Luke throws Rory a graduation party, where she makes a speech thanking everyone for their help in her life, leading Lorelai and Luke to share an unexpected moment. Sigh. If only things had turned out differently for these (once) favorite girls of mine.

9 pm: Veronica Mars.

On tonight's episode of Veronica Mars ("I Know What You'll Do Next Summer"), Veronica passes her private investigator exam, but when Piz interviews a student who authored a book about his past as a child-soldier, Veronica is hired by a man who wants to prove he is the student's father. Oh, and Parker turns to Veronica for advice about Logan. Hmmm, not sure that's going to go over too well.


rockauteur said…
Hmmm... another season where ABC bought way too many shows than it has real estate for... Yes ABC says that it will schedule October Road, Notes from the Underbelly, and Cashmere Mafia when The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars wrap up their fall runs, but what about the rest of the series, especially if any of these find success? I find it pretty daring that ABC left its Sunday night lineup in tact, but I think execs realized that Brothers & Sisters wasn't strong enough in the ratings to survive on its own in the wild.

Where will Lost go in February? When and where will The Big Give come on? And what about the rest of the shows?

New series I am most excited about on ABC: Pushing Daises (thanks to Jace's recommendation and review), Dirty Sexy Money, and Big Shots.

The real question also is: Which of the new non-scheduled series will get the short marketing attention from ABC and end up like this season's Traveller?
Anonymous said…
Men in Trees is still on the air? Is anybody really watching that?

I'm looking forward to checking out Sam I Am but it's weird they sandwiched it in between Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor.

Glad to see that Pushing Daisies got a decent time slot. Now let's just pray that it gets an audience too!

On a completely different note, I may just have to tune in to the Gilmore Girls finale tonight. Even though this season was miserable it is the end of an era. I'm sure the finale won't be what Amy Sherman-Palladino originally intended but I feel like I need closure.
The CineManiac said…
an early rumored schedule put Lost coming back in February on Tuesday nights.
Anonymous said…
I think Lost will fill in where needed when it coems back, so basically the lowest rate show is going to get axed pretty quickly.

If by some miracle everything manages to click look for Wife Swap to make an early exit.

With Big Give only planned for 8 episodes it is easy to see this as a midseaso filler for a serialized drama that is strugling.

I would also not be surprised to see a fair bit of time slot switching happening with this schedule as shows move aroudn to try and find an audience.
Anonymous said…
Why don't you have a listing for canceled series as well? It's great to know what's coming back, but trying to figure out what isn't is kind of a pain.
Anonymous said…
Has anyone actually seen the pilot for Dirty Sexy Money? Any reviews?
Jace Lacob said…
I saw an early cut of Dirty Sexy Money last weekend but I am reserving judgment until I see the finished version next week. Let's just say that I hope they made quite a few improvements...
jojoko said…
what happened to david e kelley's version of life on mars?
Anonymous said…
Jace - Can you tell me if they kept the "flashback" sequences with young Nick and his parents in Dirty Sexy Money? And how were they? I am the mother of the little boy who plays young Nick!
Jace Lacob said…
Hi Anon,

Let's see. In the original script I read, there were a number of scenes featuring young Nick and his dad including a sequence aboard the Darlings' private jet, but in the network cut of the pilot that I viewed, this wasn't in there (not sure if it was ever shot however). But there are still several scenes with young Nick, including the one where he discovers the body of his mother (and drops the cut-out snowflake). I'm seeing the final version later this week, so I can let you know for certain what made it in there. Hope that helps!
Anonymous said…

I can tell you that we never filmed the scenes aboard the private jet, but they may have used a different age range for that?! And thanks - it's always nice to know that his scenes (at least some!) will make it. I look forward to your review of the final next week. :)

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