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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.

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