This past television season was a bad one for new ABC shows, particularly dramas. They pretty much flopped across the board. So that leaves the network in a tenuous position- being propped up largely by Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor and aging hits like Greys Anatomy. So I think there’s a lot at stake for them this upcoming season- a resurgent NBC with competent leadership could make a move to push past them. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realized what a wasteland ABC’s schedule is right now… this spring they’re using 9 out 18 primetime hours to run some sort of reality programming. Blech.
8 pm – Dancing With The Stars: I honestly don’t know when this is on vs. when The Bachelor is on, so I’m just going to go with this.
9 pm – and apparently it’s the practice of ABC to put it on for two hours in a row. So I’ll do that also
10 pm – Castle: Kind of a surprise hit for the network. Didn’t start off that strongly, but has built a solid audience and has really been dominating this time slot. I’m leaving it here. This is one of the few ABC shows I watch (it’s because I would follow Malcolm Reynolds anywhere).
8 pm – DWTS Results Show: Best way to build an audience to lead-in to something new, and since both Tuesday shows from this past season are probably dead, we’re going to see new stuff here.
9 pm – Charlies Angels: Remake of the classic show, starring Derek Jeter’s wife (girlfriend? fiance? I dunno) and now set in Miami. I think they have a lot a stake here, so it makes sense to roll it out behind an established hit.
10 pm – Cougar Town: The best comedy that no one is watching. Too bad more people can’t get past the name. I think ABC moves it to try and anchor a new comedy block on a different night.
10:30 pm – Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23: I’m putting this here because it makes Cougar Town‘s title look sane by comparison. Plus it stars James Van Der Beek as himself.
8 pm – The Middle: This has already been renewed, and it seems to do ok numbers.
8:30 pm – Smothered: A family comedy (so it fits thematically with these other half-hours) about a couple with a young kid, and their very different sets of parents, plus it has a great cast (John C. McGinley, Adam Arkin, Marcia Gay Harden).
9 pm – Modern Family: Hell, why not. It stays put.
9:30 pm – The Last Days of Man: Tim Allen vehicle about a father of three trying to stay manly has his life becomes increasingly dominated by women. I checked several times to make sure this wasn’t actually in development at CBS. Stars notorious show-killer Nancy Travis, so I’m probably way off base even scheduling it.
8 pm – Georgetown: From the minds behind Gossip Girl (and also Chuck and The OC, but I feel like Gossip Girl is what matters here), a show about some young Washington staffers sharing a Dupont Circle rowhouse together. I have so many problems with this premise (namely, why the fuck is it called Georgetown if they live in Dupont?!) but I think the demos pair nicely with the show it’ll lead into.
9 pm – Greys Anatomy: Coming off a very strong season, I think Greys keeps rolling along in its traditional timeslot.
10 pm – Damage Control: I think Private Practice moves off this slot to make room for Shonda Rhimes latest. This woman runs ABC, and the abject failure of Off the Map is not going to slow her down. It’s about a powerful working woman and her crazy life/work balance and elevator sex. I assume.
8 pm – Hallelujah: A small town in Tennessee finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil. It’s here because I like genre shows on Friday night, and it has a good producing pedigree (Mark Cherry) and cast (Terry O’Quinn, Jesse L. Martin, Donal Logue).
9 pm – Body of Proof: The Dana Delany vehicle makes it off the bubble and keeps it’s Friday night slot.
10 pm – Good Christian Bitches: Because I like the idea that ABC schedules two shows with the word “bitch” in the title (they won’t), on a network heavily watched by women. A widowed mother of two moves back to Dallas, where she grew up, to get a fresh start. Kristen Chenoweth is in it, but apparently there’s no singing or pie making, which confuses me.
20/20 and some other stuff like reruns, Wipeout, odds and ends.
8 pm –Extreme Makeover: Some iteration of the franchise stays here.
9 pm – Desperate Housewives: It’s on the bubble, but I can’t imagine that ABC would let the show that brought them back from the brink go out with a whimper, and not having a pre-established “this is the final season, we will promo the everliving shit out of the finale” scenario.
10 pm – Brothers and Sisters: Also on the bubble, but I’m told people watch it. It’s possible to see something new here, but I’m not sure ABC’s development is super strong right now.
My gut says a second rough year in a row for ABC, and they fall into the basement that has been NBC’s for so long (which is kind of a dumb prediction considering that DWTS alone could keep ABC out of 4th).