ABC has announced its fall 2011 schedule, and there is a decent amount of new programming on it (13 shows announced). This is largely because most of their 2010 new programming bombed, so they’re in the awkward position of trying to fill many of the same holes they attempted to fill last year. I haven’t seen the trailers for these shows yet, but based on the description and the clips, this may be the season that ABC gets that coveted fourth-place crown back from NBC.
Monday has been a successful night for ABC of late, and they are showing a lot of common sense in not messing with that. Dancing with the Stars gets two hours starting at 8 pm, leading into Castle at 10 pm.
While Mondays were unchanged, Tuesday brings some new faces to the ABC lineup with an all-new comedy hour starting at 8 pm. First is Last Man Standing (Tim Allen) followed by Man Up, both look to be fairly traditional takes on sitcoms (I’ve heard little to no buzz on either) and uncomfortable similar titles (maybe the network is hoping to save on the credits budget?). 9 pm is Dancing results and 10 pm is the barely hanging on Dana Delany vehicle (that ABC waited forever to launch this past season) Body of Proof.
Mid-season Cougar Town comes back into the 9 pm Dancing slot, paired with another new sitcom, Apt. 23 (formerly something like Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23). The play here is obviously to establish a two-hour comedy block on Tuesday nights.
Wednesday remains ABC’s existing comedy night, with The Middle at 8 and Modern Family at 9, with newcomer Suburgatory (a family comedy) getting slotted in at 8:30 and relative newcomer Happy Endings going at 9:30. There was a time when Happy Endings seemed like the worst of the large crop of “new Friends” from last season, but its rallied some and I recently watched an episode and found it quite funny. At 10 pm we’ll see Revenge, a modern day retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo, set in the Hamptons, and told from a female perspective. I’m not sure it is mathematically possible to express this show’s chances of still being on the schedule when the calendar turns to October.
Another largely unchanged night on Thursday, as Greys Anatomy and Private Practice are still in their 9 pm and 10 pm slots. They’re joined by the high-profile remake of Charlies Angels leading off the night at 8. I’m sure ABC is excited, as recent reboots of classic television series have all been unqualified successes. Knight Rider and Bionic Woman have been setting ratings recor- oh, they were canceled right away? Nevermind.
Nothing scripted on Friday, so I doubt I’ll be watching. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (has been big on Sundays for ABC, unusual that they’d move it) at 8, followed by Shark Tank at 9 and 20/20 at 10.
Sunday is still Desperate Housewives, but it’s bookended by two new series: Once Upon a Time at 8 and Pan Am at 10. Once seems to be another modern fairytale show (but not framed as a cop show like NBC’s Grimm is) and Pan Am looks to be another network taking a stab at a Mad Men facsimile.