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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

UPFRONTS 2011: What ABC Should Do

It's time for another look at what I think the networks should do and today is ABC! As I mentioned with NBC and FOX, this is not what I think they will do. But it is a dream schedule of sorts using what has been renewed, what I think would be successful, etc. I haven't read any pilot scripts so my pilot picks are based on premise and talent on and off screen. ABC has many issues - their drama department is aging and weakening. My constant problem with ABC is poor scheduling as they too often seem content with letting weak shows stay in the same time periods - I would be more aggressive if I were them because right now they are on the decline. They have some really interesting pilots, in both drama and comedy, and they need to give these shows a chance to succeed.

8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle
I was really tempted to move Castle but I think if they move Thursday 10pm and Sunday 10pm (which they should), then they need to leave Castle where it is. This lineup flows very well and should continue.

9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 Body of Proof
This was the toughest decision as for a long time (including going into this past season) I thought ABC should put the Dancing results at 8pm and adult-themed comedies at 9pm. But the fact that Happy Endings has been holding up at 10pm makes me think they should put multi-camera shows on Tuesday. And since I already have comedies at 9pm Tues on FOX and NBC, I thought ABC should use them at 8pm because the Tim Allen show should be a self starter and Suburgatory looks good. Plus, Body of Proof is not strong enough to stand on its own yet. It could use the Dancing lead-in a little bit longer.

8:00 The Middle
9:00 Modern Family
10:00 Happy Endings
10:30 Cougar Town
I'm still not sold on three hours of comedy but Happy Endings has been holding up better than I thought it would. Because of that, I think they should go all single camera on Wednesday and focus on family shows from 8-10pm with two promising new titles following their established hits. Cougar Town does not need to be in the post-Modern Family slot anymore so it can slide back to 10:30pm where I think it might do ok with less expectations.

9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 PAN AM

Thursdays are also tricky as many shows have bombed in the 8pm hour but Charlie's Angels is a hyped self-starter. If it can't work here, no drama can. I would use the little strength that Grey's Anatomy has left to launch a new show. and I don't think it should be the new Shonda Rhimes drama which sounds very dull. Instead, I would go for the glitzy Pan Am. which which could have limited appeal , but also sounds very promising. I would put Private Practice on hold and then they have an easy fix if Pan Am doesn't work.

8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Shark Tank
10:00 20/20
ABC should stick with unscripted on Friday and this lineup makes sense to me. It's time for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to move - it could make Fridays at 8pm stronger and help Shark Tank be stronger at 9pm. I would save Primetime: What Would You Do? as a filler as it has been faltering lately.

8:00 College Football
ABC is not ready to do something on Saturdays yet - wait until I do my CBS plan for tomorrow!

7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Secret Millionaire
9:00 Desperate Housewives
ABC needs to do something with Sunday. Secret Millionaire was strong in its six week run and deserves a longer shot in the timeslot. Brothers & Sisters has stayed in a great slot long past its welcome and Desperate Housewives is fading so they need to try a new show while it still has some strength. Good Christian Bitches sounds like a match made in heaven.

MIDSEASON: The Bachelor, Private Practice, Mr. Sunshine, Wipeout, Primetime: What Would You Do?, GEORGETOWN, HALLELUJAH, THE RIVER, POE, DON'T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT 23, BAD MOM
If ABC is going to be aggressive in the fall, they should have a big slate of backups. Obviously The Bachelor can continue to be a strong filler for Dancing, Private Practice can be a safety net for Thursday but if a new show (like Pan Am) hits, ABC can find another place for it. The toughest call was Mr. Sunshine but I would give it one more chance and retool it a bit for a midseason re-launch. Wipeout can fill in almost anywhere and Primetime: What Would You Do? can be a Friday fill-in or summer burnoff. As far as the new shows - I am skeptical about the broad appeal of all four dramas I listed, but they all sound so interesting and it's a dream schedule, so who cares? The two comedies didn't quite fit anywhere in the fall but could go on Wednesday at some point or even Tuesday if that night works for comedy. I think ABC has a lot of decisions to make and I had a hard time even doing a recommended schedule.

CANCELLED: Skating with the Stars, No Ordinary Family, Detroit 1-8-7, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Better With You, Off the Map, Brothers & Sisters, V, The Whole Truth, My Generation, Supernanny
ABC doesn't need to keep around dead weight *cough*Brothers & Sisters*cough*. Most of these are inevitable cancellations - although I think they might bring V back, they really don't need to. They don't need any of those Tuesday shows back from earlier this year. Same goes with Brothers & Sisters which is more than ready to be axed. Of course, I would bring Detroit 1-8-7 back in a true dream schedule but this is a realistic dream schedule.

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