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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

UPFRONTS 2012: What ABC Should Do

ABC's turn! So far this week, I have said what I think NBC should do and what FOX should do. Now I tackle ABC which had a good class of freshman last year including Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Suburgatory, and Last Man Standing. Scandal and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 could work out as well. With another interesting crop of pilots that mostly fit ABC brand, I think they have some tough decisions with pickups and scheduling. If interested, check out what I said ABC should do last year.

8:00 Dancing with the Stars
I think it's time... it's time to move Castle somewhere else and give a new show the Dancing with the Stars lead-in. With NBC making inroads on Monday, now's a good time to freshen up the night. I would air the sultry sounding Scruples which sounds like it fits perfectly into the ABC lineup.

8:30 Last Man Standing
9:30 Dancing with the Stars Results
I think it's time to put together more multicamera shows on Tuesday. Because of that, I would shorten Dancing with the Stars Results to half an hour. It is one of the many inflated results shows that doesn't need to be as long. I would actually start the night with Reba McEntire's Malibu Country which could be even more of a self starter than Last Man Standing. I would slide Last Man to 8:30pm as a bridge between new shows. Then at 9pm I would launch The Manzanis (but maybe not until October after a few weeks of hour long results shows). With more established stars (Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman), ABC could have a nice flow of traditional sitcoms. After the results show, I would launch the very promising Nashville especially if NBC keeps Smash on Mondays because it still gives a like-minded lead-in but not like-minded competition.

8:00 The Middle
8:30 Suburgatory
9:00 Modern Family
10:00 Revenge
Wednesdays have been fine tuned this year. They got a nice companion to The Middle in Suburgatory and they finally have a successful 10pm drama. Some say Revenge should move but I say absolutely not. It took forever to find a show that works here, don't mess with a good thing. The only change I would make to this hit night is putting a family friendly single cam sitcom at 9:30pm. The most intriguing one in my opinion is American Judy with the great Judy Greer. ABC really needs a family sitcom in this slot, it would probably hold more of Family's audience than Cougar Town, Happy Endings, or Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.

8:00 Castle
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 Scandal
Here is where I would move Castle. I think it's time for that show to fly on its own and Thursdays 8pm have been a troubled time period. If Missing can get nearly 8 million viewers, Castle certainly can and it would do better in the demo. It's time, ABC. I would leave the rest of the night as is because I think Scandal can grow with a full year behind Grey's Anatomy.

8:00 Shark Tank
9:00 Private Practice
10:00 20/20
I would start with Shark Tank in a full season because it does well for ABC Fridays. Because of that, I wouldn't do a new TGIF sitcom block here. There are rumors that ABC will pick up Private Practice for a 13 episode final season. If it's the final season and only half a year, why waste it on another night. Just let it ride it out on Fridays. 

8:00 College Football
Sports work for ABC on Saturday. They don't need scripted programming.

7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Once Upon a Time
9:00 666 PARK AVENUE
I originally had GCB returning to 10pm but decided not to put it there instead because I don't think it has a ton of upside. I would leave 7-9pm as is and use Once Upon a Time to launch another supernatural series. 666 Park Avenue sounds very interesting and would be a better option than Devious Maids which reeks of desperation from Desperate Housewives. At 10pm, I would take a chance with another drama, the sweeping Americana which sounds like a good Sunday show. At least one of the two new dramas would likely hit.

MIDSEASON: The Bachelor, Celebrity Wife Swap, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Happy Endings, Primetime: What Would You Do?, Wipeout, GILDED LILYS, LAST RESORT, PENOZA, HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, THE SMART ONE, UNTITLED MANDY MOORE 
I would stock up on midseason shows. The Bachelor can take up its usual Monday slot. Celebrity Wife Swap could be a short filler between Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor for December. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 and Happy Endings are tough but wherever they go, they should be together. Primetime can go to Fridays after Private Practice finishes its run while Wipeout can plug in where needed. As for the new shows, I would save Gilded Lilys and Last Resort, two promising pilots, and give them high profile midseason launches somewhere. Penoza can take a late spring bow. The Smart One could go to Tuesdays after Dancing if the comedy block works while the other comedies can be midseason players on Wednesday if a show falters or takes a break.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Body of Proof, Charlie's Angels, Cougar Town, Desperate Housewives, GCB, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Man Up!, Missing, Pan Am, The River, Work It, You Deserve It
None of these should really come back. I was tempted with Body of Proof and GCB but with several hit dramas and many promising pilots, I don't think either one is needed. Maybe one for midseason but even that isn't necesary.

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