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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 13.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
10:00 Castle
Viewers: 10.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

8:00 How I Met Your Mother
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
8:30 Rules of Engagement
Viewers: 6.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 2 Broke Girls
Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:30 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4
10:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 12.7 million, 18-49 demo: 4.3
10:00 Revolution
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

8:00 Bones
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 The Following
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7

On Monday night, FOX had the season finales of Bones and The Following. At 8pm, Bones was up three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It will return for a ninth season in the fall. At 9pm, The Following saw a nice spike for its finale as it was up eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo for its best performance since March 11. In its final two weeks, the previously fading Following rose six tenths in the demo which is a real nice jump for the show. I think its very likely the show will return in the same Monday 9pm slot for another 15 episode season in January because Kevin Bacon is only contracted for 15 episodes. 

CBS had another bad night. Most shows were up but things are really going south for them in general on Mondays. How I Met Your Mother was up half a million viewers and even in the demo while Rules of Engagement was up 1.1 million viewers and six tenths in the demo from last week when it followed a repeat. At 9pm, 2 Broke Girls was up four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo while Mike & Molly was up three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. It managed to be the top show among total viewers for CBS. At 10pm, Hawaii Five-0 was up a tenth in viewers but down a tenth in the demo for a series low and third place finish. Time for this show to move to Fridays or Sundays.

On NBC, The Voice started things off down a substantial 1.5 million viewers and six tenths in the demo as its starting to come back to Earth. At 10pm, Revolution was down four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for another series low. This show is really starting to falter. The 1.8 demo is exactly what Smash got a year ago but The Voice only got a 3.5 demo a year ago. So it's doing worse than Smash and that show tanked when it had to be on its own. This is not good news for Revolution despite a 22 episode second season order. Finally on ABC, Dancing with the Stars was down three tenths in viewers and even in the demo while Castle was down a big 1.3 million viewers and three tenths in the demo. It's a bigger drop but last week was higher than usual so it sort of evens out. It still managed to win the 10pm hour thanks to really poor performances from Revolution and Hawaii Five-0. 


7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
8:00 Once Upon a Time
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 Revenge
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 Red Widow
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 11.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
8:00 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 9.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4
9:00 The Good Wife
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6 

7:00 The Voice (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 Celebrity Apprentice
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6 

7:00 The Simpsons (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
7:30 The Cleveland Show
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
8:30 Bob's Burgers
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:30 American Dad!
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

It was a quiet Sunday night as usual. 60 Minutes was down a tenth in viewers and four tenths in the demo from last week's Boston bomber coverage. At 8pm, The Amazing Race was up a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. This show is very consistent. At 9pm, the season finale of The Good Wife was up a tenth in viewers and the demo. This show needs to move to 10pm or Fridays next season, I think 10pm might make the most sense. At 10pm, The Mentalist was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. On FOX, every cartoon was up or even with its last new airing while Family Guy's 2.6 demo topped the night for the broadcast networks.

On ABC, America's Funniest Home Videos started the night up two tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. A 1.6 demo at 7pm in the spring is not bad at all. At 8pm, Once Upon a Time was down two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo for a series low. This show is falling apart. At 9pm, Revenge was up six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo from its last airing which was on Easter. It's a rise but it was only a tenth ahead of Videos. At 10pm, Red Widow was down six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo from its last airing for a series low. Why did ABC bother with reruns of this show in recent weeks? Finally on NBC, Celebrity Apprentice was up a tenth in viewers and even in the demo.

UPFRONTS 2013: What FOX Should Do

After NBC yesterday, I will take a look at what I think FOX should do with their lineup next year! Next week, I will make my official prediction but this is what I think makes the most sense with their lineup and pilots. FOX has had some serious trouble because The X Factor and American Idol are fading and they take up so much space on the schedule. On top of that, the Tuesday comedy block didn't work. They successfully launched The Following but that only has 15 episode seasons. FOX needs to be more aggressive, they can't count on Idol to save them as it has many times. Check out what I said FOX should do last year and in 2011. Also check out a rundown of FOX's pilots in contention.

8:00 Bones
FOX needs to save The Following for midseason again since it only has 15 episodes a season. Because of that, I would keep Bones at 8pm where it has been very reliable and solid. I would try a new drama at 9pm and hope it's more like The Following than The Mob Doctor. I think one of the most exciting sounding dramas is Boomerang, about a family of assassins. If FOX can find a show that works, they could order a shorter order yearly to have it share a slot with The Following. Boomerang will have to compete with Monday Night Football but it seems like it would be good counter-programming to reality on ABC and NBC and comedies on CBS.

8:00 Glee
9:00 New Girl
The Tuesday night four sitcom block was a complete flop and FOX would be foolish to try it again, they just don't have the shows or pilots to make it work right now. Instead, I would move Glee back to the 8pm Tuesday slot it held last season. It may be fading but it would do better than the 8pm comedies did this year. I would instead focus on launching a new hit after New Girl, they certainly shouldn't put The Mindy Project back here. I would try Friends and Family which has a stellar cast led by Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel. It seems like it might be a good fit with New Girl, then again Mindy did too.

8:00 The X-Factor
I don't really like The X Factor taking up two hours on Wednesday but I don't really think it should go to Thursday/Friday. Honestly, the best thing for the show might be lessening it to an hour or airing it in the summer or something like that. It's sort of a tough position for FOX because they can't really bag this show until they have enough other shows to take its place, but they're having trouble launching new shows because this takes up so much space.

8:00 The X-Factor
I think FOX needs to take a stab with a new drama here after The X Factor and not Glee. One of their more promising, and potentially self-starting, shows is Sleepy Hollow. This might be good counter programming to Grey's Anatomy, likely comedies on NBC, and quite possibly comedies on CBS. FOX only launched two new dramas this year - one worked and one flopped instantly. They need to try more so they can build up their drama arsenal because right now, it's awfully thin.

8:00 American Dad!
8:30 Bob's Burgers
9:00 Raising Hope
9:30 The Mindy Project
OK so this is a big risk, but here's the thing - it's easily fixable if it doesn't work. They could easily slide in Hell's Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares on this night. But I think this is worth a shot. Their Sunday animation lineup is getting very stale and could use something fresh. I would move the lower performers to Friday. They can always go back to Sunday if that doesn't work. Raising Hope might succeed in a lower profile slot while The Mindy Project shouldn't have been renewed to begin with so it can get this sleepy timeslot. It probably wouldn't pay off for FOX but it's worth a shot because they aren't competitive on Fridays right now and it helps open up real estate on other nights.

8:00 College Football/Cops
No reason to change this.

7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores
8:30 DADS
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 The Simpsons
Another big gamble, but this animated lineup needs some real help. I would try to bring live action comedies back to the night starting with the Andy Samberg pilot and then the Seth McFarlane produced Dads, which already has a six episode order. It's better to launch in the fall when they'll have football overrun on certain weeks. The Simpsons has aired at 8pm forever but I would keep the cartoons together and put it after Family Guy. That way the two McFarlane shows (Dads and Family Guy) stay together. Again, this is easily fixable if it doesn't work - just bring American Dad and Bob's Burgers back from Fridays and restore the current lineup. But it's worth the gamble in my opinion.

MIDSEASON: American Idol, The Following, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, TO MY FUTURE ASSISTANT, GANG RELATED, THE LIST
American Idol will take The X-Factor's place of course. The Following should return to Mondays at 9pm in midseason. Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares can plug in anywhere. As for the new shows, To My Future Assistant has a strong cast and can be a comedy backup. As I said before, FOX needs to develop more dramas and that means ordering more than two. I would double that to four and keep Gang Related and The List for midseason. They can have shorter episode orders and take the place of a show like Glee or (if it works) Sleepy Hollow for awhile.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Ben and Kate, The Cleveland Show, Fringe, The Mob Doctor, Touch
No surprises here. Most have already been officially cancelled while the others are inevitable (though The Cleveland Show might have a slight chance to return).

Tomorrow: ABC!

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, April 30

Tuesday night should see pretty normal numbers in the 8pm. The Voice is expanding to 9pm which should help its numbers and possibly put a dent in NCIS: Los Angeles, the FOX comedies, and especially Dancing with the Stars. The 10pm hour will be interesting watch. ABC has an exclusive interview with Amanda Knox while NBC brings Grimm over from Fridays for a four week run. I think NBC might get the edge.

8:00 Splash
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 Murder. Mystery. Amanda Knox Speaks with Diane Sawyer (SPECIAL)
Prediction: Splash - 4.5 million, 1.1/Dancing - 12.5 million, 1.9

8:00 NCIS #232 "Revenge"
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #94 "Raven & the Swans"
10:00 Golden Boy #11 "Longshot"
Prediction: NCIS - 18.0 million, 3.0/Los Angeles - 14.5 million, 2.5/Golden - 8.1 million, 1.5

8:00 The Voice
10:00 Grimm #41 "Endangered"
Prediction: Voice - 13.5 million, 4.4/Grimm - 6.7 million, 2.2

8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 New Girl #47 "Virgins"
9:30 The Mindy Project #22 "Triathlon"
Prediction: Hell's - 4.5 million, 1.9/Girl - 4.3 million, 2.0/Mindy - 2.6 million, 1.5      

Monday, April 29, 2013

UPFRONTS 2013: What NBC Should Do

Upfront season is upon  us! This week, I am proposing what I think each network SHOULD do for the fall. I want to stress that this is not a prediction, that will come next week. This is what I think would be a good idea based on their current shows and the loglines/pedigree of the pilots. This year, NBC had a strong fall followed by a disastrous winter and then a spring that was somewhere in-between. They have some potential hits but so much seems to be based on their top hit, The Voice. Next year, NBC has the Olympics in February. Olympic promotion has been hit and miss (mostly miss) for NBC but I still think they should (and will) save some big guns for post-Olympics midseason. NBC has a lot to fix as usual and I would be aggressive in some areas with heavy promotion and more conservative in other places. They can't just upend the whole schedule and they have some solid dramas. Check out what I said NBC should do last year and in 2011. For details on NBC's pilots, click here.

8:00 The Voice
Monday nights are strong whenever The Voice is in session and so far that show doesn't look like its burning out. Revolution has not been able to hold enough of the audience to warrant a continuation in this high profile slot. I would give the slot to the promising new thriller The Blacklist. It seems a little more accessible than Revolution and NBC can promote it like crazy all summer. Even though it has been hard for Revolution this spring, I would still cut off The Blacklist when The Voice ends its fall cycle and bring them both back together after the Olympics assuming Blacklist performs ok. In January, I would air a short run of The Sing Off which NBC is supposedly bringing back. I would maybe follow it with Hannibal for a few weeks and then let Hannibal air elsewhere (Fridays?). I wouldn't put a lot of stock in January, I would focus on September-December and then March-May after the Olympics.

8:00 The Voice
9:00 Revolution
10:00 Parenthood
I would go conservative on Tuesdays but this would be a solid lineup. The Voice is of course a beast at 8pm. I would let Revolution continue to follow The Voice for the fall but air it at 9pm leading into Parenthood at 10pm. The night doesn't have a ton of flow to it but I think it's a smart move because The Voice and Parenthood can stand on their own and Revolution should be a better option than the comedies this year. There are a fair amount of people who tune into Revolution after The Voice on Mondays, I think they would follow it to Tuesdays. A better 9pm show could help Parenthood too which has had to self-start often. Depending on how Revolution does, Tuesday 9pm could be prime real-estate for a post-Olympics premiere.

8:00 Go On
8:30 Parks and Recreation
10:00 Chicago Fire
Wednesdays are interesting. I think NBC needs to be aggressive on Thursdays and that means taking Parks and Recreation out of the lineup there. Because I think NBC should give all its comedy promotional push to Thursdays, I would not launch a new comedy on Wednesdays. Instead, I would give it to one of their severe underperformers. My pick would be Go On because I think it fits the best with Parks & Rec but any of them could go here for a 13 episode order in the fall. I just wouldn't worry too much about this hour if I'm trying to make Thursdays work. I would let Parks & Rec go to 8:30pm because it will be a better lead-in for 9pm. Many have suggested Chicago Fire go to 9pm but why? It's working in a difficult slot, don't move it. We all saw what happened to Revenge on ABC this year. SVU is an adequate lead-in but I would try a new procedural drama here and not the planned Chicago Fire spinoff (save that for midseason). Fire really surprised at 10pm this year and I think the medical drama After Hours could do the same at 9pm. It wouldn't get the marketing push of The Blacklist or the Thursday comedies but Chicago Fire didn't have that either. It might be a nice pairing.

10:00 Law & Order: SVU
In the fall of 2009, ABC went with all new comedies on Wednesday and established a real presence on the night which they continue to reap the rewards from. NBC had historically owned Thursday night but things have gotten real bad in recent years. It's time to start over. I would take a page from ABC's 2009 playbook and launch four new comedies in a row and promote them together as a block. I said the same thing last year and it didn't happen because they decided to focus on the front half of the week. With those nights slightly more secure thanks to The Voice, Parenthood, and Chicago Fire, it's time to tackle this night. Even if CBS goes to two hours of comedy, these are family sitcoms that would be a nice counter-programming block. I would build it around the Michael J. Fox comedy which already has a 22 episode order. I would air two multi-cam sitcoms at 8pm and single-cam at 9pm. But all four shows are family sitcoms with leading men including big names Fox and Sean Hayes, both former Must-See-TV stars. I really think this is the only way to go. Putting three of them with Parks and Recreation isn't the fresh start NBC needs on this night. At 10pm though, I would not launch a new drama and instead give it to Law & Order: SVU. It could do better than a lot of NBC's failed shows in this slot in recent years. It won't be amazing but it seems to do better when it's away from Criminal Minds or CSI. It would have to go up against Scandal but I think it has a different audience. If I'm NBC, I would also stockpile comedies for midseason in case one of these fail. And they should be new comedies, none of their losers from this year.

8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Grimm
NBC needs to give Grimm some help on Fridays where it just suffers by itself and tries to put up good numbers. I would move Dateline NBC back to 8pm where it can get adequate Friday night ratings. Then I would take a chance at 10pm. It could be Hannibal but that show seems to already be losing steam. Instead, I'd give the slot to Dracula, which seems like it has been ordered forever and not aired. It would be a good tonal fit with Grimm and could develop a cult audience on Friday nights.

8:00 Encores
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams
Why not give Rock Center a chance on Saturdays. It will keep it on the air if it needs to be a filler somewhere else.

7:00 Football Night in America
8:30 Sunday Night Football
Of course football will and should continue in the fall. In January, I would just air specials and the Golden Globes and then after the Olympics, I would do The Biggest Loser at 8pm and Celebrity Apprentice at 10pm. No need to really invest in Sundays when half the season is always taken up by football.

I would stock up big time for midseason because the more shows you try, the more chances for the hits that NBC needs. I already mentioned what I would do with Loser, Apprentice, Hannibal, and The Sing Off. Betty White's Off Their Rockers can literally be a filler anywhere. It could even go Wednesdays at 8pm if Go On completely tanks (a distinct possibility but I would give Go On one more try). As for the new shows, Brenda Forever, The Gates, and the Craig Robinson project all sound promising to me. They could be on hand if one of the Thursday sitcoms go down or Brenda Forever would make a nice midseason partner for Parks and Recreation when they can afford more promotion. For the dramas, I would make these big priorities for post-Olympics launches. If everything works, space will be limited but that's not too likely so I would wait and see with these but give them a lot of promotion, particularly Hatfields and McCoys which sounds very promising and could certainly go Tuesday at 9pm if Revolution season two doesn't pan out. Crossbones might be a nice Friday 8pm option to lead into Grimm and Dracula. And of course the Chicago Fire spinoff could go on Wednesdays if After Hours fails.

CANCELLED/ENDED: 30 Rock, 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, Community, Deception, Do No Harm, Fashion Star, Guys with Kids, The New Normal, The Office, Ready for Love, Smash, Take it All, Up All Night, Whitney
NBC needs to be aggressive and that means not renewing many low-rated shows. I already gave a pass to Go On but the other comedies need to go. None of them are deserving of another season. The other shows on this list are pretty much no-brainers.

Tomorrow: FOX!

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, April 29

Monday night has the season finales of Bones and The Following on FOX. I think both shows will see an uptick this week, especially since The Following saw a nice rise last week. Elsewhere, the return of Hawaii Five-0 could mean a drop for Castle and maybe a dip into the 1s for Revolution but I think that will manage to hold on. CBS's comedies had a terrible showing two weeks ago when they were new. Will they come back stronger?

8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle #103 "Still"
Prediction: Dancing - 13.5 million, 2.1/Castle - 10.9 million, 2.1

8:00 How I Met Your Mother #182 "The Bro Mitzvah"
8:30 Rules of Engagement #98 "Timmy Quits"
9:00 2 Broke Girls #46 "And the Extra Work"
9:30 Mike & Molly #67 "Mike Can't Read"
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #68 "Imi Loko Ka 'Uhane"
Prediction: Mother - 7.3 million, 2.8/Rules - 6.2 million, 2.0/Girls - 7.9 million, 2.6/Mike&Molly - 7.5 million, 2.4/Hawaii - 8.0 million, 1.9

8:00 The Voice
10:00 Revolution #15 "Home"
Prediction: Voice - 13.9 million, 4.7/Revolution - 5.8 million, 2.0

8:00 Bones #166 "The Secret in the Siege" (Season Finale)
9:00 The Following #15 "The Final Chapter" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Bones - 7.5 million, 2.2/Following - 7.6 million, 2.6       

Sunday, April 28, 2013


8:00 Bet on Your Baby
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Movie: Over the Hedge
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

8:00 Mayweather Special
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

8:00 Smash
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 The Voice (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

8:00 NASCAR Racing
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

WEEKEND REWIND: ABC 2009-10 Season

This is the final Weekend Rewind for the season! This year, I have analyzed ABC's seasons from 1985-2010 which is when this blog began. I will take the summer off and then start again in the fall back in 1985 but this time analyzing CBS!

Starting tomorrow, I will begin my annual Upfront season posts. This week, I will post what I think the networks SHOULD do. Next week, I will predict what they WILL do. And then we will have the official schedules the week of May 13! Anyway, on to the Weekend Rewind...

ABC 2009-10 SEASON
The 2009-10 season was headlined by a bold new move on Wednesdays. The state of ABC's comedies had been languishing for nearly a decade. They decided to start from scratch with four new comedies. The move largely paid off as two shows have become cornerstones to ABC's schedule while a third continues to live on TBS. With comedies looking good for the first time in years, ABC still had trouble with their new dramas as they continued to have to rely on hits that were getting older. And this year, they said goodbye to one of their major 2000s players, Lost.

(Sep 21-Nov 23)
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle
(Nov 30-Dec 21)
8:00 Various Programming
9:00 Find My Family
10:00 Castle
(Jan 4-Mar 8)
8:00 The Bachelor
10:00 Castle
(Mar 22-May 17)
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
9:30 Romantically Challenged (starting Apr 19)
10:00 Castle
"Romantically Challenged"
ABC had a well-oiled machine by this season with their Monday lineup. They had a fall edition of Dancing with the Stars followed by The Bachelor for a couple months and then a spring Dancing. Bridging the gap in December was Christmas specials and the short-lived inspirational reality show Find My Family. At 10pm, ABC had a new reliable performer in Castle which developed into a solid procedural after a half season the year before. ABC found a show that could be compatible with both Dancing and The Bachelor which is important. Towards the end of the season, ABC made a late effort to add a comedy but this has never worked well with the Dancing lead-in. This year it was Romantically Challenged, a Pittsburgh set comedy about friends unlucky in love. Starring Alyssa Milano, the show didn't fit with ABC's new single camera comedies on Wednesdays and it didn't work with Dancing. Despite decent ratings (but bad retention), it was cancelled after the short spring run.

(Sep 22-Oct 27)
8:00 Shark Tank
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 The Forgotten
(Nov 3-24)
8:00 V
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 The Forgotten
(Dec 1-29)
8:00 Various Programming
9:00 Scrubs
9:30 Better Off Ted (starting Dec 8)
10:00 The Forgotten (through Dec 15)
(Jan 5-26)
8:00 Scrubs
8:30 Better Off Ted
9:00 Scrubs (through Jan 19)
9:30 Better Off Ted (through Jan 19)
10:00 The Forgotten
(Feb 9-Mar 23)
8:00 Lost (encores)
9:00 Lost
10:00 The Forgotten (through Mar 9)
(Mar 30-May 18)
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
9:00 Lost
10:00 V
Tuesday nights saw a wide variety all season from reality to comedies to drama. The year started with Shark Tank at 8pm. The new reality show had begun airing in August and did very little in this slot. It returned to Fridays later in the season where it eventually blossomed into a surprise hit. But early on, it was far from that. However, ABC's patience has paid off. The results of Dancing with the Stars aired at 9pm and led into new drama The Forgotten at 10pm. Starring Christian Slater, the procedural drama was about a team that tried to piece together the stories of John Doe or Jane Doe murder victims. ABC hasn't had much luck with straight procedurals besides the light-hearted Castle and this was one of many examples. It did last into March but was cancelled after 18 episodes, much like Detroit 1-8-7 the following year. In November, ABC  premiered science fiction drama V, based on the popular 1983 miniseries. The show had a shockingly strong debut but ABC had a plan to air just four episodes in the fall. Each episode dropped in ratings from the last and then it went on a long hiatus until the end of March. In the meantime, with Dancing temporarily over too, ABC devoted the 8-10pm slots to specials and little-watched comedies Scrubs and Better Off Ted. Scrubs had retooled for its ninth season (second on ABC) but it was well past its prime and cancelled at the end of the season. Ted could never catch on and was cancelled after two seasons. February brought the return of Lost for a sixth and final season. Most shows that end on their own terms run longer but Lost had gotten so complicated, it was probably good to end it sooner rather than later. The final season was still a success but not the smash hit it was at the beginning. In March, Dancing returned but at 8pm while V returned at 10pm to be paired with Lost. With Lost ending, ABC renewed V for a midseason run despite middling ratings.

(Sep 30-Nov 4)
8:00 Hank
8:30 The Middle
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 Eastwick
(Nov 18-Dec 30)
8:00 Various Programming
8:30 The Middle
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 Eastwick
(Jan 6-Apr 14)
8:00 Modern Family (encores)
8:30 The Middle
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 Ugly Betty
(Apr 21-May 19)
8:00 The Middle (encores)
8:30 The Middle
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 Happy Town (Apr 28-May 12)
"Modern Family"
ABC made a bold move on Wednesday nights in the Fall of 2009. Having had little success with comedies for years, they got some big names and top talents to create an ENTIRELY new comedy block. This was one of the more gutsy moves in recent years and it has largely paid off for ABC. The original lineup started with the Kelsey Grammar family sitcom Hank at 8pm, The Middle at 8:30pm starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, the high profile Modern Family at 9pm, and the Courteney Cox unfortunately-titled Cougar Town at 9:30pm. Of those shows, only Hank was a complete bomb. Its multi-cam format and tired jokes did not fit with the critically acclaimed shows of the rest of the evening. It was quickly yanked and replaced by repeats of their other sitcoms for the rest of the season. The Middle wasn't a breakout hit but found a steady audience that stuck with it and it has since grown into a very reliable 8pm anchor. ABC was smart to wait until year two to move it to 8pm after Hank's cancellation because it seemed to be nurtured following Modern Family repeats at 8pm for most of the year. Modern Family was a hit out of the gate and the biggest new comedy to hit network TV in several years. The ensemble sitcom stormed the airwaves and is the real reason this comedy night has worked. It rode so much success to a stellar Emmy performance (ABC's first best comedy win since The Wonder Years in 1988) and it remains one of ABC's cornerstone shows. Despite the star power of Courteney Cox, Cougar Town was an odd fit with the other family sitcoms and it started strong but started to lose a lot of it's Modern Family lead-in. Still, ABC stuck with the show for three years even as the show became much more of an ensemble sitcom and much less about the unfortunate early premise of Cox playing a "cougar". It was cancelled just last year but TBS picked it up and will air its fifth season next year. So three of the four sitcoms will be airing a fifth season next year. Talk about a successful programming move that other networks *cough*NBC*cough* should learn from. They had the new shows to do it and it worked. The 10pm slot was not nearly as lucky. The year started with Eastwick, a supernatural drama featuring Rebecca Romijn and Paul Gross among others. The show was a bad fit out of the comedies and never caught on or became the cult hit that ABC hoped it might be. It was replaced by Ugly Betty which seemed like a much better fit tonally. But Betty was past the point of no return as its ratings were falling and the show was cancelled after four seasons at the end of the season. At the very end of the year, ABC tried Happy Town, a Twin Peaks-style drama about the mysterious in the fictional Haplin, Minnesota. Despite some big names including Sam Neill and Steven Weber, the show was a quick failure and yanked after three episodes before burning off in the summer.

(Sep 24-Dec 17)
8:00 FlashForward
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 Private Practice (starting Dec 1)
(Jan 14-Mar 11)
8:00 The Deep End (Jan 21-Feb 25)
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 Private Practice
(Mar 18-May 20)
8:00 FlashForward
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 Private Practice (through May 13)
Thursday nights had Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice firmly entrenched in the 9pm & 10pm slots for another year but the 8pm slot became the problem that remains today. Ugly Betty had been faltering on the night and was shipped to Fridays then Wednesdays. They seemed to have a potential successor at the beginning of the season with FlashForward. The sci-fi drama was heavily marketed and got off to a hot start and seemed to be a buzzy new show. Things started to go south in late fall but then ABC took the series off the air for three months rather than sporadically air new episodes and repeats. When it returned in March, it had lost even more steam and eventually limped to the finish line as it disappointed in a big way following a strong premiere. While it was off the air in the winter, ABC briefly aired the legal drama The Deep End. The show was heavily panned for being a copycat of countless other legal dramas and aired just six short episodes before never being seen again. Since then, the 8pm slot has seen numerous other dramas and nothing has worked for ABC so it will be interesting to see what they do next year.

(Oct 16-Dec 18)
8:00 Supernanny (starting Oct 23)
9:00 Ugly Betty (through Dec 11)
10:00 20/20
(Jan 8-Feb 5)
8:00 Supernanny
9:00 Shark Tank
10:00 20/20
(Feb 12-Mar 19)
8:00 Various Programming
10:00 20/20
(Mar 26-Apr 23)
8:00 Various Programming
9:00 Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
10:00 20/20
(Apr 30-May 21)
8:00 Wife Swap
9:00 Primetime: What Would You Do? (starting May 7)
10:00 20/20
"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
Friday nights started with Supernanny at 8pm and a relocated Ugly Betty at 9pm before mainstay 20/20 to close the night. When Betty moved to Wednesdays in January, ABC went fully with reality programming on Fridays for the rest of the season. It was mostly varied but in March, ABC premiered the new inspirational reality show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. The show did well enough to get a second season but it disappeared quickly in year two. Other reality shows to grace the evening during the year were Wife Swap and Primetime: What Would You Do? Almost all of these shows except Food Revolution have been very serviceable fillers for ABC for many years whenever a higher profile show tanked.

8:00 College Football/Saturday Night Movie/Encores
As usual, Saturdays belonged to College Football then a mix of movies and repeats.

7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Desperate Housewives
10:00 Brothers & Sisters
For a second year in a row, Sundays remained completely unchanged but there were cracks in the armor as all the shows were starting to slip and show their age. America's Funniest Home Videos remains at 7pm to this day but the other three shows are completely off the lineup just three years later. This lineup was very solid for ABC but I think they left it stagnant for far too long and paid the price with a failure to develop more successful dramas.

ABC 2009-10 Stats

Shows in the Top 30
3. Dancing with the Stars (performance)
10. Dancing with the Stars (results)
13. Desperate Housewives
16. Grey's Anatomy
23. The Bachelor
25. Lost
28. Castle

Fall Shows Survival: 4/8 (50%)
Modern Family, The Middle, Cougar Town, Shark Tank

Midseason Shows Survival: 2/6 (33%)
V, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Total New Shows Survival Rate: 6/14 (43%)

Cancelled/Ended Shows
Scrubs (9 seasons)
Lost (6 seasons)
Ugly Betty (4 seasons)
Better Off Ted (2 seasons)
The Forgotten/Eastwick/FlashForward/Hank/Find My Family/The Deep End/Romantically Challenged/Happy Town (1 season)

Emmy Award Nominees & Winners (Major Categories)
Lost (Nominee, Outstanding Drama Series)
Modern Family (WINNER, Outstanding Comedy Series)
Matthew Fox, Lost (Nominee, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series)
Michael Emerson, Lost (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series)
Terry O'Quinn, Lost (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series)
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family (WINNER, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series)
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series)