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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UPFRONTS 2013: ABC's Official Fall Schedule

ABC's turn today!

MONDAYS
8:00 Dancing with the Stars (17th Edition)
10:00 Castle (6th Season)
Many thought ABC would scale back Dancing with the Stars and air it in midseason. Well they did scale it back but they will still air it in the fall, just one night a week as both the performances and results will be part of the Monday broadcast. This is a step in the right direction for a show that has been getting very tired and dropping heavily. Castle will stay at 10pm which is probably a smart idea because Dancing really isn't strong enough to launch a new show anymore. Castle won its hour for the last several weeks of the season so for once, I'm not saying ABC should have moved it.

TUESDAYS 
8:00 MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00 THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 TROPHY WIFE
10:00 LUCKY 7
Much like it did with Wednesdays in 2007 and 2009, ABC is going all new on Tuesday nights this year as they have eliminated the results edition of Dancing with the Stars. They are giving 8pm to one of their biggest prospects in years, the highly anticipated superhero show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC likely sees this as a big tent show with broad appeal and it could really transform Tuesdays for them if it connects with viewers. ABC will once again try to make comedy work at 9pm but this time they are going with family shows as the 1980s family comedy The Goldbergs is paired with Trophy Wife. Many (including me) thought Goldbergs would get a Wednesday slot but it did not. That being said, ABC clearly is invested in this show because airing it after S.H.I.E.L.D., which everyone seems to think will be a hit, is giving Goldbergs a strong lead-in. I think this comedy pairing stands a much better chance of surviving than Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 this past season. The comedies lead into high concept drama Lucky 7. This show's chances will likely hinge on how the first two hours of the night go but it's definitely the toughest sell in a slot that has been tough for ABC recently. I don't know if this night will work but I applaud ABC for trying something completely different on a night that just wasn't working at all this season.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Middle (5th Season)
8:30 BACK IN THE GAME
9:00 Modern Family (5th Season)
9:30 SUPER FUN NIGHT
10:00 Nashville (2nd Season)
The anchors remain in place on Wednesday nights but the half hour slots are given to new comedies after The Neighbors, Suburgatory, How to Live with Your Parents, and Family Tools all got chances this year. I actually think the 8:30pm slot between The Middle and Modern Family is the better slot and that goes to James Caan's Back in the Game. Remember this is the spot where Suburgatory flourished two years ago and where The Neighbors did enough to get a renewal. So I think this show has a pretty decent shot. At 9:30pm is the new Rebel Wilson comedy Super Fun Night. While it is not a family comedy like the others, ABC is high on the popular Wilson. However, tonal shifts have been tough here for Cougar Town, Happy Endings, and Don't Trust the B. So we'll see if Super Fun Night can have any more success. Nashville will remain at 10pm for a second season despite middling ratings this year. I think that's good because ABC learned its lesson by moving Revenge away from the night. The 8pm & 9pm anchors will of course be solid. The question is will these new shows fit in or make the night more disjointed.

THURSDAYS
8:00 ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9:00 Grey's Anatomy (10th Season)
10:00 Scandal (3rd Season)
ABC is taking its hottest combo of shows on TV and adding a new drama to the mix at 8pm. Despite many, many failed shows in the Thursday 8pm timeslot in recent years, ABC is trying yet again with another drama. This time its the Once Upon a Time spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The optimistic view is that one of these dramas has to work sometime and Once is a somewhat proven commodity and possible self-starter. The pessimistic view is that no drama has worked here in decades and there was another proven commodity and so-called self-starter two years ago (Charlie's Angels) that quickly crashed and burned. While it would be nice if Wonderland works, I think ABC made a mistake by not going in another direction on this night. ABC wisely is not messing with the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal which is as strong as dramas get lately.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Last Man Standing (3rd Season)
8:30 The Neighbors (2nd Season)
9:00 Shark Tank (5th Season)
10:00 20/20 (32nd Season)
FOX is going with all returning shows on Friday nights. Last Man Standing was an adequate lead-off this year and seems fit for Friday nights. Replacing the cancelled Malibu Country is the second season of The Neighbors, which snagged a surprise renewal considering how maligned it was. That being said, I don't see it even doing as well as Malibu when it wasn't all that impressive on Wednesdays. If it tanks, ABC has Suburgatory waiting in the wings. Shark Tank will not move to a higher profile night as many predicted. Instead, it will retain the 9pm slot where it has posted impressive numbers for Fridays. And of course veteran newsmagazine 20/20 returns to 10pm.

SATURDAYS
8:00 College Football
As expected.

SUNDAYS
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (24th Season)
8:00 Once Upon a Time (3rd Season)
9:00 Revenge (3rd Season)
10:00 BETRAYAL
Sunday nights are less shaken up than I thought they would be as America's Funniest Home Videos, Once Upon a Time, and Revenge all return to their current slots. The biggest surprise here is Revenge staying put after it really had trouble in the ratings in the second half of the season. I thought for sure it would move to 10pm so ABC could launch a new drama at 9pm. Instead, Betrayal will be sent to the wolves that ate Pan Am, GCB, 666 Park Avenue, and Red Widow in the last two years. It doesn't seem like Betrayal is set up for success even though ABC said they will only air it with shortened seasons.

MIDSEASON: The Bachelor, Suburgatory, The Taste, KILLER WOMEN, MIND GAMES, MIXOLOGY, THE QUEST, RESURRECTION
ABC is betting big on its fall with a whopping 8 new shows on the schedule. That leaves less midseason shows than usual for them. The Bachelor will of course replace Dancing. Suburgatory and newbie Mixology will plug in where needed. For whatever reason, The Taste was renewed but I wouldn't be shocked to see it held to summer unless ABC's new shows really tank especially with new reality show The Quest on deck too. The new dramas for midseason - Killer Women, Mind Games, and Resurrection will plug in where needed but all three, especially Mind and Resurrection could have narrow appeal.

CANCELLED/ENDED: 666 Park Avenue, Body of Proof, Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23, Happy Endings, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), The Family Tools, Last Resort, Malibu Country, Private Practice, Red Widow, Zero Hour

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