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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

UPFRONTS 2014: ABC's Official Fall Schedule

Here is the ABC lineup!

Past Years: 2013   2012   2011

MONDAYS
8:00 Dancing with the Stars (19th Edition)
10:00 Castle (7th Season)
ABC is keeping its Monday lineup in tact for a sixth consecutive year as they will once again leave Castle alone and not try a new drama on Mondays. Dancing with the Stars revitalized itself a little bit this season and the Monday 10pm slot is still tough so I get what they're doing here. I just think somewhere along the way they should have tried a new show after Dancing and The Bachelor, both of which are consistently solid.

TUESDAYS 
8:00 SELFIE
8:30 MANHATTAN LOVE STORY
9:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd Season)
10:00 FOREVER
Tuesday nights are being overhauled as they needed to be, but I'm not sure it's for the better. Probably the smartest move of the night was moving Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to 9pm where it did well in a one-time airing this year. The problem is it leaves the 8pm hour ripe for problems and two low-interest comedies are probably not going to cut it there. It seems like Selfie or Manhattan Love Story could be candidates for first cancellations of the season as neither one is high profile and they'll have to face The Voice and likely NCIS (not to mention the wildcard that is Utopia on FOX). The 10pm slot on Tuesdays was a disaster this year with three quickly failed dramas. This year, it'll have an established drama as a lead-in so that may help but it will depend on if Forever can connect with viewers in a very tough time period. All in all, Tuesdays looks like it could be rough. Marvel's Agent Carter will bridge the split season for S.H.I.E.L.D.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Middle (6th Season)
8:30 The Goldbergs (2nd Season)
9:00 Modern Family (6th Season)
9:30 BLACK-ISH
10:00 Nashville (3rd Season)
ABC corrected one of this season's major obvious moves by finally bringing The Goldbergs to Wednesdays, where it probably should have been all along. Who knows how things will go but on paper, it seems like the best bridge between The Middle and Modern Family since the early days of Suburgatory. It seems like ABC has learned the error of its ways with Super Fun Night and Mixology as they will go back to trying a family comedy after Modern Family - the black family sitcom Black-ish. This seems like it could be a good pair with Family and I feel like this lineup has the most cohesion the Wednesday sitcom lineup has ever had on ABC. The only problem is that Nashville stays at 10pm where it's likely to do even worse than this year. But if the comedy lineup works well then they can worry about 10pm next year.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Grey's Anatomy (11th Season)
9:00 Scandal (4th Season)
10:00 HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Thursdays have the biggest shakeup of the ABC lineup with the night fully becoming a Shonda Rhimes night. Grey's Anatomy leaves the 9pm home it has had since 2006 and it will head to ABC's troubled 8pm slot. While it may take a bite out of Grey's audience, it should be the best option the Thursday 8pm slot has had in a long, long time. ABC is taking a big risk by moving the red-hot Scandal to 9pm. On the plus side, it now airs in the highest viewed hour of primetime. On the down side, it has a very loyal audience at 10pm and it seems a little bit dangerous to mess with something great. Plus it will have to face The Blacklist in the spring if all things continue as planned. The reason for all these changes is to launch the new Shonda drama How to Get Away With Murder. If it can fit like a glove with the existing dramas then it will be worthwhile. All three dramas are expected to have split seasons with a show like Secrets & Lies filling the gap.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Last Man Standing (4th Season)
8:30 CRISTELA
9:00 Shark Tank (6th Season)
10:00 20/20 (33rd Season)
ABC is only making a minor tweak to Friday nights by replacing The Neighbors with Cristela. Cristela is a more traditional, multi-camera sitcom starring a stand-up comic, just like Last Man. If it can improve on The Neighbors, that will work well for ABC. Everything else including top Friday show Shark Tank air at 9pm. 20/20 will continue at 10pm and it has done so much better since Dateline NBC moved to 8pm.

SATURDAYS 
8:00 College Football

SUNDAYS
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (25th Season)
8:00 Once Upon a Time (4th Season)
9:00 Resurrection (2nd Season)
10:00 Revenge (4th Season)
Sundays will stay the same for the fall as they did better this spring thanks to a decent performance from Resurrection, a good run by Once Upon a Time, and not a complete meltdown from Revenge. This lineup should at least keep the lights on for ABC even if it doesn't set the world on fire. Resurrection has a shorter season order and will be replaced by the dark American Crime at some point. Once will have a split season with the musical sitcom Galavant running back to back episodes during its absence.

MIDSEASON: AMERICAN CRIME, THE ASTRONAUTS WIVES CLUB, THE CLUB, FRESH OFF THE BOAT, GALAVANT, MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER, SECRETS AND LIES, THE WHISPERS, The Bachelor, The Great Christmas Light Fight, The Taste
ABC has lots on deck for midseason though not as many as some years. Several of these will bridge split seasons as already mentioned. Right now there's no planned slot for Fresh Off the Boat or The Whispers so they might be first off the bench, who knows. There was no mention of The Astronauts Wives Club or The Club so perhaps those are going to be held for summer 2015.

CANCELLED: The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games, Mixology, The Neighbors, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Suburgatory, Super Fun Night, Trophy Wife

TO SUM UP:
I think ABC did make some necessary bold moves to strengthen problems. The Wednesday comedy block looks much stronger, the Thursday 8pm hour is fixed even if Grey's disappoints by its own standards, and they seem to have a more cohesive plan for the split seasons. Of course, Tuesdays looks like a complete mess. I can't imagine ABC is expecting Selfie or Manhattan Love Story to do anything and then that hour is lost plus Forever could be another 10pm bomb. But still, if Tuesdays are their only big problem, that would be a step in the right direction.

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