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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UPFRONTS 2015: ABC's Official Fall Schedule

Here is the ABC lineup!

Past ABC analysis: 2014   2013   2012   2011

MONDAYS
8:00 Dancing with the Stars (21st Edition)
10:00 Castle (8th Season)
Despite Castle's major decline this year, this lineup with stay the same for a seventh consecutive year. I know ABC didn't have an overly compatible drama to launch with Dancing but the veteran competition series is still strong after all these years and could launch something. But instead, this will stay. ABC is a model of consistency in their fall schedule and that is OK for the most part. But this is a mistake in my opinion. As always, The Bachelor replaces Dancing in January.

TUESDAYS
8:00 THE MUPPETS
8:30 Fresh Off the Boat (2nd Season)
9:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (3rd Season)
10:00 QUANTICO
Tuesdays is one of two days with some pretty significant upheaval. ABC is betting big on The Muppets being a self-starter on the night and the buzz is already solid around the return of the classic characters to primetime TV for the first time in nearly 20 years. ABC is hoping this will give them a more solid comedy footing on Tuesdays and that they will be a good lead-in to the promising Fresh Off the Boat, entering its second season after surprising this spring. Despite so-so numbers, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue at 9pm and lead into another new drama. Replacing Forever is the action filled Quantico. ABC might think this is more compatible than Forever, but the trailer wasn't overly promising and I think this could have a tough time. For now, the plan for The Real O'Neals to take the 8:30pm slot in January, sliding Boat back to 8pm (Muppets has a limited order). Marvel's Agent Carter will be a temporary replacement for S.H.I.E.L.D. again while Wicked City is planned for the Quantico slot as a bridge should Quantico last that long.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Middle (7th Season)
8:30 The Goldbergs (3rd Season)
9:00 Modern Family (7th Season)
9:30 Black-ish (2nd Season)
10:00 Nashville (4th Season)
There was a lot of speculation about what ABC would do with Wednesday and its comedy lineup after a very strong year. They ultimately decided to do nothing and return the lineup completely in tact. This is a little surprising and I think it says more about ABC's comedy development than their desire to leave it as is. This is a great lineup but they have the opportunity to expand their comedy footprint and they should really try to develop a couple shows that can work here for the 2016-17 season. Also somewhat surprising is the return of Nashville to 10pm. I think if they are going to keep the 8-10pm lineup the same (which is cool with me), they should have at least launched a new drama at 10pm. But they will keep things as is with a plan for season two of Secrets and Lies taking the 10pm slot for a midseason run.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Grey's Anatomy (12th Season)
9:00 Scandal (5th Season)
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder (2nd Season)
As expected, ABC's red-hot TGIT lineup will remain the same for the fall. This was a huge success for ABC that only fell apart when How to Get Away with Murder ended its season. Murder will continue to have shortened seasons but ABC thinks they have a better option with another Shondaland show, The Catch, at midseason. This will allow ABC to keep the TGIT brand going strong through the whole season.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Last Man Standing (5th Season)
8:30 DR. KEN
9:00 Shark Tank (7th Season)
10:00 20/20 (34th Season)
Fridays are staying pretty much the same except Last Man Standing will have a fourth different partner in four years. Trying to do what Malibu Country, The Neighbors, and Cristela could not, Dr. Ken will try to be a perfect pairing with Last Man. It seems like it could fit well but Cristela and Malibu Country seemed a good match too. ABC tentatively has plans for Uncle Buck to come to this night but that will probably change if Dr. Ken works out well. Shark Tank and 20/20 continue to occupy the 9pm and 10pm slots.

SATURDAYS
8:00 Saturday Night Football

SUNDAYS
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (26th Season)
8:00 Once Upon a Time (5th Season)
9:00 OIL
10:00 OF KINGS AND PROPHETS
Sunday nights are the other night to get a pretty big overhaul with new dramas taking the 9pm and 10pm slots. America's Funniest Home Videos (with a new host) and Once Upon a Time will still take up the first two hours. At 9pm is Oil, the soap/action drama with the title that ABC originally planned for Dynasty years ago. Oil will be a tough sell but 9pm has a better chance than 10pm. Speaking of 10pm, Of Kings and Prophets is a biblical-era saga that seems like it will have a tough time in a slot that is not kind to new dramas on any network. These two dramas are a pretty big swing by ABC and I'm not convinced either will work. ABC has plans for The Family to come to this night after the Oscars in March. Galavant will once again bridge a fall and spring run of Once Upon a Time.

MIDSEASON: THE CATCH, THE FAMILY, THE REAL O'NEALS, UNCLE BUCK, WICKED CITY, American Crime, The Bachelor, Beyond the Tank, Galavant, Marvel's Agent Carter, Secrets and Lies
As I have mentioned, ABC has plans for most of their new shows. The only two without a plan right now are American Crime and Beyond the Tank. Tank will go to Fridays at some point, maybe as late as next summer. Crime could have a lot of options if a drama doesn't work. Both Crime and Secrets and Lies are done as anthologies and will have major overhauls for season two.

CANCELLED/ENDED: Cristela, Forever, The Great Christmas Light Fight, In an Instant, Manhattan Love Story, Repeat After Me, Resurrection, Revenge, Selfie, The Taste

TO SUM UP:
This is an extremely cautious schedule from ABC but it makes sense to an extent for me. If they didn't like their comedy development, then I don't disagree with leaving Wednesday as is for another year. Obviously Thursday should stay the same and Friday didn't need much adjustment. The biggest problem I have is the 10pm shows. Castle should have been gone from Mondays and shipped to Tuesdays or Sundays at 10pm which are very hard spots to launch a show. Oil seems like it could have been an option for Monday at 10pm with Of Kings and Prophets then sliding up an hour to 9pm. I also don't like Nashville staying where it is with the strong comedy lead-in. It could have switched with Quantico. I get a conservative approach after a great season, but this was a bit too far.

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