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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

UPFRONTS 2016: What ABC Should Do

Here is my ABC suggestion!

ABC took a super conservative approach to their lineup this year after a very successful 2014-15 season for new shows. The result was their new shows this year got bad timeslots and every single one of them disappointed at best and bombed at worst. Couple that with some ugly declines for shows like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, and Black-ish and you can see why Paul Lee was booted at mid-year. On the plus side, Grey's Anatomy is still a rock star and they have some young-ish shows like Fresh Off the Boat and The Goldbergs that continue to do well. To me, the failure of new shows this year is abundant proof that ABC needs to be aggressive with new shows next season and give them much better opportunities to succeed.

Past ABC suggestions: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

For a list of ABC pilots, click here

MONDAYS
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Secrets and Lies
Monday night needs to finally lose Castle from the lineup. ABC has squandered a prime spot to launch a new drama for years. Some years I have understood why but I will not understand if they stick with the well past its prime Castle here. Especially when they have a drama that could do well here like season two of Secrets and Lies, which probably should have aired here in January but has been delayed.

TUESDAYS
8:00 The Middle
8:30 Fresh Off the Boat
9:00 PEARL
9:30 TOAST
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I think now is the time to expand to two hours of comedy on Thursday because comedy is the best thing ABC has going for it right now. They also have two comedies that sound intriguing but are not family friendly so they could go at 9pm: Candice Bergen's Pearl and Shonda Rhimes' Toast. Earlier in the night, I would make the move of The Middle to not only help the promising and young Fresh Off the Boat but also to open up more space on Wednesday which will allow the launch of a new family comedy. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can move to 10pm.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Goldbergs
8:30 DREAM TEAM
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Black-ish
10:00 MODEL WOMAN
Wednesdays has been the same for two years but they can't keep their successful comedy lineup together forever. I think The Goldbergs will easily be able to take over the 8pm slot and I think this is the time to do it. There are several family comedy pilots that could take the 8:30pm slot but I think Dream Team sounds the best This is the better place to launch a family sitcom because it's too easy to tune out if it airs at 9:30. So, I would leave the 9pm hour alone and lead into a new drama at 10pm, perhaps the 70s fashion drama Model Woman. I think this gives new shows the best chance to succeed whereas a new comedy at 9:30pm would not be as strong and could hurt a new 10pm drama.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Grey's Anatomy
9:00 STILL STAR-CROSSED
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder
I had the TGIT lineup staying in tact but in light of Kerry Washington's rumored pregnancy, Scandal might be held till midseason and that might be a good move. Grey's Anatomy is as strong as ever and it deserves to be a lead-in for a new drama while Scandal is getting a little long in the tooth creatively and in the ratings and could use the time off. I would try the Shonda-produced Romeo & Juliet story at 9pm and leave How to Get Away with Murder at 10pm.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Last Man Standing
8:30 Dr. Ken
9:00 Shark Tank
10:00 20/20
Friday nights were one of the most consistent nights this year and the comedy block worked the best of anything with Last Man Standing. I would leave it exactly as is.

SUNDAYS
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
9:00 Once Upon a Time
10:00 Quantico
I think it might be time to swing big on Sundays and give an 8pm slot to a new drama with hope it will catch fire the way Once Upon a Time did five years ago. I think their best bet is Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland. It will be a tough sell against football but I think this is a place where ABC needs to take a risk because the 9pm new dramas are not working. I would move Once Upon a Time to 9pm and leave Quantico at 10pm.

MIDSEASON: The Bachelor, Castle, The Great Christmas Light Fight, The Great Holiday Baking Show, The Real O'Neals, Scandal, THE SECOND FATTEST HOUSEWIFE IN WESTPORT, DOWNWARD DOG, SPEECHLESS, BROKEN, CONVICTION, THE JURY
I'm always big on stockpiling for midseason, more than the networks are. I would bring The Bachelor, Bachelor Live, The Great Holiday Baking Show, and The Great Christmas Light Fight back in the same capacity. Broken or Conviction could be a candidate for Monday 10pm at midseason. The (hopefully) final season of Castle should be filler. The new comedies and other dramas should be held until a decent spot is available (no more launching three dramas to fail in the Tuesday 10pm slot!) Note I would not pick up the new Marvel show or renew Nashville, but I think ABC will do both.

CANCELLED/ENDED: American Crime, Beyond the Tank, Blood & Oil, The Catch, The Family, Galavant, Marvel's Agent Carter, The Muppets, My Diet is Better Than Yours, Nashville, Of Kings and Prophets, Wicked City, What Would You Do?

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