May 17, 2011

TV Upfronts: ABC's 2011-2012 Schedule

Tuesday was ABC's time to take center stage during the TV Upfronts, and their offerings for next season lack some imagination. Sure, there were some shows moved around the board, but I'm not sure this roster will help the Alphabet make any leaps forward.

Fall Line-Up

8p-10p: Dancing with the Stars Performance Show
10p-11p: Castle

Initial Thoughts: DwtS staying on Mondays doesn't surprise me, but I was sure ABC would move Castle to either Sundays or Wednesdays to make room for one of its new dramas. Don't get me wrong, I love Castle, and I'm glad it's getting such a great spot, but it's been able to establish itself somewhat. Why not try it out on a new night and let a new show get propped up by the network's biggest hit? Maybe ABC feels that Castle would not survive on its own, but it seems like they're hedging their bets with this move.

8p-8:30p: Last Man Standing
8:30p-9p: Man Up
9p-10p: Dancing with the Stars Results Show
10p-11p: Body of Proof

Initial Thoughts: We all knew ABC was going to unveil a new comedy block, but I do not know the difference between Man Up and Last Man Standing, so I'm not tempted to check either show out. It's a little hard to believe that they'd launch their new block with unproven shows when they have a veteran on the bench (more on that later). Having Body of Proof follow DwtS makes more sense than Castle because it's still a new show trying to build its audience, and having it on Tuesdays has been working so far.

8p-8:30p: The Middle
8:30p-9p: Suburgatory
9p-9:30: Modern Family
9:30p-10p: Happy Endings
10p-11p: Revenge

Initial Thoughts: Wednesdays might be the most controversial night for ABC since they removed Cougar Town from its established comedy block in favor of Happy Endings and Suburgatory. I do admit that both shows fit the brand, the latter more than the former, but CT has such a rabid fanbase that this move could backfire. Then again, CT's fans are so few that maybe it will be a drop in the bucket. I don't want to rag on CT because I like the show, but its ratings were not deserving of the post-Modern Family spot. The thing is, I would've teamed Cougar Town up with Happy Endings on Tuesdays since they're so similar. This combo is way more appealing than the "Man" shows. My knowledge of Revenge is limited, it's supposed to be some rich lady version of Count of Monte Cristo, and I'm not sure it will mesh well following four comedies, which is why Castle would've made more sense here. Ah well.

8p-9p: Charlie's Angels
9p-10p: Grey's Anatomy
10p-11p: Private Practice

Initial Thoughts: Once again ABC did not use one of its bigger hits to help grow a new show as we once again get the Rimes Duo of Grey's and Private Practice. Maybe launching new shows after established ones is an old practice, but it still makes some sense, so having PP stay put seems to be too safe. Having Charlie's Angels kick-off the night isn't a risky move, but it is in a once problematic timeslot, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

8p-9p: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9p-10p: Shark Tank
10p-11p: 20/20

Initial Thoughts: I don't have much to say about ABC's Friday Nights except that moving Extreme Makeover is a genius move.

7p-8p: America's Funniest Home Videos
8p-9p: Once Upon a Time
9p-10p: Desperate Housewives
10p-11p: Pan Am

Initial Thoughts: On paper, ABC's Sundays makes a lot of sense. Once Upon a Time sounds like an 8pm show, and Pan Am could work well with Housewives. That being said, a show like Revenge could have been a better fit after DH, and Pan Am could have benefitted from the post DwtS slot on Mondays. But what do I know?

Mid-Season Line-Up

9p-9:30p: Cougar Town
9:30p-10p: Apartment 23

On the Bench: Good Christian Belles, Missing, The River, Scandal, and Work It.

Initial Thoughts: One of the few comedies that I was excited for, Apartment 23, is of course being held off until mid-season, and pairing it with Cougar Town could be blessing and a curse. At this point, we cannot assume CT will have good ratings, so teaming Apt. 23 with it feels like ABC has already given up on it. I couldn't care less about all of the Alphabet's mid-season dramas.

Much like FOX, ABC really didn't go outside of its comfort zone. Unlike FOX, ABC cannot risk being safe since they haven't been able to launch a true his since LOST and Desperate Housewives. Some of the new offerings have potential, but the schedule is unambitious which may hurt said shows.


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