And now for the American Broadcasting Company…otherwise known as ABC.
When looking at the slate for ABC next season, the story is not actually what is coming for next season, but what they did last season. While the network is usually known for picking up a large amount of new shows (14 last year) their number has declined to nine this year. The reason? They are bringing back six first year series (more than any other network has in years). This is a pretty large number considering that both NBC (Whitney, Up All Night) and FOX (New Girl, Touch) only brought back 2 freshman series for their Fall schedule. While none of the shows they are bringing back are huge ratings hits like Desperate Housewives or Lost once were, they are all pretty successful in their own way, and in their time slots. This means ABC has much less of a challenge come Fall with only small additions to the schedule that get to be surrounded by shows that have already established a bit of an audience.
With six returning comedies to the lineup, there are only two new additions to the Fall schedule. Once again, we are having a conversation about Friday night because ABC Network President, Paul Lee, has had a huge desire to bring back TGIF programming since he took over his position, and is trying to do so. In November (after Primetime is no longer aired at 9:00pm to cover the 2012 Presidential election) Last Man Standing will move to Friday night, which will be followed by Reba McEntire's new show Malibu Country. I'm a bit confused about this move as TGIF was all about appealing to pre-teens that stayed home and watched television on Friday nights, and both of these shows skew much older with older stars. And, in one of the most interesting moves Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B--- have been moved to Tuesday night at 9:00pm. This seems a bit strange because they will now be going head to head with New Girl and The Mindy Project, which are targeted at the exact same audience. So, rather than ABC trying to take that audience on a different night, the shows will split the viewers. NBC has also gotten into this game with their new Matthew Perry show Go On, which is a huge priority for them. Looks like Tuesday night just became one of the most competitive nights of the season. I'm actually curious to see who caves first and moves their comedies…my guess will be NBC that has more to lose right now than any other network.
Clips for ABC's new shows found here.
Malibu Country – It looks like a classic multi-camera sitcom, which I'm not going to lie, was kind of nice to see, but…I have zero interest in this show. Reba McEntire discovers that her husband cheated on her and moves her family out to his home in Malibu. It is apparently all about "new beginnings that will make your heart sing." I don't know, maybe if the show actually looked funny I might bite, but right now all I see is a cheesy mess with lame one liners, to which I say, no thank you.
The Neighbors – A family buys a new home and moves into a neighborhood, only to discover that they are surrounded by a community of aliens for neighbors. I'm not saying that alien shows can't work (we can look to 3rd Rock from the Sun and Alf) but it has got to be, well, good….and funny. There is nothing about this show that indicates that it is either. It is scheduled after Modern Family (the best time slot for a comedy on ABC), but call me skeptical, I don’t know if I will stick around for this alien-fest.
ABC is also pretty stable in the drama realm, but after Desperate Housewives ended its run last Sunday night, one of its most important time slots is now open for Revenge to take over. I am a little upset about this, because I like Revenge, but most of my favorite cable shows are on Sunday night (Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Walking Dead) so I liked having some drama spread throughout the weekend and not crowding the one night. All together, ABC is launching three new drama series and the biggest question is…will Shawn Ryan's international action thriller finally be able to launch a show in the cursed Thursday at 8:00pm time slot? Widely publicized shows such as Flash Forward, Charlie's Angels and Missing have all crashed and burned here, so color me curious to know what will happen. New dramas Nashville and 666 Park will air on Wednesday and Sunday night, respectively, at 10:00pm.
Nashville – We know Connie Britton can do Texas (as she did in Friday Night Lights), and now she moves on to Tennessee in this show about the struggles of surviving in the world of country music. It's not really my typical cup of tea, but I kind of like this. It has been awhile since we have had a great soapy show (as we know ABC can do so well)so this may have the potential to get a huge audience if done well. All I can say is…I'm interested.
Last Resort – The concept of this show is interesting, albeit very confusing. A nuclear submarine is ordered to attack Pakistan…they can't confirm orders…so they ignore orders…. so they get shot at…so the United States disowns them…so they go rogue on a desert island…so, did I get it all? Did that make sense? Yeah, I'm not sure either. I'm very confused about the tone of this show and what it will actually be about. One plus is that Andre Braugher is fantastic – and we were reminded of this on his recent sting on House – but I just don't understand what kind of show this is. Is it Lost on an island with the military? Shawn Ryan can pull off amazing shows like The Shield, but he also can write shows that are very confusing and hard to follow and make no sense like The Chicago Code. I just hope that it is the former.
666 Park – Now this looks interesting, and the appearance of Terry O'Quinn as a possibly evil and devilish character is exciting, and even thrilling. When a young Mid-Western couple move to New York, they think their life is coming together when they are hired to manage the glamorous building The Drake. And then…things just start to go wrong…and get really really creepy. "At 666 Park Avenue, dreams come with a price" and I am very interested in what that price is going to be. I'm in.
Here is ABC’s 2012-13 schedule (*New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-10 pm “Dancing with the Stars”
10-11 pm “Castle”
8-9 pm “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
9-9:30 pm “Happy Endings”
9:30-10 pm “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”
10-11 pm “Private Practice”
8-8:30 pm “The Middle”
8:30-9 pm “Suburgatory”
9-9:30 pm “Modern Family”
9:30-10 pm “THE NEIGHBORS”
10-11 pm “NASHVILLE”
8-9 pm “LAST RESORT”
9-10 pm “Grey’s Anatomy”
10-11 pm “Scandal”
8 PM “Shark Tank”
9 PM “Primetime: What Would You Do?”
10 PM “20/20”
8-8:30 pm “Last Man Standing”
8:30-9 pm "MALIBU COUNTRY"
9-10 pm “Shark Tank”
10-11 pm “20/20”
8 PM “Saturday Night College Football”
7-8pm “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8-9 pm ”Once Upon a Time”
9-10 pm “Revenge”
10-11 pm “666 PARK AVENUE”