Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Fall Schedule: ABC


8:00 - Dancing with the Stars
10:00 - Castle

I don't understand why ABC doesn't want to try a new drama behind Dancing with the Stars. Yes, Castle does very well when Dancing is on the air, but wouldn't it stand to reason that something new could potentially take off in the same position? Especially this season when Dancing will be an "All-Stars" edition with fan favorites from the past returning to compete.


8:00 - Dancing with the Stars - Results (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Happy Endings (New Timeslot)
9:30 - Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23 (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Private Practice

I still think this pair of comedies would have been a better fit on Fridays rather than launching a new show, but pairing them together is a step in the right direction. The only problem? Now all three networks that have announced their schedules will have comedy blocks in the 9:00 hour. How will Happy Endings fare against New Girl? The last time Happy Endings stood on its own (without Modern Family as a lead-in), it didn't do so well; this was in a later timeslot and on a different night, so who knows what will happen.

Even though I don't watch Private Practice, I'm entirely annoyed on behalf of its fanbase. It's getting shafted in favor of Scandal, and for what is likely its final season. Not cool.


8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - Suburgatory
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - The Neighbors (NEW)
10:00 - Nashville (NEW)

I'll get to Revenge in a minute. Let's talk about how awful The Neighbors sounds: it's about a family that moves into a very private gated New Jersey community to discover the neighbors are all aliens. The actual wording from the press release is so horrifyingly stupid, I can't believe I'm reading it right: "Over dinner, Marty and his family discover that their neighbors receive nourishment through their eyes by reading books, rather than eating. The Weavers soon learn that the entire community is comprised of aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children and everyone cries green goo from their ears." REALLY?!

Nashville doesn't strike me as a 10:00 drama, especially in a slot which ABC has previously had little success, save for Revenge. But if you're going to put any new drama there, it might as well be Nashville; it'll get some decent exposure at least.


8:00 - Last Resort (NEW)
9:00 - Grey's Anatomy
10:00 - Scandal

The last time ABC tried a male-skewing drama at 8:00 on Thursdays (Flash Forward), it started massively and quickly plummetted, ending up canceled after just one season. Since everything else has failed there, might as well try again with another male-skewing show, Last Resort. I don't anticipate it doing too well, but perhaps if the show is strong enough I'll be proven wrong. Scandal gets to sit pretty in its cushy timeslot, where it has garnered average ratings for its first season; that pisses me off a little bit, but I don't watch it so whatever.


8:00 - Shark Tank
8:00 - Last Man Standing (New Timeslot - in November)
8:30 - Malibu Country (NEW - in November)
9:00 - Primetime: What Would You Do?
9:00 - Shark Tank (New Timeslot - in November)
10:00 - 20/20

ABC is being really strange and starting the season with an all-reality Friday night before it reintroduces TGIF in November. Why November? Why wait until all the momentum of fall premieres has gone to debut a new comedy in Reba McEntire's Malibu Country? Anyway, this isn't the dumbest move ever. Last Man Standing fell pretty precipitously in the spring, so moving it to Fridays is a good option. I don't think debuting a new comedy after it is particularly smart, but I guess ABC wants to appeal to families and older people who will be in front of the TV on Friday nights.


8:00 - Once Upon a Time
9:00 - Revenge (New Timeslot)
10:00 - 666 Park Avenue (NEW)

Oh dear. Here we go. On the one hand, I like the idea of Revenge inheriting the Desperate Housewives slot. It says a lot about how ABC feels about Revenge. But putting it after a family-oriented show? There's not much crossover between the two audiences. And on Sundays it will be up against football in the fall (if not on the broadcast networks, at least on cable) and the myriad awards shows in the spring (and it will even be frequently preempted then as well for the ones ABC airs). I just don't like it, and I don't see it ending particularly well. Hopefully I'm wrong. I also don't understand why 666 Park Avenue was picked up if it was not going to be a companion show to Once Upon a Time. Why not put it at 9:00 and Revenge at 10:00? That makes more sense to me, considering 666 Park Avenue has the fantasy/supernatural element, which would pair with Once's magic/fairy tale elements. Revenge sticks out like a sore thumb, and it's plopped right in the middle. Strange.


ABC announced a 2-hour comedy block on Tuesdays last year for midseason and never went through with it. They announced plans to do the same this morning, with How to Live with Your Parents... and The Family Tools joining the Tuesday line-up at 8:00 and 8:30, respectively. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen again, depending on how Fox does with its 8:00 comedy block in the fall and how the other new comedies fare.

ABC will have three new dramas (Red Widow, Zero Hour, Mistresses) plus the return of Body of Proof to schedule midseason, in addition to the two new comedies above. I wouldn't be surprised if Zero Hour airs in the vein of The River, a short season in between cycles of Dancing with the Stars. It also seems likely that Private Practice's order will be for only 13 episodes, with Body of Proof reclaiming its old timeslot when that show is over.

All in all, this could've been worse. It also could've been better.

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