Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ABC hopes to build on resurgence

Of all the big five networks, ABC probably had the best year.

Not only did ‘Once Upon a Time’ turn out to be a hit, but ‘Revenge’ turned out to be a sudsy wonder – revitalizing the nighttime soap in the process.

ABC did have a few misses, especially the highly touted ‘Pan Am,’ but ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Revenge’ more than made up for it.

ABC surprised when they announced their cancellations and new series, too. Not only were ‘Body of Proof,’ ‘Private Practice,’ and ‘Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23’ inexplicably saved (when everyone thought they were goners), but ‘GCB’ was axed despite increasing buzz.

This year, ABC is moving ‘Revenge’ to Sunday nights (to ‘Desperate Housewives’ old slot) to be paired with ‘Once Upon a Time.’ The new ‘666 Park Avenue,’ also on Sunday nights, starring Terry O’Quinn (John Locke himself), Vanessa Williams and David Annable (Brothers and Sisters) looks like it could either be scary fun, or the new ‘Eastwick.’

Sadly, reality shows like ‘Dancing With the D-List Stars,’ ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Shark Tank’ still live to annoy for another season, but reality television won’t truly die until people stop watching that dreck.

Wednesday’s comedy block – anchored by ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Middle’ – will be joined at 10 p.m. by freshman series ‘Nashville,’ starring Connie Britton, Jonathan Jackson and Eric Close.  The show,
which revolves around the Nashville music scene, is getting decent buzz.

ABC is also trying to build solid comedy blocks apart from the Wednesday slate. These efforts include ‘How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)’ – starring Sarah Chalke, Emily Perkins and Brad Garrett. As well as something called ‘The Family Tools’ – which is bound to fail because of its title alone – and the return of Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing.’

The other pilot of note is ‘The Last Resort,’ starring Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher as members of a nuclear submarine crew who go on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles.

To me, ‘The Last Resort’ sounds interesting (and I love Speedman as a lycan/vampire hybrid in ‘Underworld’) but I’m not sure it’s a good fit with Shonda Rhimes fare like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’ – which it is paired with on Thursday nights.

Speaking of Grey’s, I’ll be interested to see how many fans actually drop the show after the outcry over the death of Lexie Grey in the season finale. A lot of time, fans are just blowing smoke when they
say they’re going to quit a show – but I’m not sure in this case. Fans were really outraged.

For me, I’ll tune in to ‘666 Park Avenue,’ ‘Nashville’ and ‘The Last Resort’ out of sheer curiosity (and genuine interest in the casts). Whether I’ll stick with them is another story, though.

As for returning shows, the only ABC programs I’m interested in are ‘Once Upon a Time,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Private Practice.’

With ‘Private Practice’ ending at mid-season, I could legitimately be down to two ABC shows by January. 

Let’s hope the network’s freshman shows manage to hook me.

What do you think? What are you looking forward to on ABC next season?

ABC’s Fall Schedule

8 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
10 p.m. Castle

8 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
9 p.m. Happy Endings
9:30 p.m. Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
10 p.m.  Private Practice

In January:
8 p.m. How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
8:30 p.m. The Family Tools


8 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Suburgatory
9 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. The Neighbors
10 p.m. Nashville

8 p.m. Last Resort
9 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10 p.m. Scandal

8 p.m. Shark Tank
9 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?
10 p.m. 20/20

In November:
8 p.m. Last Man Standing
8:30 p.m. Malibu Country
9 p.m. Shark Tank
10 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?


8 p.m. Once Upon a Time
9 p.m. Revenge
10 p.m. 666 Park Avenue


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