ABC announces new fall schedule

ABC announced its fall slate of programming today at its upfront presentation. The alphabet network picked up seven new dramas, four new comedies, and a new reality show from Oprah Winfrey, which will debut midseason.

With the exit of According to Jim and The George Lopez Show, this marks the first time since the 1970-71 season that there will be no sitcoms shot in front of live audiences on the fall schedule. (Jim might not be dead, though: the show’s fate has still not been determined.)

Lost, of course, will return in January without interruption.

Here’s the lineup as follows: (All times Eastern and Pacific. Central and Mountain time zone residents, you know the drill…)

8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
9:30 p.m. “Sam I Am”*
10:00 p.m. “The Bachelor”

8:00 p.m. “Cavemen”*
8:30 p.m. “Carpoolers”*
9:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal”

8:00 p.m. “Pushing Daisies”*
9:00 p.m. “Private Practice” * (spin-off from Grey’s Anatomy)
10:00 p.m. “Dirty Sexy Money”*

8:00 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Big Shots”*

8:00 p.m. “Men in Trees”
9:00 p.m. “Women’s Murder Club” *
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

8:00 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”

7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10:00 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters”

* Designates new programs


ABC is sticking with its strategy of targeting female 18-49 demos, which are numerous in major markets like Chicago (where WLS-TV’s schedule – including prime-time – is a dominant No.1.) Notable night here is Wednesdays, which will be an all-drama night (harking back to the mid-’80’s when The Fall Guy, Dyansty, and Hotel occupied Hump Night.) Tuesdays are also madeover at least in the first hour with two new comedies, Cavemen and Carpoolers.

ABC is keeping the status quo on Sunday, while Mondays will see Cashmere Mafia, Notes from the Underbelly, and October Road move in when Dancing and Bachelor take their mid-winter breaks. Thursdays remains the same with the exception of the new drama Big Shots, which gets the plum Grey’s Anatomy time slot. (Men in Trees moves to Fridays to lead off the night.)

On Saturdays, ABC will have college football for the second straight year, hoping they can squeeze in many Notre Dame road games as they can.

Overall, ABC should have no problem keeping its competitive edge in the key 18-49 demo, although launching three new dramas on a Wednesday is a bit of a stretch. The fall schedule doesn’t really look all that exciting, with no buzzworthy shows (In fact, the only buzzworthy show, Oprah’s Big Give, isn’t on until midseason.) The Caveman show is totally stupid – it’s too bad comedy in the 21st Century is reduced to this. And once again, there is a glut of dramas, not one of them remotely watching.

And another question: Why is The Bachelor back?

Isn’t it Ironic Part II: Oprah now has a prime time show on ABC – but her talk show is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution. You think Les is spending way too much time dealing with Imus and Opie & Anthony and CBS Radios’ other problems to notice? Really bad non-move by CBS on failing to pick up Oprah’s project – on a talk show they syndicate.

Oops, I forgot: Forgot to mention two other shows cut loose from ABC: The Knights of Prosperity and What About Brian. But most people forgot these shows were on the schedule to begin with.