ABC unveils new 2008-09 lineup

ABC released its fall schedule today, and you can view it by clicking here(all times Eastern; programs air one hour earlier in Chicago and the rest of the Central and Mountain time zones.)

Not much in the way of changes: ABC announced only two new shows this fall with Life on Mars and Opportunity Knocks on the sked. Also, Boston Legal moves to Mondays at 10 Eastern/ 9 Central. Eli Stone shifts to Tuesday in this same time period.

Midseason shows include former NBC comedy Scrubs, and The Goode Family, a new animated comedy from Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill creator Mike Judge (The alphabet net’s recent history with such fare has not met with success: Capitol Critters, The Critic, and Clerks all bombed in the ratings a few years back.) A beauty pageant show from producers Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks is also on tap.

Also returning midseason is Lost and According to Jim. Canceled shows include Big Shots, Oprah’s Big Give and Just for Laughs. Cavemen was also officially axed (but who here didn’t already know that?)

Analysis: Because of the writer’s strike, a lot of shows that should have been canceled – weren’t. ABC is making a mistake leaving the declining Ugly Betty on Thursdays, and don’t ask me why According to Jim is still on the schedule (as I said before, dumb comedies are always in fashion.) Meanwhile, Oprah’s Big Give is the surprise cancellation here: but that’s what you get when you lose to an original episode of The Simpsons. (Oprah actually decided not to produce Big Give anymore.)

With just two new shows on ABC’s fall schedule, there is not much to get excited about here. Expect the alphabet network’s ratings to decline further in 2008-09.