ABC is bringing eleven new shows to prime-time for the 2009-10 season, with four comedies, six dramas, and one new reality show (Shark Tank), the network announced today at its upfront presentation.
The big news here is new sci-fi drama Flash Forward gets the Thursday lead-off position at 7 p.m. Central, replacing Ugly Betty, which moves to Fridays at 8 p.m.
Taking a page from what CBS did in 1996 to launch its fall lineup, ABC is relying on familiar names to front its network, relying on familiar faces such as Courtney Cox, Ed O’Neill, Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer (the latter two were paired on Fox’s 2007 sitcom Back to You.)
In 1996, CBS launched shows featuring Bill Cosby, Ted Danson, and Rhea Pearlman (not to mention a little show called Everybody Loves Raymond.)
ABC is taking its biggest risk on Wednesday, with a night of all-new shows replacing duds Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money.
As for midseason, The Bachelor and Lost will return, while ABC and Warner Bros. hopes to take a page out of Battlestar Galactica’s playbook and reimage V, a 1983 NBC mini-series which was also a short-lived regular series on the peacock network in 1984-85.
On the other hand, its Sunday lineup (featuring Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters) remains the same.
Shows on the bubble returning include Scrubs, Better Off Ted, and Castle. Canceled shows include Samantha Who?, The Unusuals, and as noted here earlier, According to Jim.
To see the 2009-10 schedule, click here.
Analysis: ABC’s strongest nights remain untouched, and that’s a good thing. Two new shows (Shark Tank and Forgotten) surround Dancing With The Stars Results Show and may get solid sampling. With no veteran show anchoring Wednesday, ABC will be in for a long night. Flash Forward is out of place with two female-skewing dramas on Thursday – don’t think this show will make it. Ugly Betty moving to The Friday Night Death Slot only adds to that legend, not to Betty’s own. Betty is likely done after this season.
Overall, a decent schedule for ABC, but Wednesdays are definitely going to be a sore spot.