ABC unveils 2013-14 primetime schedule

abc_banner_bgrndMarvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. already getting tons of buzz

ABC released its 2013-14 primetime schedule Tuesday morning ahead of its upfront presentation later in the day, with fourteen new series – nine of those premiering this fall.

The biggest show on ABC’s schedule no doubt is Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, helmed by Joss Whedon. Already, the series’ Facebook page has more than 200,000 likes.

Another big move is the reduction of Dancing With The Stars to just two hours and one night a week, similar to its format in its first season.

ABC also said it would air some of its serialized dramas in two, twelve-episode installments next season, while filling the time between with “limited-run” series, either scripted or unscripted (similar to what the Bachelor does when Dancing is on winter hiatus.)

Midseason enteries, aside from Bachelor, include The Taste, Resurrection, Suburgatory, Mind Games, Killer Women, Mixology, and The Quest. To view a list of ABC’s canceled shows, click here. The future of Splash and Wife Swap was not determined, but its safe to say those two entries won’t be coming back.

Tuesday nights get a complete facelift – all freshmen series, all night long, starting with S.H.I.E.L.D (to view the trailer, click here.) Following S.H.I.E.L.D. are two new comedies: The Goldbergs (not related to the classic ’30’s radio and ’50’s TV series of the same name) and Trophy Wife. The night wraps up with Lucky 7, about a group of gas station employees who win the lottery.

Wednesday has two new sitcoms: Back In The Game, about a former ex-softball player who reluctantly coaches a little-league team. Getting the post-Modern Family slot is Super Fun Night, which stars Rebel Wilson.

Thursday leads off with a new Once Upon A Time spinoff Wonderland, based on the classic Alice In Wonderland and leads into Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. On Friday, canceled sitcom Malibu Country is replaced in the same time slot by relocated Neighbors. On Sunday following Revenge is new drama Betrayal, about a son who is accused of murder, pitting two lovers on opposite sides of a murder investigation.

Monday and Saturday nights remains unchanged.

To see the full 2013-14 ABC schedule and a complete description of all the new shows, click here. 

Thoughts: Even though ABC is in fourth place, they are actually in a stronger position than NBC was when they were in the same position. The difference? More buzzworthy programming such as Castle and Scandal, which has become a big hit in part due to a huge social media presence. ABC caught a bad break due to NBC’s success with Sunday Night Football and The Voice.

ABC made the right decision in reducing Dancing, as the show is no longer a pop-culture magnet. Can anybody tell me who was in Dancing’s cast this season? Anybody?

All eyes will definitely be on S.H.I.E.L.D. as this show seeks to lure the young male demo back to network television. But can it live up to the hype? Yours truly would rather have S.H.I.E.L.D. at 8 p.m. Central, rather than start the evening.

The Goldbergs… with the same title as the 1949-56 series, you’d half-expect Eve Arden and Sid Caesar to show up. Instead, this is a period piece set in the 1980’s, and we’ve had just about enough of those. ABC’s other new comedies don’t look exciting or enticing.

Lucky 7 keeps the tradition alive of similar series where the lottery was part of the storyline (Millionaire, Lottery!, My Name Is Earl), but I’m not sure how long this series can sustain itself. During the upfronts, ABC Entertainment Chief Paul Lee said Thursday nights is about “empowering women”. I don’t know how Wonderland fits into this plan with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, but it looks like a cool show. However, it will have a tough time opposite Big Bang. Betrayal is kind of a toss-up: this seems like Good Wife lite, and much like other series that have come and gone in this Sunday night (9 p.m.) time slot, this show will likely be no different.

Overall, a decent lineup from ABC. But I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to lift them out of fourth place.

(Updated at 1:03 a.m. on 2013-05-17.)