May 15, 2012

THE SKED: ABC Fall Schedule and Instant Analysis

Lots of moves from ABC, some–but not all–of which we anticipated.


Let’s take a look night-by-night:

MONDAY:  The aging DANCING WITH THE STARS isn’t ideal, but as we anticipated, it’s the best ABC is likely to do on the night for now, paired with the returning CASTLE.  


TUESDAY:  Interesting decision to slide DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS to 8PM (where it will continue to face off against The Voice Results), and put an hour of single-camera comedy directly against New Girl‘s hour on FOX–also, to fill that comedy hour with the returning HAPPY ENDINGS and DON’T TRUST THE B___, neither of which has been a breakout hit.  With NBC’s announced schedule added to the mix, that’s going to mean single-camera comedies on ABC, FOX and NBC, all airing at the same time.  Will that lead to mutually assured destruction, and can it be good for anyone besides CBS and the makers of DVRs?   Leaving PRIVATE PRACTICE in its new Tuesday 10PM slot makes sense.

WEDNESDAY:  ABC must feel strongly about THE NEIGHBORS to give it the plum post-MODERN FAMILY slot.  The strategy behind putting NASHVILLE at 10PM is presumably to start it out in the same fairly soft hour (depending on what CBS announces tomorrow) that worked for Revenge, then if all goes well, think about moving it elsewhere.

THURSDAY:   We agree with the strategy of a new drama at 8PM–the military-themed LAST RESORT isn’t an obvious fit with the night’s later female-skewing dramas, but it could be good counterprogramming against comedies on CBS and NBC and X Factor on FOX.  SCANDAL has proven capable in the post-GREY’S ANATOMY hour.

FRIDAY:  We’re on board with the multi-camera hour of LAST MAN STANDING and MALIBU COUNTRY to start the night.  Holding these low-impact shows until November, after the slew of higher-profile shows debut, sounds like a good idea too.

SATURDAY:  College football.

SUNDAY:  Giving REVENGE the prime post-ONCE UPON A TIME slot is a calculated risk.  If Revenge can grow with that strong lead-in, it could establish the show as the successor to Desperate Housewives.  But Revenge has been performing at a lower level than Housewives on Wednesdays, and if it doesn’t weather the shift well, this could require some quick changes to the night.  We agree with the notion of a darker drama at 10PM, and 666 PARK AVENUE is filled with ABC veterans (Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Rachael Taylor, Dave Annable).

ABC also announced some midseason plans.  THE BACHELOR, as usual, will take over the Dancing With the Stars slot between cycles.  Also between Dancing cycles, the network will try out new sitcoms HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE) and THE FAMILY TOOLS in the Tuesday 8PM hour.  The midseason bench also includes the 1-hours MISTRESSES, RED WIDOW and ZERO HOUR.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."