November 19, 2011

THE SKED: ABC MIDSEASON – UPDATE: “Pan Am” Crashes; “Cougar Town” Diminishes


UPDATEThe other shoe is falling on COUGAR TOWN, and it’s not a good fit:  ABC has cut the show’s order from 22 episodes to 15, and will announce its timeslot at the TCA in January.  Deadline says it may be put into the Tuesday 8:30PM slot behind LAST MAN STANDING, which would be a mismatch of historic proportions.  Rebel Network (see below)–your time may be coming!


ABC has announced a slate of midseason premieres, and what’s missing may be more notable than what’s there.  There was no mention of the returning COUGAR TOWN on the schedule, nor the new (and based on its pilot, exceptionally promising) sitcom APT 23, not to mention Shonda Rhimes’ Washington drama SCANDAL.  Vulture says that according to their inside source, Cougar Town will in fact be on the air on February or March, so for now at least we can hit “Pause” on our plan for a new rebel network that starts out with Community, Cougar Town and the return of Arrested Development.  

As for what the network did announce:
SUNDAY:  As had been anticipated since the Upfronts, ABC will give GCB (which is really GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES but the Parents Television Council won’t let the network say so) the post-DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES slot on Sundays 10PM starting March 4, and then hope it can be the successor to that show’s fading audience.  The last show to get a shot at that throne, PAN AM, was given only one extra episode, bespeaking scheduling needs rather than any real encouragement.  Although the show isn’t officially dead, ABC’s development season would have to be awfully bad for it to come back.
MONDAY:  No changes, but the next cycle of DANCING WITH THE STARS will debut March 19, giving The Voice plenty of time to settle into its Monday slot on NBC, since it starts the night after the Super Bowl.
TUESDAY:  Say goodbye to the awful MAN UP!–and now say hello to the even more dreadful (based on the pilot) WORK IT, a cross dressing comedy that may even now be making Billy Wilder’s gravestone weep.  It’s inheriting the post-LAST MAN STANDING slot to cement ABC’s Tuesday 8-9PM as the worst comedy hour on television.  At 9PM, CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP will have a 5 week run starting in January, then the effectively creepy THE RIVER will take over for 7 weeks until the DANCING WITH THE STARS results show returns to the hour.  BODY OF PROOF only received an extra order of 3 episodes, so the 10PM slot will open up early in 2012, meaning that may be where Scandal (or whatever currently inhabits Scandal‘s slot) will go.
WEDNESDAY:  You don’t mess with what’s working:  no changes.
THURSDAY:  In the troublesome 8PM slot, WINTER WIPEOUT will run Jan-March, and then THE MISSING, which looks to be Ashley Judd as Liam Neeson in Taken, takes over.
FRIDAYSHARK TANK replaces the 8PM hour of EXTREME MAKEOVER in February.
SATURDAY:  If Cougar Town and Apt 23 go here, I’m starting a boycott.  (They won’t.)

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."