Thursday, April 23, 2009

Next Season - ABC

ABC's big problem: too many holes to fill. Even if its pilots are all amazing, they have to learn from the last two years and not spread their marketing so thin than none of them succeed. Which means that ABC, as I see it, is going to have some rough patches next season, but will hopefully not be entirely bleak.

- 8-10pm/8-9:30pm: ABC will be fine with DWTS here and The Bachelor worked this season between cycles.
- 9:30pm: New comedy (though I'd wonder if the network will burn off the remaining Samantha Who? episodes here... the odd thing about the post-DWTS comedy slot is that, since DWTS's duration is so erratic, you really only get 6-7 episodes with the lead-in per cycle)
- 10pm: New drama (though if ABC is going to stick with any of its midseason replacements, it's going to be Castle and ABC may be curious to see how it will do when it doesn't have NBC to compete with... still, my advice is PROGRAM AGGRESSIVELY)

- 8-9pm: New comedy block (if the network is sticking with Samantha Who? for another season, it may put it at 8:30pm here behind a new comedy and just pray that, unlike the In The Motherhood experiment, the lead-in succeeds). OR Ugly Betty. This timeslot, no matter what is put here, will be massacred when Idol returns. No stopping that. Ugly Betty's final season as sacrificial lamb?
- 9pm: DWTS Results show. Some reality show fodder between cycles (if it works this summer... Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?)
- 10pm: Brothers & Sisters. Again, ABC needs to program aggressively. That means taking B&S away from the post-Desperate Housewives so that can be put to good use leading into a new series. B&S has its own audience (the 2-hour "movie event" proved that). NBC won't be here next season and the timeslot is traditionally weak for CBS.

- 8pm: Flash Forward. This is the timeslot that ABC launched Lost in. It is the weakest timeslot, competition-wise, on the Sun-Thurs schedule. Lie To Me won last night with a 2.3. A 2.3. Granted, CBS's comedies were in repeat, but even in originals they haven't averaged a 2.3 since the fall. Programming FF on Wednesdays at 8pm would also, for the most part, get it out of the way of American Idol in the winter/spring.
- 9pm: Lost come late January / early February. Until then, I suggest a comedy block. Better Off Ted hasn't been killing in the ratings, but it has been pretty decent (for ABC and comedy) and holds its Scrubs lead-in. If ABC has another male-skewing comedy in its development, group that with BOT and see what happens.
- 10pm: Good luck, ABC! Hah, no, seriously... I haven't done my reviews of either Empire State (Romeo and Juliet between 30-somethings from a real estate magnate family and from a construction union family) or Inside the Box (hardnosed female news reporter in DC), but if either of those pilots are good, try them out here. It's an exciting opportunity at 10pm across the board with NBC out of the mix, but one thing ABC can't do is try crime dramas anywhere CBS has a crime drama.

- 8pm: ABC really ought to move Ugly Betty out of this timeslot next season. Really not sure what to put here in its place, though, since the comedy block idea failed (might just have been those comedies).
- 9pm-11pm: Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice. If it's, um, working... ish?

Friday/Saturday - I have no opinions.

- 7pm: America's Funniest Home Videos ain't going anywhere.
- 8pm: Neither is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
- 9pm: ... or Desperate Housewives.
- 10pm: Eastwick.

Major marketing pushes: Brothers & Sisters move, Flash Forward, Eastwick because I really do believe that all of those should be where I put them. Not knowing about comedy blocks or Ugly Betty's timeslot, I can't recommend anything... but three major pushes is really the limit for ABC. Unfortunately that leaves Wednesday at 10pm out in the cold... but, y'know what... ABC just has to deal with the fact that it's going to take time to fully rebuild its schedule and it has to do it by really pushing certain things hard, not doing mediocre jobs promoting too many new series.


Nathan said...

I think since Flash Forward is already picked up it should go either Thur/Weds at 8. ABC is really up in the air too because they have so many pilots.

Anonymous said...

This is what i thought could work for ABC this fall, by Hey

Sunday Night
8pm Extreme Makeover
9pm Desperate Housewives
10pm Brothers and Sisters// new drama
(a new drama series for 8 episodes to premiere in April and run to May, just to see if another show can use the lead in of Housewives + have another ‘ABC TV EVENT’ for Brothers and Sisters)

Monday Night
8pm Dancing With The Stars
[just have a two hour show because programming a comedy is so hard with all the hiatus the show keeps taking + have The Bachelor back midseason]
10pm Castle (why not give it another shot for 13 episodes?)

Tuesday Night
8pm No idea!
(this spot needs the most work, maybe a comedy block?)
9pm Dancing With The Stars Results
10pm Cougar Town
10:30pm New Comedy
(why not try something really different at 10pm Tuesday night? Cougar Town’s script is really good and will use the lead in of the results of DWTS better than Cupid)

Wednesday Night
8pm Flash-forward
9pm Empire State
10pm The Unusuals
(maybe just 10 episodes for fall, then Empire State gets pushed back in January and Lost premieres at 9pm)

Thursday Night
8pm Eastwick (may force people to stick around for Greys)
9pm Greys Anatomy (renew for smaller amount of episodes like 21 episodes with long hiatus in December to February)
10pm Private Practice

Friday Night
8pm Ugly Betty [may grow right?]
9pm Supernanny
10pm Wife Swap

Anonymous said...

They should move Brothers & Sisters Wednesday at 9 to tentpole a night!