Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABC’s 2011-12 Schedule

abc_logoABC announced their new TV schedule on Tuesday. The network announce thirteen new shows and relocated several others. The cancellation of eleven shows had previously been announced.

Cancelled: My Generation, The Whole Truth, V, Supernanny, Skating With The Stars, Brothers & Sisters, Better With You, Detroit 187, Mr. Sunshine, No Ordinary Family, Off The Map.

Moved: Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Renewed: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, Modern Family, The Middle, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Dancing With The Stars, Desperate Housewives, Body Of Proof, Happy Endings, Saturday Night College Football, The Bachelor, Shark Tank.

New Series: Dramas – Revenge, Charlie’s Angels, Once Upon A Time, Pan Am, Good Christian Belles, Missing, The River, Scandal
Comedies – Last Man Standing, Apartment 23, Man Up, Suburgatory, Work It.

ABC also has returning series Cougar Town and new series Apartment 23 and Work It for mid-season. Currently the intention is for Cougar Town and Apartment 23 to air in the Tuesday 9:00-10:00 p.m. time slot during the Dancing With The Stars hiatus

Complete Schedule (New Shows in Capitals, All times are Eastern)

8:00-10:00 p.m.  Dancing With The Stars Performance
10:00-11:00 p.m.  Castle

8:00-8:30 p.m.  LAST MAN STANDING
8:30-9:00 p.m.  MAN UP
9:00-10:00 p.m.  Dancing With The Stars Results/Cougar Town & APARTMENT 23
10:00-11:00 p.m.  Body Of Proof

8:00-8:30 p.m.  The Middle
8:30-9:00 p.m.  SUBURGATORY
9:00-9:30 p.m.  Modern Families
9:30-10:00 p.m.  Happy Endings
10:00-11:00 p.m.  REVENGE

8:00-9:00 p.m.  CHARLIE’S ANGELS
9:00-10:00 p.m.  Grey’s Anatomy
10:00-11:00 p.m.  Private Practice

8:00-9:00 p.m.  Extreme Makeover Home Editions (moved)
9:00-10:00 p.m.  Shark Tank
10:00-11:00 p.m.  20/20

7:00-8:00 p.m.  America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00-9:00 p.m.  ONCE UPON A TIME
9:00-10:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00-11:00 p.m. PAN AM

Last Man Standing is Tim Allen’s return to network TV. Tim Allen plays Mike Baxter, the marketing director for an iconic sporting goods store. He drives a pick-up truck and he likes having adventures whenever he travels for work. No one can deny his manliness at work. At home he lives in a home dominated by women – his wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis), and daughters Kristin (Alexandra Krosney), Mandy (Molly Ephraim) and Eve (Kaitlin Dever). When Vanessa returns to the workforce and is rapidly promoted Mike is forced to take on a greater role in parenting. Hector Elizondo also appears.

Man Up is a comedy about three guys who try to redefine what being a “real man” means. Will (Mather Zickel) is an evolved, sensitive man who works as an insurance agent. These are the reasons why his wife Theresa (Teri Polo) married him, but he still wonders what defines a real man. His friend Craig (Christopher Moynihan) is a sensitive soul who still yearns for his college girlfriend Lisa. His other friend Kenny asks, “What would Toby McGuire do?”  when his ex-wife Brenda starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons) who is everything he’s not. Also features Jake Johnson and Amanda Detmer.

Apartment 23 had a working title of “The Bitch in Apartment 23” (which naturally got the Parents Television Council up in righteous indignation). June (Dreama Walker) came to Manhattan with a dream job that came complete with a company apartment. It all disappears because the company CEO was a Bernie Madoff type and the firm collapses. In debt and on the streets, June thinks she gets lucky when she gets a job in a coffee shop and finds a roommate. Unfortunately her new roommate, Chloe (Krysten Ritter) is charming and vivacious she also has “the morals of a pirate.” She and her boyfriend James Van Der Beek (playing himself) swindle June out of her life savings. What they don’t expect is that the naive June is smart enough to turn the tables on them. That’s good enough to earn June entry into Chloe’s colourful band of friends.

Suburgatory is a comedy starring Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy as a father and daughter who leave New York for suburbia. When George (Sisto) finds a box of condoms on the nightstand of his 16 year-old daughter Tessa’s (Levy) nightstand, the single father decides to move his daughter to the “safety” of suburbia. Initially Tessa is horrified by the “over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms” not to mention the local kids. But once you get beneath the surface, the people aren’t that bad. Moreover the experience of living in the ‘burbs might just help to bring George and Tessa even closer together than they already were. The series also stars Carly Chaikin, Allie Grant, Alan Tudyk, and Cheryl Hines.

Revenge is a drama starring Emily van Camp as a young woman seeking to right some of the wrongs of her past. Emily Thorne is a young woman who recently moved to the Hamptons. She fits in well, but there’s something odd about such a young woman living in this wealthy town on her own. What no one else knows is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the Hamptons. She lived there as a child something happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily has returned to right some of those wrongs.

Charlie’s Angels is a remake of the classic TV series from the 1970s, with a twist. Instead of being ex-cops, the Angels in the remake are no saints. Abby (Rachel Taylor) is a “Park Avenue Princess” who became a world-class thief. Kate (Annie Ilonzeh) is an ex-cop who lost her career and fiancee in disgrace. Grace is a former Army lieutenant with a way with explosives. When Grace is killed, the women’s mysterious boss Charlie persuades Abby and Katie to work with Gloria’s childhood friend Eve (Minka Kelly) a street racer with a mysterious past. Ramon Rodrigues plays Bosley, who serves as the unseen Charlie’s intermediary. The Executive Producers for the series include Alfred Gough and Miles Miller (who did Smallville), Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen (from the Charlie’s Angels movies) and Leonard Goldberg (from the original Charlie’s Angels series).

In Once Upon A Time not everything is as it seems. Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is a self-reliant bail bond collector who has been on her own since she was abandoned as a baby. Everything changes for her when the son that she gave up years ago finds her. Henry (Jared Gilmore) believes that Emma is the exiled daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White who was sent to our world from the world of fairy tales to avoid the curse of the Evil Queen. This curse trapped the Fairy Tale world forever and brought the people who lived there to the little town of Storybrooke where they don’t remember what they were before. Emma doesn’t believe a word of it, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke she begins to worry about the boy and decides to stay. The series also stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlisle, Lana Parilla, James Dornan, Josh Dallas, and Rafael Sbarge.

Pan Am is a period piece set in the 1960s when Pan Am was one of the dominant airlines in the world and flight attendants were called stewardesses (or “stewardii “ as comedian Shelley Berman put it). In those days the men and women working for Pan Am had to be educated, cultured and refined; able to deal with everything thrown at them from emergencies to unwanted advances from passengers without mussing her hair. Dean (Jonah Lotan) plays Dean, a charismatic pilot who is one of the first not to have beeen trained in the war. Christina Ricci plays Maggie, a rebellious bohemian in her outside life who becomes a buttoned down professional in order to see the world as a stewardess. The rest of the flight crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vannasse), adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner), and Laura (Margot Robbie), Kate’s sister who ran away from the prospect of married boredom for the excitement of working for Pan Am.

Good Christian Belles is the adaptation of Kim Gatlin’s book Good Christian Bitches (which was the working title of the series, which drew protests from the PTC even though ABC made it clear that the name was going to be changed). Leslie Bibb plays Amanda Vaughan, a woman whose marriage ends in scandal. She returns to her hometown of Dallas, where she soon becomes reacquainted with some of her former high school classmates. The ultimate “mean girl” as a teen, Amanda has changed in the 20 years since she left school.  But will the women she went to school with forgive her or seek revenge… or both? The series also stars Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols, Brad Beyer, Mark Deklin, and David James Elliott.

Missing stars Ashley Judd as Becca Winstone, a woman whose only son has gone missing. When he was 8 years old Becca’s son Michael saw his CIA agent father Paul (Sean Bean) murdered. Now, ten years later Michael (Nick Eversman) has been given the opportunity to study in Europe and his mother reluctantly lets him go. When he disappears a few weeks into his trip, Becca flies to Rome and picks up on the clues that were left behind. What the kidnappers don’t know, but will soon find out, is that Paul wasn’t the only CIA agent in the family. To find her son Becca will not only have to rely on her old skills and determination but will also have to tap old friend and open old wounds. Cliff Curtis, Adriano Giannini, and Terez Voriskova also star.

The River is about the search for famed wildlife expert and TV personality Dr. Emmett Cole (Bruce Greenwod). Cole went missing without a trace on an expedition down the Amazon. Now, six months later, his emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother Tess (Leslie Hope), Cole’s son Lincoln (Joe Anderson) joins in the search for his father, who has always seemed an enigma to him. In order to finance the expedition Tess and Lincoln make an agreement with Emmett’s former TV producer Clark (Paul Blackthorne) to film a documentary on the expedition. The expedition includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacpa) and bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschman). Paulina Gaitin, and Shaun Parkes also star.

Scandal is the latest series from Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is a former White House media consultant who now runs a firm that protects the public profiles of the nation’s elite, to prevent scandals from being exposed to the glare of the press.. The only problem is that while Olivia and her staff are able to manage the lives of others, they have a great deal of difficulty managing their own lives. Also stars Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short, Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn.

 As always my comments are based entirely on the description provided in the network upfront presentations.

Like the other major networks, ABC is attempting to develop a second comedy block, and is being ambitious in their attempt by using the hiatus period of Dancing With The Stars as an opportunity to make their Tuesday comedy block an equal to their Wednesday comedy block. The ABC comedies are a bit of a mixed bag  as far as I’m concerned. The two that have the most interest for me are Apartment 23 and Suburgatory while the new Tim Allen series, Last Man Standing sounds – at least on the surface – like his old series Home Improvement except with daughters rather than sons. The thing that intrigues me about Apartment 23 is the nature of the relationship between June and Chloe, a relationship which sounds – at least on the surface – like the Oscar and Felix relationship in The Odd Couple. As for Suburgatory, the father-daughter relationship is in general not one that is frequently addressed. Beyond that I quite like the hook in which the family moves to the suburbs and find it not an idyllic world but a different sort of jungle to be negotiated.

Turning to the dramas there are several that I like. Charlie’s Angels isn’t one of them, although I’m convinced that it’s probably going to work. The problem for me is that they’re not only rebooting the show but they’re doing it in such a way that it moves away from where the original TV series was. It’s light enough as a concept to fit in with series like Castle and Body Of Proof, but there’s just something about it that rubs me the wrong way. I’m also uncertain about Once Upon A Time, although I don’t think it will last long enough to really matter given that it will be opposite Football (if there’s no strike), the FOX animation block and (probably) The  Amazing Race. The concept is an inventive one, and it reminds me of descriptions I’ve heard about a comic book series called Fables. I just don’t think the public is going to warm up to it.

Based on the ABC descriptions, there are two series that I’m pretty much convinced that I’ll watch. One is Missing, if it is done in such a way that it can retain an audience in an environment that looks at “one and done” is the expected format for dramas (one episode in which the entire mystery is resolved). I like what I’ve seen of Ashley Judd, and I think that the fact that the show will appear at mid-season and won’t be trying to stretch 22 episodes across 35 or 36 weeks will help in the story telling with a continuity intense series. The other show that really intrigues me is Pan Am although I have to confess that it’s not a show that is really directed towards me. It still sounds like a fun idea.

Apparently advertisers have been telling ABC that their line-up has become too “women-centric” and that this line-up attempts to increase the network’s attractiveness for men. In that area alone it seems like a failure to me. I do think that there are some really good elements in the line-up which should draw an audience. I like more of the shows that ABC is proposing than I did from the NBC and FOX presentations. How much success they’ll have with these new shows is another question entirely.


Todd Mason said...

Thanks for the confirmation about Braselle.

Revamping CHARLIE'S ANGELS is all to the good...given how inane the original series was. Whether this version will be any less inane (the films didn't challenge anyone much, but I found them less tedious than the series) is another matter.

PAN AM, like THE PLAYBOY CLUB on NBC, is a series that wouldn't exist without MAD MEN's critical success, albeit both are clearly hoping to draw in more of the LAS VEGAS audience as well, much as SWINGTOWN didn't manage to do.

And I suspect MISSING wouldn't've happened if COVERT AFFAIRS wasn't doing rather well for USA. I like Judd, too, and hope that if this one is an arc & oner mix, that they approach that more sensibly than did, say, KIDNAPPED a few seasons back, which started slowly and improved as it went along, not the way for an arc-dependent series to work.

fuzzbuzz said...

What happened to "good christian belles"? I think it would have worked after Desperate Housevives.