Network upfront presentations (in which the new slate of programming is bragged about to advertisers) continue today, with ABC unveiling their Fall 2012 lineup.
ABC is in pretty good shape these days, with Modern Family positioned as one of the highest-rated shows on the air and goofy dramas like Once Upon a Time and Revenge pulling in solid numbers and stoking fan ardor. So, ABC has chosen to not mess with success too much, they're going to keep things basically the— What?? What's this??? Revenge is moving to Sundays???
Yes, in a move that's probably wise for them (based on the ancient, time-tested science of TV scheduling), the Alphabet has moved its zeitgeist-y (though, admittedly, not that highly rated) vengeance drama off Wednesdays and over to Sunday nights, where it will have to compete with just about every other good show on television. It's no new complaint that Sundays — when all of premium cable parades its glittery wares through the bazaar — are already crowded, but now we get to gripe that Revenge, heretofore a fun midweek dollop of intrigue, is yet another show potentially lost in the scrum. The thinking behind this rescheduling is probably that Revenge could benefit from Once Upon a Time's strong lead-in, but are the audiences for those two shows really the same? ABC is taking a bet that they are, and hoping that the blend of magic and moneyed mystery will translate into a good audience for their new series 666 Park Avenue, which will air after Revenge.
666 Park Avenue is one of five new ABC series premiering in the fall (five more will come along in midseason), and to us it sounds the most promising. The show is a supernatural-ish drama about a mysterious Manhattan apartment building (owned by Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams) where residents can realize all their dreams, but, of course, must pay a price. So it's basically The Devil Is My Landlord. Sounds fun, right? Another drama we're looking forward to is Revenge's Wednesday night replacement Nashville, a country music soap starring the great Connie Britton as an aging country star and Hayden Panettiere as a young upstart looking to steal her glory. It's Country Strong minus the [Country Strong spoiler alert] bizarre death at the end. We think, anyway. The series is also notable in that it features long lost Jonathan Jackson, onetime teen heartthrob turned grownup soap opera actor. Welcome back to the big leagues, JJ!
Less promising is the high-concept Last Resort, about the crew of a nuclear sub going rogue and forming their own small island nation (an armed one at that) after refusing to nuke Pakistan. Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman star, and they are both likable actors, but we just can't see this premise working as a weekly series. Pretty soon doesn't it just turn into Terra Nova with submarines instead of dinosaurs? Also not that enticing are a pair of ABC's new comedies. One is called How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life (cool title), which stars Sarah Chalke and Brad Garret and sounds like a pretty bland run-of-the-mill show. The other is The Neighbors, about... well, here, just read this: "The Weavers soon learn that the entire community is comprised of aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children and everyone cries green goo from their ears." Yikes, right? That sounds like some straight-up mid-'90s hackery, not a show to be sandwiched between Modern Family and Connie Britton's Country Career.
It should be, like, on TGIF or something. Which, ahem ahem, ABC is attempting to bring back. Yes, the Friday night family programming bloc is being slowly reintroduced, with Tim Allen's Last Man Standing moving into a slot and Reba McEntire's (and Lily Tomlin's!!) new country gal in California sitcom Malibu Country moving in too. May we soon see the premiere of Step by Step: The Next Generation!
Here's ABC's full schedule:
8 PM “Dancing with the Stars”
10 PM “Castle”
8 PM “The Bachelor”
10 PM “Castle”
8 PM “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
9 PM “Happy Endings”
9:30 PM “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”
10 PM “Private Practice”
8 PM “How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)”
8:30 PM “The Family Tools”
8 PM “The Middle”
8:30 p.m. “Suburgatory”
9 PM “Modern Family”
9:30 PM “The Neighbors”
10 PM “Nashville”
8 PM “Last Resort”
9 PM “Grey’s Anatomy”
10 PM “Scandal”
8 PM “Shark Tank”
9 PM “Primetime: What Would You Do?”
10 PM “20/20”
8 PM “Last Man Standing”
8:30 p.m. “Malibu Country”
9 PM “Shark Tank”
10 PM “Primetime: What Would You Do?”
8 PM “Saturday Night College Football”
7 PM “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8 PM ”Once Upon a Time”
9 PM “Revenge”
10 PM “666 Park Avenue”