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May 18, 2010

ABC's fall schedule; 'V' may return in November

No ordinary Upfronts_blogABC introduced a fall schedule Tuesday that includes slots for seven new shows, with incumbent hits continuing to enjoy their current perches.

A network known for making bold scheduling moves, ABC next season will keep its top shows in their existing time periods. Overall, it has 10 new programs planned.

The stabilizing strategy has dramas “No Ordinary Family,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “The Whole Truth,” “Body of Proof” and “My Generation” as well as the comedy “Better Together” airing in early slots or with nonpremium lead-ins.

Documentary-style police dramedy "Detroit" has arguably the best time period, coming out of Tuesday night's "Dancing With the Stars" results show.

Going through the schedule, ABC's executive vp of scripted programming Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs explained how each new show's slot made sense to the network (full schedule below).

"With 'Dancing' and 'Castle' on Mondays, obviously that's performing well for us," she said. "On Tuesdays, 'No Ordinary Family' is very much a broad-appeal 8 p.m. show that families can watch together. In terms of Wednesday, we went out of our way to establish a comedy block last season and we want to shore them up and make them stronger rather than move things around. 'My Generation' is very current and modern, very compatible with 'Grey's' on Thursdays, and we weren't going to move 'Private.'"

On Sundays, the network expects to use "Desperate Housewives" to launch Shonda Rhimes' new medical drama "Off the Map" in midseason, just as ABC did with "Grey's."

The network is also going to air the former Fox reality show "Secret Millionaire" on Fridays. The network still has the option to pick up unscripted shows "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and "Shark Tank" (both were in contention for the "Millionaire" slot). Procedural crime drama "Body of Proof" will also get a Friday slot.

In the wings for midseason: "Off the Map" and comedies "Mr. Sunshine" starring Matthew Perry and "Happy Endings," as well as recently renewed returning drama "V."

While acknowledging waiting a long time to bring back a heavily serialized show like "V" is always a concern, Patmore-Gibbs said the alien invasion drama could return in November. ABC is considering having "V" take over the "Dancing With the Stars" results show slot on Tuesday nights once the reality show airs its fall finale, which will give "V" a genre-appropriate lead-in from superhero drama "No Ordinary Family." The network also wanted to ensure that the special-effects-filled "V" had enough production time before its premiere date.  

On the comedy side, Patmore-Gibbs said the network is eager to get "Mr. Sunshine" and "Happy Endings" on the schedule. "Better Together" seemed to work best for the family-themed comedy block in the fall since its the show is about three couples who are part of the same extended family.

My gen Just how satisfied ABC is with its new programming has been a question in development circles. The network stayed quiet about its pilots during the pickup process and there were agency rumors that the network was displeased with its crop. Members of the press were also surprised to learn that ABC was scrapping its annual pre-upfront press conference, where entertainment president Steve McPherson walks reporters through the schedule and takes questions -- various ABC executives conducted one-on-one phone interviews instead, with the network explaining the change was made to accommodate scheduling demands.

"There's been a lot of speculation on agency side of things, when we don't talk to people it leads to all sorts of rumors -- sometimes about our to reaction shows we haven't even seen yet," Patmore-Gibbs said. "We feel very excited about the things that we have and are only frustrated there aren't more time periods. You can only launch so many new shows effectively at one time."

Below is ABC's fall schedule. OTHER FALL SCHEDULES: NBC, FOX ...

***New shows in red

Day 8 8:30 9 9:30 10:00
Monday Dancing With the Stars
Castle
Tuesday No Ordinary Family
Dancing With the Stars Results Show
Detroit 1-8-7
Wednesday The Middle
Better Together
Modern Family
Cougar Town
The Whole Truth
Thursday My Generation
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
Friday Secret Millionaire
Body of Proof
20/20
Saturday Saturday Night College Football
Day 7 7:30 8
8:30 9 9:30 10:00
Sunday America's Funniest Home Videos Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Desperate Housewives Brothers & Sisters


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