Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ABC fall schedule announced - Upfront Week

ABC just announced their fall schedule. I'm jumping on the conference call right now, but you can read all the details at NJ.com, and I'll be back later with quotes and analysis.

UPDATE: Take two is now up on NJ.com

40 comments:

BF said...

"V": I guess Juliet really is dead if Elizabeth Mitchell is going to be cavorting with lizard aliens.

Mel said...

Ugly Betty on Fridays? Well, that will kill that show pretty darn quickly. ARGH!

Eric said...

Nothing on the Fall schedule I'm planning to watch, unless one of the new comedies gets spectacular reviews.

pdf said...

Every single one of those brand-new shows makes me want to heave. I will continue to watch Better Off Ted, though, and will try to remember to catch Castle, because I liked every episode I saw this season.

Karen said...

Most of the new offerings look like nothing I'd want to watch in a million years (Kelsey Grammer? Patricia Heaton? "Honest" look at aging and dating starring Courtney Cox? More reality shows? Thanks but no thanks...), but a couple jumped out at me for my past experiences with members of their excellent casts (Flash Forward in particular) or partially excellent casts (V, Happy Town). So I'll give those a shot. Of the returning shows, Castle is the only one we watch (and, as an aside, looking over CBS's listings, I realized we watch absolutely nothing on that network at all). For what this is worth.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Take two is now up at NJ.com

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the Forgotten mainly due to Rupert Penry-Jones from Spooks (MI-5 in the US). I just hope they let him use his English accent instead of having him play an American. I can't understand why US TV executives think that nobody in the US would have an English accent

Anonymous said...

Sonya Walger is on Flash Forward and Penny isn't dead. So maybe Juliet is still alive, but they didn't make her a regular since they didn't plan to use her full time. Lost had an unusual contractual agreement with Emilie DeRavin this year, so you never know.

Yet another anonymous said...

As to your second post, Alan, it is actually rather daring the road they are taking - and if you throw that many new shows out, one or two will have to take, right?

I'm pretty impressed with some of the actors in the news dramas, but wary, too. This, of course, is the network that canceled Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money.

I give them more credit than NBC though, with all those Leno hours in primetime. That's just lazy and unimaginative.

Karen, like you, I realize that I watch no CBS shows - how did that happen? (I kept meaning to watch the Mentalist, but it was up against something else (I forget what). Same thing with Castle on ABC.

jcpbmg said...

What happened with Ugly Betty? I remember when it premiered it was packaged with Greys and was winning an Emmy or two?

I've never watched it but it seems as though it fell off pretty fast

Karen said...

Alan wrote: While they're being bold (or foolish) with the number of new shows, they sure aren't with the people on a number of those shows, as the comedies feature Kelsey Grammer ("Hank"), Courteney Cox ("Cougar Town"), Patricia Heaton ("The Middle") and Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family").Would I be wrong about wondering about the age group that casting is aimed at? At 46, I know who all those actors are - but as a 46-year-old female, I doubt I'm a demographic advertisers care about. Are these actors really such a draw?

As for CBS, we actually caught an episode of The Mentalist once when sitting in a hotel room looking for something to watch. It was fun enough, I've liked Simon Baker since Something New, but it wasn't enough to draw us in. And, at the risk of getting struck by lightning, I'll add that we got the first disk of HIMYM from Netflix and just. didn't. laugh... and we love Aly Denisof (as she is on Twitter) and NPH, too, and wanted very much to like it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those new shows sound like they have a lot of the suck in them.

Cougar Town - should be called Silicone/Lipo/Botox Town. Does Bill Lawrence have to create shows to get his wife a job?

Shark Tank - direct ripoff of Dragon's Den from the BBC.

However, I am looking forward to V, and the even better V, she being Sofia Vergara.

Dan Mac said...

Should we assume that Amy Acker in Happy Town suggests less Dr. Saunders in Dollhouse?

Anonymous said...

I think the writing is pretty much on the wall for Ugly Betty. It's been so creatively uneven this year, ratings have been trending down, and it took that big six week break over the spring. It's pretty clear ABC has lost confidence in it. Ironically, Fridays is where the show was originally scheduled before the network thought better of it and decided to launch it on Thursdays.

dez said...

I hope Busy Phillips isn't playing a "cougar" in that show. She's too young! Most of those shows sound pretty dang awful, too.

LA said...

I'm conflicted about The Middle. I love Neil Flynn and want him to succeed, but with equal passion, I detest Patricia Heaton. The concept doesn't sound promising at all.

BF said...

Sonya Walger is on Flash Forward and Penny isn't dead.Walger's not a core cast member and only shows up in about 5-10 scenes a season total. Mitchell not so much.

Besides, wasn't she on like 5 series at once a couple of years ago?

BF said...

I think we should hereby proclaim that today, May 19th 2009, be forevermore known as VA2J Day.

multe said...

No, but Bill Lawrence has to make shows to keep getting his wife Lipo/Botox/Silicone.

That's mean, but it's not like Scrubs didn't use it as a laugh point.

Kathie said...

I am bummed they cancelled Samantha Who? The show had a lot of potential and won some awards including a People's Choice and an emmy for Jean Smart. ABC changed kept switching it around on different nights and the show disappeared for months. It was fun while it lasted.

I will probably watch Cougar Town.

Zack Smith said...

Oh, for the love of God, they picked up HAPPY TOWN? It's a straight-up David Lynch knockoff from the LIFE ON MARS guys! Alan, I warned you about this script! I'm so sorry!

V and FLASH FORWARD could be fun. FLASH just signed Marc Guggenheim, a nice guy and good writer, as a producer.

COUGAR TOWN had a decent script, and I like Bill Lawrence. Less keen on the premise, which feels 2007.

EASTWICK doesn't grab me, but David Nutter directed the pilot, so I knew it'd get picked up. This makes 15 straight pilots he's directed that have gone to series. The man is the Spielberg of pilots.

Read script for Kelsey Grammar's new show. It's a limited premise that hasn't worked on on other sitcoms (guy must get to know family!). The backdrop feels like NEWHART.

Wow, they didn't go for Shonda Rimes' series about DC reporters? Not even Shonda can make networks like journalists.

OVERALL: A couple shows with potential, but nothing that screams "must see" and a few that seem outright bland.

Castaway said...

I actually think the casting makes sense---people in the age bracket of Grammer, Heaton, O'Neill and Cox have the most disposable income. Plus, those four have, what, 50 years of starring in highly successful TV series. Why not give them another chance instead of casting the 200th "Friends" ripoff? Of course the shows may be awful, but the people involved have track records of success.

Lydia said...

Yay for Castle! Has anyone else noticed that shows with Firefly actors or creators have been saved. "Chuck" has Adam Baldwin who played Jayne. Nathan Fillion is in "Castle" and Joss Whedon and Alan Tudyk in "Dollhouse". I wonder if fans of "Firefly" have anything to do with these show succeeding. It would be ironic if canceling one show led to other shows getting more viewers.

Andrew said...

Wait-- Cougar Town is a real show and not just a fake show idea from 30 Rock?

Frankie Raye said...

I'm hoping the new comedies are good but what happened to the one with Cedric? Last week it was on all the "hot" lists and now didn't even get midseason? The script was really strong. Yeesh.

HautieTx said...

I am at a lost, for understanding, ABC's logic... to dump Samantha Who? in order to pay out big dollars to the likes of Courtney Cox, Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer in unproven "comedy" shows.

I realize that all three of these older actors have been desperate to get another network show... but the premise of all three shows sound just plain dumb.

ABC tells their returning shows to cut cut cut those budgets... but you know ABC coughed up serious cash for all of these new shows.

And none of them are new original fun ideas... all of them are rehashed ideas from other failed shows.

But somehow their lone comedy, Emmy winning, Samantha Who? gets the boot for being too costly.

Geez did they hire Silverman away from NBC suddenly and let him take over the decisions making at ABC??

Theresa said...

So Scrubs is officially coming back? Man...

Anonymous said...

MILF Island > Cougar Town

Anonymous said...

Did Rmantically Challenged not make the cut? Not even for midseason? If not, shoot -- that was a funny pilot.

bsangs said...

Wow, aside from College Football, it looks like I won't be watching ABC until Lost and Better Off Ted return.

That is, unless Alan convinces me something's worth watching. :)

killerlu said...

Huh. This schedule is underwhelming.
I agree with several people that have posted here that "Flash Forward" and "V" may be worth a look. As in three week trial.
Maybe more stuff will stick on the wall now that NBC has practically conceded the 10pm block.

Hyde said...

@jcpbmg: Ugly Betty really fell off dramatically after its first season. Just one man's opinion, but I think the show made the classic mistake of forgetting about its title character.

I guess I can forget about ABC between now and the return of Lost (though I suppose I could be persuaded to give a shot to Better off Ted, based on the generally decent reviews).

I won't believe According to Jim is dead until the set has been dismantled and Jim Belushi is officially working somewhere else. I've celebrated too soon before.

Eldritch said...

I see some posts above from people looking forward to the new "V." But as a hard core SF fan, a new "V" gives me the willies.

Harlan Ellison once said a story isn't science fiction unless the story can't be told without the SF element. "V" failed that test. It was little more than the World War II French resistance fighting the Nazi occupation. Substituting "lizard" for "Nazi" and "human" for "French" doesn't make it SF.

The Lizards were here to steal Earth's water, which is another one of those astronomically stupid ideas. There's plenty of easier to get water flying around the solar system as comets. They say that most of the water on Earth originally came from comets. There're plenty more of them out there.

And even if you're not big fan of scientific accuracy, the rest of the writing didn't sparkle with convincing plot developments either.

Toward the end of the series, a wimpy lizard traitor falls in love with a human female. When he impregnates her, she gives birth to an EGG. When the egg hatches, comes out a beautiful blond, blue-eyed little girl with magical powers. (Though come to think of it, that may have been the plot twist that actually killed the series.)

I rant despite loving how well Ronald D. Moore re-imagined the original, poorly written "Battlestar Galactica," but then how often can lightning strike a second time?

Eldritch said...

Karen said,
And, at the risk of getting struck by lightning, I'll add that we got the first disk of HIMYM from Netflix and just. didn't. laugh..
..

Thank goodness, I'm not the only one. It gets such raves, but it seems a little lackluster to me. Guess I'm the wrong demographic.

Anonymous said...

I actually stopped watching HIMYM after the first season. It was cute, but I didn't really find it all that funny most of the time either. I've sort of come back to the show recently, though, and while I still don't think it's hysterical by any means, it's an enjoyable half hour.

I totally disagree about Ugly Betty going downhill after forgetting about its main character. Betty is one of the least interesting (if not just plain annoying) characters on the show. The show was much better when it focused more on the Meades, Wilhelmina, and the goings on at Mode.

Sean said...

I applaud ABC for giving new shows a try. Creativity and hope in this economy? How dare they!

That being said, I'm fully expecting another ABC New Show Purge by Christmas :(

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, Dean Winters is on an ABC show? You mean there's no more...Beeper King?

Anonymous said...

Alan - what did you think of what Jimmy Kimmel had to say at ABC upfront (nytimes article summarizing: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/jimmy-kimmel-demolishes-abcs-upfronts/?scp=2&sq=jimmy%20kimmel&st=cse)? Sounds like he was telling the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might have been for those in the audience to hear.

Zara said...

Rupert Penry Jones in The Forgetten with a US accent. Very sexy. RPJ is a fab actor - I can't wait to watch it.

Nicole said...

The original V actually freaked me out when it first aired, but then again I was about 8. The trailer for the new one looks ominous enough, so I will watch a bit and see if they manage make this work.

I was not planning on watching Eastwick at all, but then realized that Paul Gross is in it (Mountie from Due South) and he is Mr Charisma (at least by Canadian standards) so I will have to watch it as well.

As for Ugly Betty, I've been starting to lose interest for the past year because the storylines dealing with Betty are tiresome. She also needs to stop wearing braces because there is no way anyone wears them for that long.