Upfront week continues with the Post-Lost American Broadcasting Company:
Mondays will remain exactly the same with a two-hour block of Dancing With the Stars at 8, followed by Castle at 10.
With Lost gone, Tuesdays see the biggest change in the ABC schedule. The night kicks off at 8 with a new show, No Ordinary Family featuring Michael Chiklis as the patriarch of a family that gets super powers. This has big potential to be really really awesome, due to the super hero premise (see: Season 1 of Heroes, The Middleman) and Chiklis, who will undoubtedly do what he does best: be a bad ass. The Dancing With the Stars Results Show will follow at 9, with another new show, Detroit 1-8-7, which has a documentary film crew following cop Michael Scott Imperioli while he does his thing. It’s an interesting take on the crime procedural, and it has potential to either be pretty cool or pretty bland.
The Middle moves to 8 to start off ABC’s comedy night, as network hopes its decent ratings will help the night do better than when Hank led it off. At 8:30 is a new show, Better Together, with Jennifer Finnigan and Josh Cooke as a couple that has been together but unmarried for years that reexamine things when her sister gets engaged to a guy she just started dating. It sounds like a better romantic comedy than a sitcom, and I’m using the word “better” loosely. Modern Family and Cougar Town will again fill up the 9:00 hour before a new legal drama, The Whole Truth at 10. The show has an interesting premise, where each episode focuses on both the defense and prosecution. As with Detroit 1-8-7, it will have to avoid being too generic with it’s creative premise if it wants to compete with NBC’s Law and Order: Los Angeles.
Thursdays keep sad doctor shows Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice at 9 and 10, but preceding them at 8 will be a new show, My Generation, another faux-documentary that covers a group of people when they graduate from high school in 2000 and then revisits them as adults in present time. Another interesting premise, but I think it (and Detroit 1-8-7) might be testing the limits the faux-doc introduced with The Office, but it’s worth a shot seeing how it works in a drama and with a plot that would seem contrived without the documentary element.
20/20 starts off Friday and is followed by a revival of the 2008 FOX show Secret Millionaire, which appears to be ABC’s attempt at jumping on the Undercover Boss bandwagon. At 10 will be Body of Proof, which has Dana Delaney as a surgeon who becomes a medical investigator after a car accident ends her career. As with NBC’s Outlaw, I have a feeling this show probably isn’t very good if its being premiered so late on a Friday night, the least watched night of original shows, but I could be wrong.
Sundays stay exactly the same with America’s Funniest Home Videos (Still? Even in the age of YouTube?), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.
V will return in the the spring, so expect a countdown clock in the bottom corner of all your favorite shows until then. Matthew Perry returns to TV in midseason with Mr. Sunshine, which has him as a guy that turns 40 and realizes that he’s 40. The good news: Allison Janney and Better Off Ted‘s Andrea Anders co-star. Another new comedy for midseason is Happy Endings, with Elisha Cuthbert and Zachary Knighton as a recently broken up couple that is trying to decide what to do about all their shared friends. The last midseason show ABC picked up is Shonda Rimes’ Off the Map, about an understaffed medical clinic in Africa. It’d sound a lot better if I didn’t know it’d be more about the doctors personal lives and who’s sleeping with who than it will be about the challenges of working in an understaffed medical clinic in Africa.
ABC is sticking pretty closely with the status quo, mostly padding their established blocks of programming, instead of revamping like NBC or simply filling time slots like FOX. No Ordinary Family sounds the most interesting, though Detroit 1-8-7 could also be pretty good. What’s encouraging is that ABC isn’t trying to introduce another Lost knockoff like FlashForward, but rather looking for new avenues to pursue. All in all, not a bad lineup.