Sure, NBC is the current whipping boy of the nets, what with its lackluster ratings, but ABC is the network with the biggest programming challenges for next season. I'm not going to do my schedule predictions until Friday, but let's take a look at the current state of ABC.
First the good news:
- Grey's Anatomy - Best of show
- Desperate Housewives - lost some ground, but still strong
- Lost - solid performer
- Boston Legal - plucky underdog with solid footing
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Energizer Bunny of reality shows (especially since it runs all year)
- America's Funniest Home Videos - Okay *this* is the Energizer Bunny...16 years and still going strong.
- Wife Swap - surprisingly strong in its second season.
Now, the trouble begins:
- Monday Night Football - Gone
- Alias - Dead
- Jake in Progress - Stick a fork in it
- According to Jim, Hope and Faith, Less that Perfect and Rodney - Shadows of their former selves
- George Lopez - fading
- The Bachelor - too many failures equals no more ratings.
As to how the new shows this year fared...well, you know the story:
- The Night Stalker - Didn't make it past 3 or 4 episodes
- In Justice - Cancelled
- The Evidence - The Worst
- Commander In Chief - Biggest hero to zero story EVER
- Emily's Reasons Why Not - We don't talk about that around here
- Crumbs - Decent start but failed to hold viewers
- Sons & Daughters - Too different for ABC's audience and wildly uneven.
- Hot Properties - Not so hot. Gone.
- Freddie - Kept its George Lopez audience, but is it enough to get a second season?
- Miracle Workers - I liked this show, but apparently no one else did
- Invasion - lost half of Lost's audience. averages 7 million viewers
- What About Brian - ave. 6 million viewers. Invasion stands a better chance at renewal.
Shows which ABC needs to rest but keep around:
- Dancing with the Stars
- Extreme Makeover
So, not much to crow about from the Class of 05-06 as far as shows go. Freddie looks like it might squeak through, Brian and Invasion are a toss up, and everything else is good as gone.
So, pity poor ABC. While CBS is busy renewing 2/3 or more of its schedule for next seasons, ABC, may have to scrape the bottom of the barrel just to keep its hopes alive.
My one request: No more Heather Graham sitcoms. EVER.