This is pure conjecture on my part. In no way is this to be considered ABC's schedule for the fall. ABC will announce tomorrow (and there is a 5 AM Conference call I will join just to get the word that much more quickly to you people), so we'll do the compare/contrast after that.
Okay, so on to my totally non-scientific predictions:
MondayMonday was tough for ABC this year, but this spring they did bang up business with "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor". While neither is a shoo-in for a fall premiere date (Dancing with the Stars has a shot), I think ABC will opt for some new and moved programming for this night.
While NBC has "Deal or No Deal", "Heroes", and the new "Journeyman" for its lineup, CBS will likely continue to program sitcoms Monday night, and Fox will continue with male skewing shows "Prison Break" and something new, ABC would do well to counter program Mondays to women. I would suggest a lineup which includes "Men In Trees" on this night and possibly intro new show "Women's Murder Club". Another possible fit would be "Private Practice", but I think it will get a pimp spot on another night. Filling the 8 PM hour should be one of the net's reality shows, possibly "Wife Swap" or "Supernanny", which have performed well here in the past. If they get moved to midseason or summer, this spot is a toss-up to me.
TuesdayTuesday again has been decent with "Dancing with the Stars" results show and "Boston Legal" at 10 PM. I think, however, there is room to really compete on Tuesday night. While "House" is dominant on Fox at 9 PM, don't be surprised to see ABC really push the 10 PM hour further with the Grey's spinoff, "Private Practice." This would bump "Boston Legal" to another night, possibly Monday or Friday. When "October Road" comes back midseason, it should be slated in on Tuesdays, but may air out of Grey's depending on how well the new shows airing in the post-Grey's spot performs. At 8 on Tuesday I wouldn't be surprised to see "Eli Stone" get a shot (though I'm on the fence as to whether this is an 8 PM or 9 PM show). Expect all of this to get tossed for "Dancing" in the spring.
WednesdayA night of trouble for ABC. I think they'll move "Lost" back to 9 PM and try to launch "Pushing Daisies" out of it at 10 PM. I know this strategy didn't really work for "The Nine", but "Lost" performs far better at 9 PM, even with the competition. The 8 PM hour should see the launch of sitcom "Caveman" (ugh) at 8:30 and possibly "According to Jim" resuming it's 8 PM duties.
ThursdayAre you ready for a powerhouse night? Prepare for "Ugly Betty", "Grey's Anatomy" and "Dirty Sexy Money", which I think will take the 10 PM post-Grey's slot. The show has great buzz and will probably be the show (besides the Grey's spinoff) that gets the most promotion. If it takes off, they could then move it to a weaker night to anchor. I think ABC is happy with what they have for Thursday, and the only possible change would come at mid-season with some other show getting a shot post-Grey's.
FridayABC for years was king of Friday. I think they'll try to make this a "girl's night", and they should -- Air the two new sitcoms "Sam I Am" and "Carpoolers" in the 8 PM hour to lead off. Then continue the femme vibe at 9 with new show "Cashmere Mafia" and finally "Big Shots", which I hear has tested very well.
SaturdayCollege football and reruns. Wasteland.
SundayThis night will remain mostly unchanged. I expect we'll see all the current lineup in their usual timeslots -- "America's Funniest Home Videos", "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers and Sisters".
What's left over? Midseason pickups for "October Road" and "Notes from the Underbelly", and we'll probably see "The Bachelor" return in the spring. I also wouldn't be surprised if ABC picks up one or two more dramas for midseason. Depending on ratings for "Traveler" -- that's a long shot -- could still get a midseason order.
Now we wait to see what the professionals will do tomorrow.