Tuesday, May 15, 2007

2007 Upfronts: ABC announces Fall Schedule

First, the schedule:


8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars"
9:30 p.m. "Sam I Am" (new comedy)
10:00 p.m. "The Bachelor"


8:00 p.m. "Cavemen" (new comedy)
8:30 p.m. "Carpoolers" (new comedy)
9:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show"
10:00 p.m. "Boston Legal"


8:00 p.m. "Pushing Daisies" (new)
9:00 p.m. "Private Practice" (new)
10:00 p.m. "Dirty Sexy Money" (new)


8:00 p.m. "Ugly Betty"
9:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"
10:00 p.m. "Big Shots" (new)


8:00 p.m. "MEN IN TREES"
9:00 p.m. "Women's Murder Club" (new)
10:00 p.m. "20/20"


8:00 p.m. "Saturday Night College Football"


7:00 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8:00 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
9:00 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10:00 p.m. "Brothers & Sisters"

"Cashmere Mafia," "Notes from the Underbelly" and "October Road" will premiere after "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor" conclude their fall seasons.

"Lost" returns in January.

Missing from the schedule: "What About Brian", "Knights of Prosperity" and surprisingly "According to Jim" which have all been cancelled, but it is a safe bet that "Supernanny" and "Wife Swap" are waiting in the wings to sub in the spring for any open timeslots.

I got Saturday and Sunday night. I scored on Friday as 'girl's night' but totally got the shows wrong. They picked 'Big Shots' for the post-Grey's spot instead of "Dirty Sexy Money" which will air out of "Private Practice" Wednesday at 9. Overall the schedule has some bold programming moves, though I can't say I'm thrilled that "The Bachelor" is back in the fall. I also think ABC is playing a dangerous game with their reality windfall "Dancing with the Stars" by airing a series in the fall and spring.

I did sit in on the ABC conference call this morning (at 5 AM) and jotted down some notes:

Cavemen - if it was just about the Geico cavemen, it wouldn't work. Exec producer from 3rd Rock from the Sun has come on board.

Miss/Guided - From Ashton Kutcher. No matter where you are, you are still in high school. A woman goes back to high school as a guidance counselor.

Sam I Am - Christina Applegate stars. Single camera, fun romantic comedy.

Carpoolers - Bruce McCullough of "Kids in the Hall" is behind this show about

Tuesday and Wednesday are a big focus for ABC this year.

Lost is a better 9 or 8 PM show. The numbers aren't down at all. Live plus seven ratings are the same, more people are using DVRs now. Lost will air 16 episodes uninterrupted in the spring.

People didn't show up for the serialized dramas last year, but the shows that hit last year were escapist in some way or another. The Nine was not escapism where Ugly Betty and Heroes were. Shift in the viewer right now for what they "thirst for".

Promotional efforts for so many new shows. Not all of these shows premiere in the fall at the same time. Certain shows will be priorities, but ABC feels they have the assets to launch new shows.

Geico will discontinue cavemen ads once show airs to avoid rights issues of the characters.

Testing process needs to improve - hoping to use the internet more in the future to tap into audiences and get immediate feedback on new shows.

Would have loved to have gotten Scrubs, but happy it is going on another year at NBC.

I am working on an article for another website and if it gets accepted, I'll post the link here.

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