Thursday, April 09, 2009

ABC Announces First Batch of Summer 2009 Schedule; ION Ratings Go Up, Schedule Changes

A few days back we gave you a peek at some of ABC's summer schedule. All of that was right basically but now we have more details! So let's take a look night-by-night! As we knew, the new cycle of The Bachelorette launches May 18 from 9-11pm, but its timeslot launch is Monday, May 25 from 8-10pm. We are not sure how long the cycle will run, since there will be for sure a Men Tell All and After the Final Rose specials, so maybe the finale won't be July 13 and could last longer? We'll let you know. So what will air at 10pm on Mondays? I guessed a second season of Here Come the Newlyweds, and I was right! ABC will air that series for eight straight weeks from May 27-July 13 at 10pm on Mondays. Following the run of that, ABC will launch a new series starting July 20 at 10pm. The reality series Dating in the Dark will air for six weeks making it last through all of August. The show is a unique alternative series that asks the age-old question, "Is Love Blind?" Each week, three single men and three single women, all looking for love, will move into a house together, but be totally sequestered from the opposite sex. While they will have no chance of seeing each other in the light, they will have the opportunity to date in a completely dark room.
Tuesdays will not change until after the NBA Finals are over. Prior to the NBA finals will be filler programming, including two burn-offs of Opportunity Knocks. Then after the NBA Finals (which airs Thursdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays from June 4-18) ends, ABC will launch The Superstars on Tuesdays at 8pm starting Tuesday, June 23. The Superstars, a fresh take on an old favorite, is based on ABC's classic "Wide World of Sports" series, The Superstars, which pitted athletes from all different sports against each other to determine the best athlete in the world. Eight celebrities are paired with eight professional male and female athletes to compete against each other in varying sporting events. Each week a team will be eliminated until one team is ultimately crowned the winner. The six-episode series will be shot entirely on location at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The finale is set for Tuesday, July 28. As for rest of Tuesday, it is unknown still what will air from 9-11pm starting June 23. And it is unknown what will air following the run of The Superstars starting August 4. As I said, this is only the first batch details.
Moving on to Wednesdays, as we mentioned, Wipeout will have its season premiere on a new night starting Wednesday, May 27 at 8pm. And ABC has 16 episodes this season, well one aired already, as ABC aired the Wipeout Bowl (the 6th one produced) on Super Bowl Sunday. We get new obstacles and a new twist to the big balls! Cannot wait for this as this will last throughout the summer on Wednesdays at 8! Following Wipeout, for six weeks, as we mentioned we get the animated comedy The Goode Family! The Goode Family is a new animated series from he King of the Hill crew Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. With standards always changing, no matter how hard you try to be good, it's virtually impossible these days... especially for the Goode family. Gerald and Helen Goode are a couple who live by the motto WWAGD ("What Would Al Gore Do?"). We first thought the series would be aired back-to-back at 9pm & 9:30pm, but now that is not the case. It will air in the 9pm half-hour only. So we get 6 of the 13 episodes produced. Following The Goode Family will be the new night of the Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia. That sitcom launched to decent ratings on Monday at 9:30 and will air five more times in that slot (through May 11) before moving to Wednesdays at 9:30pm starting May 27 for six more episodes for an original summer run. So ABC will air at least 12 of the 13 episodes produced. I really think this sitcom has potential and ABC could use it next fall to launch new traditional comedies. Both comedies will run through Wednesday, July 1. Starting Wednesday, July 8, we get a second season of the game show I Survived a Japanese Game Show! It is an unscripted reality/game show -- actually a show within a show - that takes an eye-opening, behind-the-scenes look at 12 Americans who are whisked away to Japan to compete in the ultimate Japanese game show. This season we get 10 episodes, so it will last into September. It is unknown what ABC will do at 10pm, but The Unusuals has five episodes remaining in its first season episode order if they want to air originals of that. The series launched last night to good ratings. The series will air for four more straight weeks through May 6, before the Lost two-episode season finale on May 13. So five episodes will for sure air out of its ten episode order. If ABC chooses to air the remaining five in the summer, it would air from May 27 through June 24, for five straight weeks. That would give ABC an entire night of originals on Wednesdays from 8-11pm. If that is the case with The Unusuals, they have not announced what would air Wednesdays at 10pm starting July 1. Or they could hold those episodes for next fall, if the series returns.
There has been nothing announced for Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. We have specials and stuff, though. Thursday, May 28 will be The Scripps National Spelling Bee from 8-10pm, as we told you. And Sunday, May 24 is the first part of the miniseries Diamonds from 9-11pm, also as we told you. It concludes on Tuesday, May from 9-11pm. ABC has another miniseries in the works called Impact.
Finally, Saturdays at 10pm is a rotating wheel to burn-off remaining episodes of canceled series. Pushing Daisies returns to the schedule from Saturday, May 30 through Saturday, June 13 at 10:00pm for its final three episodes. Then Eli Stone returns on Saturday, June 20 through Saturday, July 11 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes. Then finally Dirty Sexy Money returns on Saturday, July 18 through August 8 at 10:00pm for its final four episodes (which includes the unaired Thanksgiving episode!). It'll be weird seeing the Thanksgiving episode first since they aired three other episodes after that.
Well there you have it, the first batch of ABC summer. Of course more timeslots needs to be announced and we will let you know as soon as we hear what they are! Will Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? return in August for its 10th anniversary? We shall see!

First quarter 2009 has been a record breaking time for ION Television, with double digit growth in primetime viewership among households as well as in the key adults 25-54 demo. ION has delivered more adults 25-54 than at any other time in its history and ION's top five most watched episodes ever in households (HH) all aired during the first three months of this year. ION's extraordinary growth is a continued reflection of the success of its strategy to build viewership through its acquisitions of critically acclaimed off-network series in primetime.
Primetime delivery for households was up 26%, while adults 25-54 rose 44%, year over year. Also during this time period, viewership for adults 25-54 exhibited double digit growth across every hour in primetime: The 8:00 PM hour was up 20%, the 9:00 PM hour grew 49% and the 10:00 PM hour rose 62%.
ION's primetime off-network series continue to deliver. NCIS and Boston Legal have both grown significantly since their launch in fourth quarter 2008. In fact, NCIS delivered ION's top five most watched episodes ever (HH), reinforcing ION's mission in attracting more viewers than ever. NCIS averaged over one million total viewers in first quarter 2009, up 27% among households and up 31% among adults 25-54. Boston Legal's first quarter 2009 performance has grown 18% among households and 17% among adults 25-54.
ION's ratings gains provide the network with considerable momentum as it prepares its programming schedule for the 2009-10 season and beyond. That schedule will feature 12 originally produced movies a year, the new first-run series Durham County, The Border and The Guard; and the newly acquired off-network hits Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds.
Speaking of ION Television, they have just announced some changes to April. They are not major changes, though. All of the RHI movies have been pulled for the rest of April. So this Saturday (April 11) from 6-11pm we will get a M*A*S*H marathon instead. Other replacements include a Boston Legal block on Friday, April 17 from 8-11pm, big screen movies and more M*A*S*H. We already told you for May, the RHI movies would be leaving, so now it is earlier than planned. The Lonesome Dove four part mini-series is still slated to air the weekend of May 2-3, then after that there is no more RHI movies scheduled. More mainstream big screen movies will air. Check out the revised April schedule so you know what is on a particular day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for ABC Family upfront update!

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, July 23

The Middle - "Change in the Air" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The first day of school is upon the Heck family, and Sue finds herself feeling a sense of freedom she’s never felt before with Axl not around to make her campus life miserable. But Brick, who is beginning middle school and afraid of getting a swirlie, avoids the bathroom at all costs. Meanwhile, Frankie becomes jealous of Mike when she discovers that Axl calls and returns his texts but won’t do the same for her; and Sue’s feelings for Darrin surface once again when Mike calls him over to help fix the air conditioner.

The Goldbergs - "Kara-Te" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Barry decides to sign up for the school’s holiday talent show but is bummed when the school doesn’t approve karate as a talent. Beverly is livid and brow beats the teacher in charge to change his mind. After the family watches Barry’s routine, everyone wonders whether he will be able to pull off the performance… or crack under pressure. Meanwhile, Erica gets coerced from Pops to also perform in the talent show, but will she?

Modern Family - "iSpy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they’re hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.

The Middle - "The Potato" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Frankie and Mike are forced to return the church van when it’s discovered that their car has been repaired, Sue – who has been driving the other car – begins to freak out because she’ll have to start taking the bus again. But when her parents tell her that she could get her own car if she got a job, Sue ends up working as a potato girl at a local mall eatery. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike are called into Brick’s principal’s (Rachel Dratch) office and are informed that he has not attended any of his classes – and much to the family’s dismay, Axl begins to spend his nights back home when he becomes fed up with having to deal with his horrible college roommate.

Young & Hungry - "Pilot" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sofia encourages Gabi to start dating again; Josh discovers surprising news about Cam.

Mystery Girls - "Death Becomes Her" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The girls go under cover at Holly's old high school in order to prevent a senior prank.

Hot in Cleveland - "Straight Outta Cleveland" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Victoria gets a visit from the son she always forgets (Chris Colfer) and Joy and Mitch (Tim Daly) debate their compatibility.

Jennifer Falls - "Three Dates With My Mother" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer starts seeing a psychiatrist to help her deal with her mother, but even he might not be enough to break through to Maggie.

Wilfred - "Patterns" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ryan gets sucked into the "End Game."

Love Thy Neighbor - "Lucky Socks" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Danny, Floyd, Sam and Drew have been temporarily evicted; Danny asks Hattie if they can crash with her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 21) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, July 23

  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Watch Eric on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He will be on SI Now at 1pm. He stops by PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am.
  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Free Agents/Herman's Head) - Hank talks about the Showtime series Ray Donovan on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.