Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SitcomsOnline.com 2011-12 Upfront Preview: ABC; Fox Extends Family Guy, Cleveland Show to 2013

ABC will need some new drama hits to go along with a few new comedies to strengthen their line-up and a lot of their pilots could deliver. We will likely see some veteran series take a backseat or moved to another time period to make room for fresher series.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com ABC 2011-12 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Missing (drama, 10 episodes) and Celebrity Wife Swap (reality, 6 episodes).
Already Renewed Returning Series: The Bachelor, Castle, Cougar Town, The Middle, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice.
Likely Returning Series: 20/20, America's Funniest Home Videos, Body of Proof, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Brothers & Sisters, V, Happy Endings, Secret Millionaire, Shark Tank, and Wipeout.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: My Generation, Supernanny, The Whole Truth, Skating with the Stars, Detroit 1-8-7, No Ordinary Family, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Off the Map, Better With You and Mr. Sunshine.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups: Charlie's Angels (drama for fall), Damage Control (drama for fall), Pan Am (drama for fall), Last Man Standing (comedy for fall), Smothered (comedy for fall), Suburgatory (comedy for fall), Apartment 23 (comedy for fall), The River (drama for mid-season), Good Christian Bitches (drama for mid-season), Hallelujah (drama for mid-season), and My Freakin Family (comedy for mid-season).

OUR FALL 2011 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM Secret Millionaire
9:00PM Charlie's Angels (NEW!)
10:00PM Desperate Housewives

Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
10:00PM Pan Am (NEW!)

Tuesdays
8:00PM Last Man Standing (NEW!)
8:30PM Smothered (NEW!)
9:00PM Dancing with the Stars: The Results
10:00PM Body of Proof

Wednesdays
8:00PM The Middle
8:30PM Suburgatory (NEW!)
9:00PM Modern Family
9:30PM Apartment 23 (NEW!)
10:00PM Cougar Town
10:30PM Happy Endings

Thursdays
8:00PM Castle
9:00PM Grey's Anatomy
10:00PM Damage Control (NEW!)

Fridays
8:00PM You Deserve It (NEW!)
9:00PM Shark Tank
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM College Football

Comments: ABC will likely bulk up on comedies, with as many as four hours maybe over two nights. They also have some drama pilots that are promising and are getting good marks from screenings. But scheduling will be key as always. So let's look at each night. I'll start with Mondays. Dancing with the Stars is a no-brainer from 8-10pm. ABC will easily fill the two-hour hole from Jan-Mar with The Bachelor but perhaps at 10pm, a new drama like the talked about new pilot Pan Am could take the time period? Castle is strong enough to air on another night, I think. Since The Bachelor is a younger audience than Dancing, maybe a new drama will premiere to give Pan Am a break, if that should hit. Options could be Georgetown or Revenge, as these seem like would be young skewing but right now they haven't tested too well. Or they could go with something more buzz worthy like Good Christian Bitches or the Marc Cherry drama Hallelujah.
On Tuesdays, Dancing with the Stars: The Results will likely remain at 9pm in the fall, to further build on the success of Body of Proof at 10pm. The 8pm hour needs work, perhaps two traditional comedies would work best. Tim Allen's return to TV would be big in Last Man Standing and could be the ideal series to lead off the night followed by another new multi-camera comedy titled Smothered, which is testing well. But what will happen once December comes when Dancing ends after November? ABC could use Celebrity Wife Swap in the time period in December or perhaps bring back V in "mini-series" form for 4 or 5 weeks, with a few two-hour episodes in there to cut down on repeats and liven up the holiday month. Then in early 2010, the Ashley Judd drama Missing could air in January and February at 9pm holding the Dancing time period. The series has been given a 10-episode blind commitment. Winter Wipeout is also an option, should they decide on another in-season season.
For Wednesdays, ABC should just remain comedies on this night in the fall. Give 10pm more time to grow and more promotion over the summer. The Middle will continue to lead off and Modern Family will anchor the night at 9pm, but new comedies will be needed at 8:30 and 9:30pm, I think. Two comedies getting high marks are the family comedy Suburgatory and Apartment 23. Those two would be ideal candidates. Cougar Town and Happy Endings could work in the 10pm hour given some time. Both series are a match made in heaven. Mr. Sunshine has a 50/50 chance of returning, but with so many comedies, I'm leaving it off. ABC could order one more comedy for this night for mid-season, should anything fail, perhaps My Freakin' Family? A drama could be used in mid-season at 10pm to rest the 10pm comedies, as they probably wouldn't repeat as well as the family comedies.
As for Thursdays, the 8pm slot has been troublesome for ABC in the past few seasons. I think ABC needs to air a familiar series and something that is already a hit, such as Castle. It might be good counter programming to CBS and NBC's comedies and Fox's reality. Plus Bones isn't going to air here. I don't think there is a doubt that Grey's Anatomy is at 9pm, but Private Practice could be saved for mid-season to launch a new drama, such as Damage Control, also from Shonda Rhimes. This one isn't medical, though. Private, which is already renewed, would return in mid-season in this time period or elsewhere should Damage do big.
As for Fridays, ABC will likely keep the same plan and go with unscripted. I don't think Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Fridays will happen. ABC usually uses Fridays for encores the first month or so for the season from 8-10pm, and that will likely happen again. Shark Tank will definitely be back I think and should be aired at 9pm. Primetime: What Would You Do? would return later in the year and 20/20 is at 10pm, of course. 8pm is the question mark. Perhaps they go with a cheap game show such as the upcoming You Deserve It, hosted by Chris Harrison, as it doesn't seem like comedies are coming there this season. The game show would launch in mid-October so it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle during the first few weeks of the season. ABC could use a drama on this night, like Identity, but they have to worry more about promoting Sun-Thurs.
On Saturdays ABC will have College Football in the fall and then movies and/or repeats for the rest of the season. Sad, but nothing can be done right now. Finally, on Sundays, I mentioned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition before, but I think it will held until mid-season so Secret Millionaire can air in the fall at 8pm out of AFV at 7. At 9pm Desperate Housewives could either lead-in to the new revival of Charlie's Angels at 10 but I am going with the opposite because Charlie's seems like an 8 or 9pm show and it could hit with 18-49. Season six of Brothers & Sisters is more likely now, but it will be a very short order, perhaps as low as 6 episodes. They could use it to replace repeats, perhaps in January or March/April.
I think ABC needs to take more chances this season and with a new man in charge, Paul Lee, I think that is what we will see. They have some very buzz-worthy drama pilots coming up again and the comedies seems good as well. This is a much better class than last season. They have fresh new ideas of shows with shows like The River, which could satisfy LOST fans and be the event series we need in mid-season to air repeat free. This was a tough schedule to predict, as I personally would do things different but this is how I see ABC going. Yesterday's NBC and Fox schedules were also predictions, not what I would do. Scheduling is the key ingredient and let's hope ABC makes it right.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own.

Remember, next Tuesday (May 17) is the actual date when we will find out ABC's plans for the 2011-12 season. So, come on back next Tuesday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong!). Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on CBS's upfront!


Fox has renewed Animation Domination comedies Family Guy for a tenth season and The Cleveland Show for a fourth season, These seasons are NOT next season, but for 2012-13. These two were already renewed for next season, the ninth and third seasons, respectively.
Look for the second season finale of The Cleveland Show this Sunday at 9:30pm and the one-hour eighth season finale of Family Guy the following week on May 22 from 9-10pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 4

The Simpsons - "The Last Traction Hero" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A workplace accident leaves Homer in a cast, and in a position to sue Mr. Burns. This leaves Marge unfulfilled, so she turns to an unexpected source for romance. Meanwhile, Lisa is made “Bus Monitor” and tries to keep the peace.

Son of Zorn - "Return of the Drinking Buddy" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Zorn’s old friend Headbutt Man (guest voice Rob Riggle) is coming to town. Unfortunately for Zorn, Headbutt Man is now sober. Meanwhile, Alan is invited to a party where his crush, Nancy (guest star Emily Wong), will be. Unfortunately, he has to take Headbutt man’s daughter with him.

Family Guy - "Carter and Tricia" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Carter buys the Pawtucket Patriot brewery and decides to cut some corners to save a few bucks. Peter overhears the plan and runs and tells investigative journalist Tricia Takanawa about Carter’s plan to use toxic chemicals in the beer cans. Meanwhile, Brian’s drivers’ license has expired and he enlists Stewie as an instructor.

The Last Man on Earth - "Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After finding a mysterious note left by Melissa that says “Goodbye,” the gang sets off to go look for her. Meanwhile, Gail gets stuck on a solo adventure of her own.

K.C. Undercover - "Holly Holly Not So Jolly" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Christmas time arrives and K.C. tells everyone she has to go pick up a last-minute gift, but instead goes to The Organization's therapist, Dr. Levinstein.

Mech X-4 - "Let's Survive in the Woods!" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Principal Grey sets a trap for Ryan, Harris and Spyder while they're on a camping trip, which leaves MECH-X4 and Mark in danger.

Best Friends Whenever - "The Christmas Curse" (Disney Channel, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Shelby and Cyd encourage a homesick Daisy to incorporate a festive 16th-century tradition into their annual Christmas party.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Monday, December 5

  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Watch Will on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) - Gael is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Steve appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of Fuller House - The cast of Fuller House are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - Miss Piggy and Harry perform Deck the Halls on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Meredith Hagner (Search Party/Men at Work) - Meredith is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Lauren Graham (The Odd Couple/Conrad Bloom/Townies) - Lauren appears on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. talks about Office Christmas Party on the AOL Build Show at 3pm. He will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:50am.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Josh McDermitt (Retired at 35) - Josh can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10:45am.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn talks about Kevin Can Wait on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.